After seventeen-year-old Riley Crowe and Reid Goodwin accidently discover their two other band members, Lucy and Nathan, having sex in a garage, they decide to find significant others. Riley and Reid share their progress and dating perceptions in a Manifest. Timid Reid even adopts a dog to get a girl. Aggressive Riley, aiming for the quiet Ted Callahan, discovers that her nerd chemistry partner and an older, life-savvy teen who shares her concert obsession are attracted to her. Her parents, band relationships, and the three romantic interests present multiple complications, and then the Manifest disappears. Are all romantic efforts doomed? Riley and Reid are witty and believable, and Spalding’s story has tons of teen appeal. The Manifest, presented in separate chapters, reveals their initial “means-to-an-end” focus, and ultimately, their ambiguity and regret as they travel a self-centered world of romance, a perception many teens will share. The three sex scenes, language choices, the well planned skirting of parental rules, and Lucy’s counseling to Riley that “…doing it is not exactly the person-changing event you think it is. It’s just one thing that happens” will be controversial. The story has a partially happily-ever-after ending and some consequences, but it is definitely a fluffy and funny journey for older (and primarily, female) teens.
Have you pre-ordered your copy yet? If you’re still undecided, check out Amazon for a free preview of the first SIXTEEN chapters. That’s a lot! Enjoy!