It’s been two years since Maya’s ex-boyfriend cheated on her, and she still can’t escape him: his sister married the crown prince of a minor European country and he captured hearts as her charming younger brother. If the world only knew the real Jordy, the manipulative liar who broke Maya’s heart.
Skye Kaplan was always cautious with her heart until Jordy said all the right things and earned her trust. Now his face is all over the media and Skye is still wondering why he stopped calling.
When Maya and Skye are invited to star on the reality dating show Second-Chance Romance, they’re whisked away to a beautiful mansion—along with four more of Jordy’s exes— to compete for his affections while the whole world watches. Skye wonders if she and Jordy can recapture the spark she knows they had, but Maya has other plans: exposing Jordy and getting revenge. As they navigate the competition, Skye and Maya discover that their real happily ever after is nothing they could have scripted.
Thoughts and Themes: So I was prolonging reading this one because here I was thinking it was some straight romance. Don’t let that part fool you and just keep reading through the book, trust me this isn’t straight at all. I kept thinking oh no this is going to be a second chance romance and I just am not a big fan of those especially when the guy didn’t even redeem himself. I was quite surprised how wrong I was in thinking this and loved the way things ended up for all of our characters.
Something that I really enjoyed about this book was how their is almost no character growth for Jordy and for a while you are led to believe it will be the same case for Maya. You hope that she gets her act together and just lets this feud with Jordy go because as Skye points out, he really is living rent-free in her mind so technically he is winning. I love the character growth that we get to see with Maya from the start of the book to the end so don’t worry if you don’t like her too much immediately.
Characters: In this book you get introduced to the the two main characters, Maya and Skye along with several others that they interact with. You get to meet Jordy who is the star of the reality TV show that all the girls are starring in, you get to meet some of Maya and Skye’s friends from back home, and their family members.
I love so many of the relationships in this book even the ones that Jordy is involved with but that isn’t because of him but because of the girls. I really liked the relationship that develops between all of the girls who are staying together for the sake of the filming of the reality TV show. I like how their dynamics shift throughout the book and how we see competition changing their attitudes towards each other but then how they join together when truth is revealed.
The other great thing about this book is watching as the relationship between Maya and Skye develops. I really love an enemies to friends to lovers trope when its done well. I also liked that the miscommunication piece in this was all due to lies that were pushed by Jordy and the messaging that it sent across when this was revealed.
Writing Style: This book is told through dual point of views going back and forth between Maya and Skye’s perspectives. I really liked that we get to be inside both of their heads as this story unravels and this becomes a huge part of the story as time goes on. Something that I did keep forgetting while reading this book was the age of the characters but I do not think this matters much beyond knowing that they are young adults.
Sophie Gonzales writes young adult queer contemporary fiction with memorable characters, biting wit and endless heart.
She is the author of THE LAW OF INERTIA, ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED and PERFECT ON PAPER. IF THIS GETS (co-written with Cale Dietrich) is forthcoming in Fall 2021 from Wednesday Books / Macmillan.
When she isn’t writing, Sophie can be found ice skating, performing in musical theatre, and practicing the piano. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia where she works as a psychologist.
She is represented by Molly Ker Hawn of The Bent Agency.