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“Johanna is steadfast, patient, reliable; the go-to girl, the one everyone can count on. But always being there for others can’t give Johanna everything she needs—it can’t give her Reeve Hartt.

Reeve is fierce, beautiful, wounded, elusive; a flame that draws Johanna’s fluttering moth. Johanna is determined to get her, against all advice, and to help her, against all reason. But love isn’t always reasonable, right?

In the precarious place where attraction and need collide, a teenager experiences the dark side of a first love, and struggles to find her way into a new light.”

I am pretty happy with this story, though there were some major issues I had with it. One of the biggest issues I had was the unbelievable ending. The ending was crammed into such a small number of pages for the amount of plot that was covered. The rest of the book was mostly interesting, though I couldn’t see why the relationship that formed did.

The plot was a basic YA plot of love forming between two teens that don’t really know each other. The twist in this one was the level of physical abuse. The abuse would not have been possible if Johanna were not so emotional damaged that she latched onto pretty much anyone who showed her attention. While the dynamic was interesting, it was pretty bland. I was not on the edge of my seat hoping for the relationship to go one way or another. I was actually pretty shocked that the relationship even happened. Reeve is supposed to be this huge lesbian stud and Johanna is so emotionally needy and jealous that when Reeve sleeps around the more probably response would have been for her to leave instead of cling tighter.

This story also used herpes as a way to insult and demean others. Though there was a lot of sexual shame used throughout the book as normal, there was a better variety of gender expressions allowed. Reeve was actually pretty feminine dressing, though she was not feminine acting. That was a difference that many YA authors are not able to allow in their female characters or in the more sexually voracious lesbian characters.

Overall this book was fun to read and one that if abuse were actually handled in the end I would suggest, but the abuser was still getting away with it. She was not punished for abusing so it is hard for me to suggest this to a young reader.


3 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book to an older teen.

You can buy this book here.