Dumped publicly right before her senior prom, Avery Dennis decides that she needs to understand what happened – she’s always been the one to dump her significant other, NOT the other way around. So Avery swears off dating and decides that in order to better understand why all of her relationships have ended, she’s going to interview ALL of her previous boyfriends to collect data. Every single one of them, starting with her first “boyfriend” in kindergarten. And Avery won’t be doing this alone – she’ll drag her friends along for the ride, especially her best friend Coco Kim and her trusty science lab partner, James “Hutch” Hutcherson. Each chapter focuses on one of Avery’s many failed conquests and as she examines each one, she realizes something new about herself that starts to reform the way she thinks about what makes a good partner and a good relationship.
- I could tell that the author is a fellow “old millennial”, because while most of the pop culture references will be recognizable by the modern teen, there’s definitely a lean toward adults who are young vs. young adults. This could also be considered a defect, but as an “old millennial” reader, I loved it. It also means that the novel will appeal to both your average high schooler or upper middle schooler, as well as adult readers.
- The failed romances are 100% relatable, especially the middle school romances and how both parties thought about what dating was supposed to be. Older teens are sure to feel the same horror/angst/embarrassment that Avery does in reliving each experience (heck, I sure did).
- I personally love when a book breaks the fourth wall – this book is written as if Avery is giving her interviews/writing to her social studies teacher, but this format gives it the feeling of breaking the fourth wall and that Avery is actually talking to the reader.
- The characters might be a little unrealistic or perhaps a little stereotypical – but no more so than any other humorous high school romance novel. There were points when I felt that the characters were a little over the top… but so are the characters in every other teen and adult romance novel I’ve read. I’ll put it as a defect, but maybe that’s just the genre.
- There are a lot of characters. A lot of named characters that you sometimes have to remember who they are and why they’re important to the story. This may be hard to track for some readers. I read novels with extreme amounts of named characters (LOTR, Game of Thrones, Dune, etc.), so this felt like a cakewalk, comparatively.
- The humor DOES lean a little “adults who are young” vs. young adults. So… 20/30 somethings may appreciate the pop culture references in this book more than some modern teens. Although I know PLENTY of high schoolers who are into the same stuff as the character in the book, so the cross over power of this one is there for sure. These references WILL make this book “dated” in a shorter span than others, though.