Book Cover

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, teen Alix is struggling with Lindsay, the mean captain of her hockey team who verbally torments her in front of the other girls. Meanwhile, Ezra is recovering from a breakup with his boyfriend and fielding homophobic insults from a classmate. After physically lashing out at Lindsay, Alix approaches Ezra. He agrees to work with her, and their honesty and vulnerability allow them to confide in each other. The story thoughtfully explores identity, sexuality, and complex family dynamics: Ezra shares information about his sexual identity (“I’m attracted to lots of different people, not just guys”) and traumatic past with his father; Alix opens up about her romantic inexperience and complicated relationships with her mom and absent father. Alix and Ezra read as real, complex, interesting, unique teenagers, and their romance unfolds naturally and believably. Amid the sparse grayscale illustrations, Hicks makes stunning, purposeful use of touches of light blue, carefully highlighting details like Ezra’s hair and Alix’s hockey uniform. The visuals are crucial to readers’ understanding of the story, offering powerful images full of tension and nuance. The ending feels a bit abrupt, but readers will forgive that thanks to the overall incredible storytelling and character building. The main characters appear white; there is racial diversity in the supporting cast.


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