*Thank you to both Netgalley and Edelweiss for an ARC of this title!
Evie and her best friend Caleb attend a boarding school for gifted students. While Evie excels at mathematics, Caleb is a skilled programmer. Evie wants desperately to submit her mathematics project to a big conference but is hindered by her extreme stage fright and social anxiety. Caleb has always been her life jacket, her buoy, so she finds a way to bring coding into her project so that he can go with her and stave off her anxiety. And in the process of all this, she might be falling for the new mathematics transfer student… But what she doesn’t know is, Caleb has been in love with her since they were kids. In fact, he’s had seventeen almost-kisses with her through the years. Maybe it’s time to actually tell Evie how he feels, before this new guy steals her heart.
I was super excited to be approved for an ARC of The Quantum Weirdness. For one, this is the first ARC I’ve been approved for in years, and I’m excited to get back into reading them. Second, this just sounded like the cutest story to finish out my year of reading. Love triangle, friends-to-lovers, and a boarding school? Sign me up. Plus, I knew I’d relate to Evie and her anxiety just based on the synopsis alone, and I was very right.
The novel is told in first-person POV from alternating perspectives of Evie and Caleb. The two are BFFs, but Caleb is 100% in love with Evie, and Evie… well, she’s not sure what she feels for Caleb, other than knowing she absolutely needs him in her life. She might have feelings for him, but she doesn’t want to risk her friendship with him. Instead, she turns to a new student who makes her heart flutter when he looks at her. That is much, much safer. Except now Caleb is really jealous. So, drama ensues.
I really enjoyed the back-and-forth perspectives of Evie and Caleb. Both characters are so different, but so very endearing. I related heavily to Evie’s anxiety, and really enjoyed her growth throughout the novel. Yes, she does depend on Caleb. A lot. But I think that’s okay. I still think the novel showed her growth regardless. I liked the positive outlook on therapy and how useful coping mechanisms can be. I myself started going to therapy this year, so it was nice to see positive rep for both therapy and anxiety. The book is also pro-female, with many strong female characters other than Evie, who all have to fight for their gender in a very male-dominated boarding school.
I liked Caleb a lot, too, despite the crappy thing he does later in the story. I think, were I Evie, I would have been a little more upset about what he did, but also, she’s kind of in love with him, so I can understand why she would have let it slide. I also hate that Caleb basically just “expected” Evie to fall in love with him because he’s there and he’s nice to her. I don’t really love that entitlement. I wish Caleb could have expressed his feelings for Evie a little less “that.” But overall, I liked Caleb. Honestly there’s no way anyone is that perfect but it’s nice to pretend.
If you love YA romance, especially friends to lovers, this is right up your alley. Yes, there’s some math and physics and stuff thrown in, but it’s not too much to bear. Think John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines-level of math. It’s very readable and will kill you with cuteness. Though I didn’t fall head over heels for the story like I was hoping to—I needed a little more something, I don’t know know what, just something—I still very much enjoyed it and think you will, too. The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss hits shelves January 5th, so be sure to pick up a copy to start 2021 with a swoony romance.