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Okay, this book was just so cute. It was exactly what I needed after a steady stream of books that were just okay.

Kennedy and Annabel Lee used to be best friends, practically inseparable throughout their childhood. Always daring each other to be bigger and better and braver than everyone else. But then Annabel was in an awful car accident. Her brother died. She escaped, but with emotional and physical scars. Kennedy was nowhere to be found when she needed him the most.

It’s now a decade later. Annabel is taking care of her parents, her sick grandmother, and her two younger siblings. If she can manage to put herself first for once, she’ll leave for college in a few weeks. In the meantime, she and Kennedy have found themselves in the same photography class at the local community college. Years of separation have made things awkward, but Kennedy desperately wants to apologize for how he treated Annabel all those years ago.

I thought this book could go one of two ways. It could either be my favorite book of the year, or it could be trite, cheesy, and awful. I think it’s pretty obvious from my glowing five-star rating which one it ended up being.

I love books about childhood friends. I love books about people reconnecting. I love books that are cute and don’t have love triangles or cheating or unnecessary drama. And that’s the thing. This book is everything I love wrapped up in a cute story about childhood friends who reconnect on a road trip to a music festival.

It happens fast. But not too fast. Realistically fast, I think. Because it seemed to me that, even if she didn’t know it, Annabel was waiting all those years for Kennedy to come back to her. And Kennedy was waiting for his opportunity to apologize.

I loved their dares and their honesty and how open they were with each other. My laptop’s grammar check thinks that I mean “I loved their dates,” but no, I really do mean their dares. Because this book is based on Annabel and Kennedy’s deal that she’ll let him dare her to do seven things if he applies to seven writing internships. Because dares have always been their thing. And through those seven dares, they end up closer than ever. They make each other better.

I loved this book so much, and I can’t wait to see more from this author.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.

Final rating: ★★★★★

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