Tess: a lovely, naïve, sassy girl who doesn't realize the extent of her beauty meets her long term crush - Sebastian: the population, good looking star football player one night at a party at his house.
When Tess meets Sebastian sitting on the balcony of his house she is surprised by how nice and normal he is. To her he has always been off limits as he is the popular one and she just melts into the background. To her surprise Sebastian does know who she is as her last boyfriend made a big deal of her virginal status. Sebastian truly surprises Tess as he really is not anything like his reputation - he is a really nice young man who is respectful and treats her well. He respects her virginity and holds out until the right time.
The fact Tess was a virgin was mentioned a lot when they were in high school - this rather annoyed me, as in reality it is quite normal to be a virgin in high school! It also wasn’t a big point of the story but the constant mentioning of it in the high school years became overkill.
It really is a lovely story where you meet these two characters in high school and see how their lives go on after high school. The emotions are palpable, especially when they are older and Sebastian has graduated, as he realises how he made the mistake of letting Tess go for her own good and to allow her to establish herself independently from him and they bump into each other on occasion. These happenstance meetings bring all the emotions back to the surface.
I am not normally a fan of high school romances as I remember the angst and life planning all too well, however, the story is delicate and we get to follow the characters throughout their college years until they graduate and eventually meet up again. At times the story felt too long but this did help add to the drama.
A lovely story with great main and secondary characters. Well done to Melissa Toppen - a well written book with all the dramas you expect from high school and college students.