This is not how soccer-star Zack Martin thought his summer would go. When the captain’s prank means trouble for the whole squad, Zack’s left with no choice but to take one for the team and cover for him.
Now he’s trading parties and beach days for community service at a seaside conservation center—fair enough. But thanks to his new reputation, the cute intern, Chip, won’t even give him a shot. Still, Zack finds himself falling for Chip between dolphin encounters and shark costume disasters, which means he suddenly has way more on the line than he ever expected.
Zack may be good at winning on the field, but can he keep up the lie without losing himself?
I’d just finished reading a couple of lengthy, heavy fantasies when I came across this book. It was the perfect light-hearted, romcom book I needed.
Zack is a soccer player ending his junior year and is up for captain of the team. Things are looking good for him until he takes the blame for a prank he didn’t commit and is assigned community service over the summer. But his punishment turns out to have a silver lining. When he’s assigned to a seaside conservation center, he discovers interests he never realized he had. He also meets Chip, a cute intern who supervises the volunteers. It turns into a summer of learned lessons from bad choices, taking responsibility for mistakes, pining over Chip, and epiphanies about the future.
I loved the focus on the environment in this novel – always a good thing in my opinion. I also enjoyed the setting of the aquarium and marine institute. Zack’s scenes with the young students and his unfortunate experience in a shark costume gave me plenty of laughs. His strong friendships with Beckett and Meyers are also a high point, and I liked how no one blinked twice that Zack was crushing on another guy. His relationships with his divorced parents and how they still remained a family unit is also a plus and written well. Shout out to Zack’s dog Odin – he’s a perfect wing man.
This is partially a coming of age story, and Zack certainly undergoes some character growth. If you’re looking for a summer read with a charming cast of characters and a little romance, add I Like Me Better to your list.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.