ARC Review: The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss by Amy Noelle Parks

Title: The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss
Author: Amy Noelle Parks
Publisher: Amulet Books
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 368 Pages
Publication Date: January 5th, 2021

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Evie Beckham has never been interested in dating. She's been fully occupied by her love of mathematics and her frequent battles with anxiety (and besides, she's always found the idea of kissing to be a little bit icky). But with the help of her best friend and her therapist, Evie's feeling braver. Maybe even brave enough to enter a prestigious physics competition and to say yes to the new boy who's been flirting with her. Caleb Covic knows Evie isn't ready for romance but assumes that when she is, she will choose him. So Caleb is horrified when he is forced to witness Evie's meet cute with a floppy-haired, mathematically gifted transfer student. Because Caleb knows the girl never falls for the funny best friend when there's a mysterious stranger around, he decides to use an online forum to capture Evie's interest. Now, he's got Evie wondering if it's possible to fall in love with a boy she's never met.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I'm glad that I did, because this was such a sweet contemporary to close out 2020 with! It was also so great to read a great 2021 debut's story, and having already interviewed Amy to learn more about what it's like to be a new author, it felt extra special to pick this one up. So without further ado, let's get into our review!

As the summary explains, Evie is a math genius at their elite math and science private school, and her childhood best friend, Caleb, came along with her. What Evie doesn't know is that Caleb has been in love with her for his entire life, and once she meets the new transfer student and starts to fall for him, she has no idea what pain that causes Caleb. So the story follows the complicated love triangle while they're also all competing to make it to a gigantic conference with a scholarship that can make all of their college dreams possible. 

I really enjoyed reading this book! I'm always a fan of rom-coms, and the "best friend being secretly in love with the MC" aspect was a trope that I really enjoyed, especially since Caleb wasn't really that secret about how he felt about Evie. It was just everyone except her that realized it -- which is something that made me laugh out loud because it's pretty much what happened with me and my boyfriend! I met him when we were 11 years old, and we've been best friends ever since, and I've had a major crush on him for the longest time, and he felt the same about me -- and we both loved each other all our lives, and once we finally had the courage to tell each other, it has been nothing but magical ever since. <3 So watching Caleb and Evie struggle with those emotions was actually really sweet and made me smile and reflect back on my own experiences. I really enjoyed reading it! 

The mathematical concepts confused me a little bit at times, but luckily, it's explained in a more generalized way, and you don't need to be a mathematician or physicist to really understand what's going on. There were definitely a few times where they were getting into the explanation of the adinkras, and I found myself a little bit confused and had to Google and go back and reread a little bit. But other than those brief moments, I'd definitely say that you don't have to be afraid to pick up this book if you aren't a big math or science fan (like me, who nearly failed pretty much every math class I've ever had to take). It was great to settle in with a warm blanket and this book and read all about Caleb and Evie's antics as they try to make it to Frontier and also battle their own relationships (and non-relationships), secrets, antics, and unrequited feelings. It makes for a really great read! I just wish there weren't those few moments where I found myself confused with the math stuff, but that's more on me than anything else, because I know a lot of people say that they're bad at math, but I'm still astronomically bad at math.

Caleb and Evie's dynamic was also super sweet and adorable. Seeing the way they were always there for each other and how he always had her back no matter what was going on or who she was with was really sweet and made me smile. Like I said, it reminded me a lot of mine and my boyfriend's dynamic! And from the perspective of a mushy rom-com reader, the way that Caleb loved Evie so wholly and so fiercely, even before she knew it, made my heart melt. Caleb was absolutely my favorite character in the whole book! 

Overall, I really enjoyed reading THE QUANTUM WEIRDNESS OF THE ALMOST-KISS. If you're looking for a sweet read about best friendship and falling in love, then I recommend picking this one up! Like I said, I'm really glad that I decided to read this one at the end of the year, so I'm finishing off my 2020 Goodreads challenge on a heart-warming, satisfying read. I really enjoyed Amy's debut novel and will definitely be reading more of her work in the future! 

And if you want to read our 2021 debut interview with Amy Noelle Parks, don't forget to check it out here!


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