I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
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Jay Northcote does a great YA!!!
Back when they were younger, Olly and Scott were besties, running around their 'hood, spending mucho time at Olly's house, sleepovers, and even having tea with the old lady next door when a ball flies over the fence. Until a kiss and a lie changed it all, and now Ollie and Scott don't even speak to each other anymore.
Olly is out and proud, and Scott has a pretty girlfriend he doesn't like much. Olly is into literature and the performing arts, and Scott is a football jock. Soccer for you Americans.
In their last year of school, they stay as far away from each other as possible. Friendship is over. Dead. Finito.
Taking a corner just a little too fast in his car, irritated with clingy GF, Scott bumps Olly off his bike. Their subsequent shouting match is overheard by the little old lady from their younger days.
And the next morning, Scott wakes up in Olly's body and vice versa. Holy crap, right?
What follows is a comedy of errors in parts, and in other parts it's an exploration of walking in someone else's shoes. Because, see, not all is as it seems with Scott, and Olly's hatred is thisclose to still loving Scott.
Forced to work together to keep anyone from finding out what happened (like anyone would believe them, anyway), Scott and Olly start spending a lot of time together and begin seeing each other for who they really are. There are humorous moments, and confusing emotions, jealousy, and finding out things they never knew. Of course, being teenage boys with morning wood, there are some really, uhm, awkward moments when, in each other's bodies, they take matters into their, ahem, hands.
Their story is told in dual POVs, which was a little confusing initially, because even though Scott looks like Olly, he's still Scott inside, but to everyone else he's Olly, which made it a little hard to follow early on, but then I found my groove and it was all just fine.
As Olly finds out, once he's in Scott's body, Scott's homophobic and belittling father has made Scott's home life pretty unbearable, and you can imagine how Olly as a gay boy feels hearing the nastiness first hand. At the same time, Scott as Olly realizes how warm and welcoming Olly's family is, and how much he's missed out on - how much he's missed feeling part of that family. And how freeing it is to live your life being who you truly are.
It's a really cute story, one where both boys get a chance to see into each other lives, and especially Scott gets to find the courage to be who he really is, instead of someone his father wants him to be. And the more time they spend together, trying to figure out how to switch back, the closer they get again, until they are once again friends and then truly in love. And repeat the kiss, this time without the lie.
This is definitely YA, with intimate scenes limited to the above mentioned handjobs, some kissing and such, which is what I expected at most. The writing is engaging, and I was enthralled from start to finish, and slightly upset when it was over. Utterly adorable, bit fluffy, bit of angst, and a good dose of magic, with a great HEA - what more could you ask from a YA romance?
** I received a free copy of this book from its author as part of the review tour. A positive review was not promised in return. **