Amy Reed, June 2013. Max and Sadie are spending the summer working on an organic farm in order to escape their normal lives, and because Sadie’s wanderer mom is working there too. Well, that’s why Sadie’s going. Max is going because Sadie is; that’s always been enough of a reason to be anywhere. She can’t imagine life without Sadie.
….until Sadie comes down with mono at the farm, and Max is on her own for a change. It’s too sudden a turnaround to be believable that Max drops Sadie so very quickly and painlessly, but it does allow Max to branch out, make new friends, and fall in lust with dark, angry Dylan.
The rest of the plot doesn’t matter much; it’s the character study that’s fascinating here. Like Reed’s amazing first book, Beautiful, Over You is a trip into the head of a teen who’s way messed up, but not so far gone that the reader can’t relate to her.
Right, the gay part: not Sadie and Max. Actually, Max puts it best, early in the book when her first-person narration addresses second-person Sadie:
“We have always understood that our relationship comes first. There have been a fair share of romantic sides, most of them yours, but none ever lasts too long. You always stay true, rarely even sleeping with the same boy twice. Most would think of this as problematic; they do not know you’re being faithful to me. For you, there is a difference between sex and love. And what we have is love. The rest is simply entertainment.
“Perhaps it is harder for me, my attractions being more ambiguous. You can safely say boys on one side, Max on the other. The line is straight and sharp. But mine curves all around; everything is gray instead of black and white.”
I do wish Reed had taken the opportunity to employ my favorite literary device: the unreliable narrator. I did like the slight POV switch in the second part of the book, though, where Max’s narration addressed the reader instead of Sadie. Anyway, highly recommended, especially for those who liked Reed’s earlier novels.