Mostly Great YA Romcom

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I read The Best Laid Plans last month have been mulling it over trying to decide how to put my thought into a review. On paper, it’s everything I love in a book.

Keely stuck as the last virgin in her group of friends (and maybe the entire senior class) when beautiful and popular Danielle hooks up with Chase at a party at Keely’s best friend Andrew’s house. The thing is, Keely doesn’t want to date any of the guys she’s known her whole life. I can’t really blame her. Except for Andrew, they’re all kind of terrible. Misogynistic and generally pretty gross (I say this as a female only child mother of daughters, so maybe this is exactly how guys talk and act, and I just don’t want to believe it). Even Andrew, who’s pretty delightful when it’s just him and Keely, becomes Party Andrew pretty quickly in public. When Keely meets Dean, a gorgeous film-obsessed college student (Keely wants to be a filmmaker), she finally has someone worth wooing. The only problem? She lies and tells him she’s not a virgin, and decides to ask best-friend Andrew for “lessons” so she’ll know what she’s doing with the guy she really wants. I think we can all see the myriad of problems this proposition presents, and where this book is headed.

Things I loved: I really liked Keely, Andrew, and Keely’s best friend Hannah. I loved the will-they-or-won’t-they build up with the best friends and the writing in this book was really fun. Things I wasn’t as crazy about: Dean was not dreamy to me at all. It made it hard to buy that Keely was trying so hard to please him when he seemed like a complete idiot. That said, I’m an adult reading YA. Maybe a teen would find Dean dreamy. I’ll also admit that Dean’s particular mystique—laid-back-whiskey-drinking-fake-philosophizing-motorcycling-riding-without-a-helmet charm is not my bag. I’m not a huge fan of any of those things. And I don’t have a problem with sex in YA, but there were aspects of this book—marketed as sex positive, and I’m sure that was the intent—that didn’t feel that way to me.

I did race through this one, and I’d definitely recommend it to YA fans who like love triangles/squares with best friends at the center.