Cute and Quirky

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This was a perfect summer read for me, and a lot of the content was really refreshing to see in a YA novel. This was the first time I've read a contemporary YA where the main character was training as an escape artist, and I appreciated the deviation from your typical high school set up. And the escape acts gave me so much anxiety! Well, maybe not so much the first one, but the last one was nerve wracking.

While Mattie and Will used a lot of annoying slang that I didn't love, we were able to see how anxious and pressured they both feel about making sure they did something worthwhile with their life (so relatable). They want to make the jump "from consumption to creation" but are honest about that jump being scary. They are also openly anxious about how their peers will react if they lead their lives in a way that makes them happy as opposed to in a way that is expected of them.

I loved that this story focused on friendship and not romance, and my inner nerd loved all the quirky references that were sprinkled throughout. I also appreciated that the author gave all of her pop culture references enough context so any reader would understand what was going on, but never over explained things, not a balance all writers are able to get right!

Some of the tie-ins towards the end with the diary and Mattie's history paper seemed a little forced and didn't really do much for me. Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a quick YA read that doesn't have your typical setting.