NOTE: My love of this book may be swayed by the fact that Bowie is mentioned several times, once in relation to Labyrinth and his bulge...which is everything. Seriously, Bennett is the Queen of subtle amazing pop culture drops!
I adore Jenn Bennett's contemporary novels for so many reasons but a few are that they're always sex-positive and diverse and this novel is no different. Birdie and Dan are precious and I want nothing but the happiest of futures for these two kids.
Birdie is a girl who is in love with mysteries and solving them, who has been home-schooled by her late Grandmother and lives with her narcoleptic grandfather because her mother passed away eight years ago. She's got a mother figure and badass feminist role model in her mom's best friend Mona, and together the trio makes the most of what life has handed them. So when Birdie throws caution to the wind and has a one-night stand with a handsome boy she meets at her favorite diner, she panics a bit. Nothing prepares her for showing up to her new job only to see her mystery guy there.
The antics that ensue from there are genuinely adorable. Daniel is a kind, compassionate, and very self-aware kid with a troubled past of his own living in a commune and indulging in his passion for magic and for Birdie. Their romance comes with a lot of seriously open communication about abandonment, the fear of being left behind, and insecurities about being able to handle one another's baggage. They each never met their fathers, they each understand what it's like to be left, lost, and feel unwanted or unworthy. Dan and Birdie are heartwarmingly flawed and wonderful and I loved reading about their discovery of themselves and one another.
Did I mention that our MC may or may not have narcolepsy passed on from her grandfather but is afraid to go to the doctor to confirm or deny this suspicion That our main love interest is mixed race (half Japanese and half white) and also deaf in one ear Did I mention that i love and adore them both
Again, Jenn Bennett delivers a fantastic message about the value of self-care, health, and wellness (both physical and mental), sex, relationships, and family. She will forever be one of my favorite contemporary authors and she hit another one out of the park with this novel.
Trigger warnings: Death of a parent, health problems (narcolepsy & episodes related to prior), suicide attempts, depression, abandonment by a parent, loss of pregnancy, and grieving.