crossposted on Goodreads

Sarah, Brianna, and Ryan have known each other forever.

Sarah and Brianna have been friends since kindergarten when Brianna “saved” Sarah from friendship with an aggressive classmate.

Since then, Sarah has been Brianna’s devoted sidekick, welcoming Brianna into her home, supporting Brianna when her mother criticizes her and her absent father doesn’t show up for his time with her….again.

She also comforts rejected boyfriends and fends off boys asking her out just to get close to Brianna.

However, since last summer, Sarah’s been hiding a secret….she is in love with Ryan, who is currently Brianna’s boyfriend.

At an end of the summer party, Ryan and Sarah shared a moment, that then got more or less hijacked by Brianna.

Since Brianna seems to need Sarah around all the time to bolster her own ego, and to be a prop, Sarah has had to spend a lot of time watching the boy she likes and her bestfriend kissing.

In fact, that’s what seems to happen for most of the book, kissing and Sarah’s inner thoughts about how she feels about kissing (both her own kissing of Ryan and Brianna’s kissing of Ryan.)

And while that does get a little bit much by the end of the book, the reason it still gets 4 stars is because Sarah’s voice is so utterly believable and angsty and heartfelt that you keep reading because you want her to finally stand up and take ownership of herself. You are rooting for her to be more honest with herself, Ryan, and Brianna all the way through the book.

While Brianna’s actions are given motive through showing us how little her parents value her, what was most interesting to me was the slow reveal of how Brianna’s “friendship” with Sarah is subtly and cruelly influenced by her mother’s “helpful” but cutting remarks. Realizing with Sarah how her friendship has made of her a person she doesn’t want to be anymore was really interesting.

A sweet, swift read focused entirely on romance and friendship.

This Book’s Food Designation Rating: Macaroni and cheese for the comforting, familiar characters and subject.