This book tugged at my heartstrings. Having grown up with severe eczema, I dealt with all those sorts of skin conditions and have been through most everything that Natalie seemed to have experienced. Body shame, lack of confidence, lack of self-esteem, emotional abuse, it was terrible. I could even recognize the medication she's taken, and some of the bizarre solutions she's tried in an attempt to cure her condition.
Natalie is everything you'd want in a protagonist. She's your average girl that is relatable on so many levels. She's your 18 year old teenager, graduating from high school and ready to head into new territory with her two best friends. Everything is in limbo as they all wait for their acceptance letters, hoping to get in the same university. Zach and Lucy are in love and dating, and they are also Natalie's best friends, but that means, she's always left third-wheeling them. She doesn't mind it so much, but sometimes, it does get to her.
Natalie is an introvert, through and through. She's not a fan of socializing, happy with her two friends, does not like partying or drinking and loves her routine. Except one night, on a whim, she decides to go to a party with Zach's older brother Alex and his best friend Owen. Owen is good looking, and she thinks maybe there could be something there, but then once she gets to the actual party, she realizes Owen is the farthest thing from her mind and Alex is the one she can't keep her eyes off.
It was such a sweet read. Everything about it made me melt. I loved their chemistry, I loved the slow burn of their first kiss, I loved it all. I did think their romance was a bit too quick and slightly, very slightly, fluffy, but this is exactly what I needed when I picked it up and it did not disappoint in the least. I did not like Zach very much though. I wish I could say I understood his point of view, but I didn't, and outing his brother like that was not cool.
I did feel for Alex after that. He had a lot to prove, and it wasn't fair on him, but he tried, and I appreciated Natalie and the way she handled the whole thing.
Can't wait for more Nina Kenwood books!