This is Jax Cordoba's debut novel. While it's not exactly perfect, I enjoyed it because it was entertaining and very sweet at times.
It deals with Cal moving to a small town because of his father's military job where he has to go to a new school and meet new friends his junior year of high school. When settling in his new home, he sees his paper boy, Bill, and is instantly smitten. Going to school, he does everything he can to get information on this mysterious cyclist. What he finds is someone that is friends with every social group in school and they're fairly protective of him, too. In an effort to get Bill's attention, he tried to brush off his cycling skills but only ends up hurt. Still, somehow he manages to snag Bill to help him while he's injured and what develops between them is a bone-deep friendship and a sweet love.
I really liked this story. It's a bit different and deals with a lot of themes from reincarnation to rape to coming out to acceptance. I liked both these boys, Cal and Bill, because they're laid-back kind of guys. Cal is the typical big, brawny jock while Bill is smaller, even though he's older, a social butterfly and extremely nice. I really liked that it used dream reincarnation. At first I was wondering what they had to do with the story and was worried they'd be useless but as the story unfolded, you start to realize what they mean and you start to attribute their developing love to that bone-deep, "forever" type. I liked it. Some won't but I liked that there was at least an explanation for the semi insta-love. I also liked that things "just happened" to occur and that it all led back to what "just happened" to be the result. I found it cute because Fate has such a big role in Cal and Bill getting together and I've always been a big believer in Fate.
I had a few problems with the story, though. At times, I felt like Cal and Bill were more just friends than boyfriends. The way they interacted was more how you'd act around a friend and not someone you were attracted to or even loved. I also got a bit annoyed with the overuse of "buddy". It showed up quite often but most of it was unnecessary. The story is pretty well written but there were times when a bit of head-hopping would just pop out of nowhere and end up confusing me.
My biggest complaint with this book, however, is the ending. I felt like it was extremely rushed. I felt like the story was going at a great, consistent pace then the last two chapters covers over three years of time. I wish it had been elaborated on because I felt like we missed a lot with only the vaguest of things to be mentioned. I mean, both Cal and Bill grow up into men in those last two chapters but it's just glossed over and told instead of shown. I was disappointed in that because I really would have loved to see both their dreams coming true from both their POVs like the rest of the story was.
Overall, this was a very good book. I really liked it and I'm looking forward to more stories by this author. I loved how sweet it was and I loved how it handled the more intense aspects of the story. I also loved the secondary characters (love Dino!) so I hope Dino gets a book of his own someday. Recommended for those who'd like a quirky, sweet YA tale.