Biggest Flirts is my first read by Jennifer Echols and I really enjoyed. It is a story that takes place in the midst of a high school marching band. What's not to like about that?
This is a review of an ARC provided by publisher in exchange for a fair review.
Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.
Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger.
As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…
Tia is a girl who is crazy smart and a talented drummer, but breaks in to hives at the thought of any sort of responsibility. She sabotages herself on a regular basis, mostly out of fear. Fear that she may want more than she can have. Fear that she will fail. Fear that she will let other people down. If no one expects anything from her, they can't be disappointed, an she won't be disappointed in herself. Could I relate? No, but I found myself feeling for her and her situation. Like her best friends, I wanted to see her make better choices because she was selling herself short. Will is the new kid in town. I can not even imagine how hard it would be to move right before your senior year. I moved summer before junior year and that was bad enough. Will is leaving a school where he was supposed to be Drum Major and Student Body President for a school where he is a no one and knows nobody. Furthermore the change causes him to realize some things about himself that has him readjusting his entire way of thinking. He is at a point of crisis in many ways. Tia and Will are exactly perfect for each other at this moment. They just need to figure out how they are going to make themselves fit. Neither one of these characters is completely likeable. They both have rough edges and do stupid things. I felt this reflected their ages and made complete sense in the story being told. Is Will a jerk a couple time? Yes. Is Tia? Yes. Are they both also kind and good people most of the time? YES. I really loved the supporting cast of characters too. Tia's two best friends (who will be getting their own books), the other members of the band, Sawyer, and even the band director were all wonderful additions to the story. I liked how the people and details in both Tia's and Will's lives were mentioned making them full and real without bogging down the story.
The plot is a bit predictable and there was quite a bit of drama, particularly towards the end. It is a little more drama-rama than I tend to like in a book, but I didn't feel any of it was unrealistic. There were some over-reactions, but they were typical for 17 year old characters. What I like best about the plot is all the details about the band. I liked it so much that as soon as I finished reading it, I bought Echol's previous book, Major Crush, which is also about marching band. I'm looking forward to reading it and more books by her.
There will be two companion novels to this coming out, one each about Tia's best friends. I can't wait to read more about these characters.
CONTENT NOTE: This book has more descriptive sexy scenes than you ordinarily find in YA. If you try to avoid those, be warned.
I read an e-galley made available by the publisher, Simon Pulse, via Edelweiss. Biggest Flirts is on sale May 20th.