Enrique “Quique” Luna has one goal this summer—get over his crush on Saleem Kanazi by pursuing his other romantic prospects. Never mind that he’s only out to his best friend, Fabiola. Never mind that he has absolutely zero game. And definitely forget the fact that good and kind and, not to mention, beautiful Saleem is leaving L.A. for the summer to meet a girl his parents are trying to set him up with.
Luckily, Quique’s prospects are each intriguing in their own ways. There’s stoner-jock Tyler Montana, who might be just as interested in Fabiola as he is in Quique; straight-laced senior class president, Ziggy Jackson; and Manny Zuniga, who keeps looking at Quique like he’s carne asada fresh off the grill. With all these choices, Quique is sure to forget about Saleem in no time.
But as the summer heats up and his deep-seated fears and anxieties boil over, Quique soon realizes that getting over one guy by getting under a bunch of others may not have been the best laid plan and living his truth can come at a high cost.
Quique has a plan for the summer before his senior year – to get over his long-time crush on close friend Saleem by checking out some other guys. And he has a few very different prospects to accomplish his goal. It might not be the best plan, but Quique is a flawed character who may not make the best decisions sometimes. Some of these prospects aren’t worth his time, but he learns some valuable life lessons the hard way during his journey.
I adored Quique from the first page. He’s dealing with a lot in his life – he’s only out to best friend Fabiola, worried about how his parents will react to his bisexuality, and he’s head over heels for Saleem, who’s spending time with extended family this summer. Family who are interested in an arranged marriage for him. Quique also struggles with several mental health issues, and I loved that he recognized the signs and wasn’t afraid to ask for help. His parents and Fabiola are a strong support system.
He also has a safe, wonderful resource in Mr. Chastman, his teacher. An extremely awkward and unexpected scene between them could have gone wrong in so many ways, but is brilliantly handled. I wish all high school students had someone like this in their corner.
This is a beautifully written story filled with poignant, humorous, and bittersweet moments that shines a light on some very important topics. It’s an incredible debut, and a novel I highly recommend.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.