1. My dad left when I was a kid.
2. My mom is in love (insert eye roll).
3. With a guy who is like 10 years younger than her!
4. My friends think he’s hot. (Gross)
5. I love ballet but our dance studio has a leak and we have to dance in this smelly studio that doubles as an aikido dojo.
6. There’s this Dojo guy who thinks the studio belongs to him.
7. Friends think Dojo guy is cute. (Ew.) (Okay, objectively maybe but still, ew.)
8. I’m failing algebra.
9. Need to quit either basketball or ballet. Or both.
10. Dojo guy keeps showing up! (Fine, he does aikido in the same building but whatever.)
11. Dojo guy is asking me to dance with him. And maybe he is as cute as my friends say.
12. I don’t know what to do anymore!
Where to begin on the list of why I loved this book? Ines Bautista-Yao’s sweet teen romances are so much more than hormones and angst. She captures the inner struggles that emerging adulthood brings. In this case, Geri Lazaro has to come to terms with the ever-roiling anger within her, its cause, and how to cope. Along comes the aggravating yet attractive dojo guy, Bas Mercado who has been through some tough times of his own. Their worlds are nothing alike on the outside, but their hearts have been through similar journeys. Bas is a few steps ahead on the path to healing and is there to guide Geri along. This love story has all the right ups and downs, sighs and sobs.