From Lambda award–winning and acclaimed author of Girl Mans Up, M-E Girard, comes a stand-alone sex-positive coming-of-age story about a teen named Baylee who’s torn between her heart and her hormones as she navigates her feelings for her best friend, Freddie, and new friend, Alex. Perfect for fans of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega.
Sixteen-year-old Baylee has never been kissed, but she wants to do way more than that. She’s had a huge crush on her gorgeous best friend and neighbor, Freddie, for years, but since she doesn’t look like the type he normally dates, the judgmental voice in her head tells her he’ll never see her as more than a friend.
Then Baylee meets Alex online and she starts to fall for this sweet, funny barista who likes her just as she is. But when Freddie makes a move on Baylee and a virus shuts the world down, Baylee will find herself torn as everything starts happening at once and she navigates the messy waters of love and desire. It helps that she’s observed her friends’ relationship drama, so she knows exactly what mistakes not to make . . . right?
M-E Girard delivers a rich, honest, boundary pushing story about a girl exploring her desires.
Then Everything Happens at Once is a realistic contemporary YA that explores the difficulties as not only growing up during Covid but also figuring out exactly where you fit in and want you want out of life and relationships.
I wanted to connect with Bailey, our MC, so badly since many time I felt like I was the “DUFF” in my friends group growing up. However, she was difficult to connect with at times. Even though she didn’t “love herself” she was very self-centered. I appreciated her concern for her sister and I know she was struggling to figure out life, and I definitely felt for her in those moments.
I will say dealing with Covid, sexuality, relationships, and home life all at one time isn’t easy. I do think I was hoping for a different ending, but not quite sure what that exactly was. With all this though, I think the author did a wonderful job of showcasing these struggles with a diverse set of characters.
Thank you so much to NetGalley & HarperTeen for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.