Book Title: The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss
Author: Amy Noelle Parks
Publisher: Amulet Books
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Trigger Warnings: Anxiety, Panic Attacks
Caleb has always assumed that when she was ready for romance, Evie would choose him. Because he is her best friend, and he loves her, and he has almost kissed her 17 times…
Seventeen-year-old Evie Beckham has never been interested in dating. She’s been fully occupied by her love of mathematics and her frequent battles with anxiety (and besides, she’s always found the idea of kissing to be a little bit icky). But with the help of her best friend and her therapist, Evie’s feeling braver. Maybe even brave enough to enter a prestigious physics competition and to say yes to the new boy who’s been flirting with her.
Caleb Covic knows Evie isn’t ready for romance but assumes that when she is, she will choose him. So Caleb is horrified when he is forced to witness Evie’s meet cute with a floppy-haired, mathematically gifted transfer student. Because Caleb knows the girl never falls for the funny best friend when there’s a mysterious stranger around, he decides to use an online forum to capture Evie’s interest. Now, he’s got Evie wondering if it’s possible to fall in love with a boy she’s never met.
Told in the alternating voices of Evie and Caleb, THE QUANTUM WEIRDNESS OF THE ALMOST KISS is a YA romantic comedy, sure to satisfy fans of Jenny Han, Rainbow Rowell and Stephanie Perkins.
Amy Noelle Parks is an associate professor at Michigan State University. When she’s not using One Direction lyrics as a writing prompt, she’s helping future teachers recover from the trauma of years of school mathematics. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two daughters.
The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss is an absolutely adorable story in every way possible. This refreshing romantic read is full of beautiful friendship moments, emotional support, and what it’s like to be in love with your best friend with she doesn’t quite understand feelings. This book is full of sparks flying, heartwarming scenes that I was swooning over, and what it means to fall in love. I loved everything about this book!
“Entanglement, like love, isn’t something that happens to you. It’s a choice you make.”
Evie is the rockstar of this story. She’s wildly intelligent, but yet doesn’t quite understand the prospect of feelings (unlike the charismatic Caleb). I loved that she was a character I could easily relate to, in the sense of anxiety. I also struggle with anxiety so seeing Evie overcome her battles was truly inspiring. I’ve also experienced panic attacks before, and I thought Parks captured the full aspect of what it’s like to go through a panic attack. Her emotional support system and her therapy sessions were wonderfully depicted.
But, honestly, what was great about Evie was watching her grow throughout the book. At the beginning, she’s more closed off and not entirely comfortable in her own skin. But then she starts to grow and understands that she has the power to be brave. She starts to become comfortable in her body and comfortable in herself. Evie’s one of those characters that does end up surprising the readers, but in the best way possible. So, watching Evie overcome some of her crippling fears was inspirational and something I think many people will be able to relate to.
“…I learned that while I want to kiss Evie, I need her in my life. Without her, my world is ordinary.”
And then there’s Caleb. I loved Caleb. He’s the wonderful best friend we all hope to have, and he’s always there for Evie, even when he’s jealous of the boy in her life. Caleb’s sweet and understanding and caring. Most of his chapters are spent with him pining after Evie or vying for her feelings, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s somewhat rare in books to read about boys with the feelings for a girl when it’s usually the other way around. And even though he’s deeply in love with Evie, he never leaves her side; he’s always there to support her and to be her best friend. He knows that he’d rather have Evie in his life as his best friend than not in his life at all.
Parks has crafted a truly captivating story with phenomenal and relatable characters. Her writing is fresh and stylish. But what blew me away about her writing is how well Parks executed the story and the relationship between Evie and Caleb. Both are so supportive of each other, even when they don’t see eye to eye. But Parks captured the aspect of a positive friendship and relationship so well in her writing. She’s one of those contemporary writers to keep an eye on; I have no doubt that she will be a new voice in the YA contemporary genre.
“I think we entangle ourselves every time we choose each other, whether we’re in the same room or on the computer or halfway across the country.”
Overall, this debut is a sparkling contemporary romance that left me with a smile, a full heart, and a new love for this genre. If you’re looking for a childhood friends to lovers style story with quirky and in-depth characters, then I highly recommend The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss!
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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