Fun, but Stressful

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Overall, I thought that I Like Me Better was a pretty decent little romance. I thought the characters were pretty enjoyable and the main conflict was definitely compelling, and it was nice to see Zack's pretty realistic growth throughout the book. I did enjoy the fun beachy vibe, as well as the emphasis on marine biology and conservation! This was a pretty quick read (I finished it in a day or two), and I did feel like the ending in particular was fun to read and pretty satisfying.

Still, I think this book was, again, pretty solid, but maybe just not my thing personally. I'm always a little picky about contemporary romance in particular, and while I thought this was enjoyable, it didn't really grab me or really touch me. Also, I found a good chunk of the middle to be really stressful in a secondhand-embarrassment way--I kept having to stop and put the book down or walk away and come back, and not in a good way. Something about the primary conflict with Zack's lie, and especially the pressure for him to do well at his volunteer job while he kept getting into trouble, just really stressed me out! This might've just been the types of conflicts I prefer (and the fact that I've done some of that volunteer work before myself and couldn't help but take it too seriously), but it was tense in a way that I didn't find enjoyable to read, though I accept that this was probably just because of me as a reader rather than any flaws with the book. One thing I do really wish the book had shown more of was Zack discovering his love of conservation and actually working with kids to teach them about marine life--there was some of that throughout, but, for the way that this new passion is really significant for his arc, I never really felt it. I would've liked to see more excitement from him about this, or a bit more of him working with the kids, since it ended up feeling like that passion never really got past him just wanting to be with Chip, to me, and the ending felt surprising because of it.

Again, I don't think these are even major problems with this book! Just things that I think could've worked a little bit better for me personally. I think this could be a really enjoyable story for some people, even if it wasn't necessarily my kinda thing.