Darcy is all about love and relationships. She watches YouTube videos about types of attachment styles, how to communicate your needs, basically everything to do with relationships. All of this research to help her with her own secret service: Locker 89. In an abandoned locker at school, Darcy operates a love life advice service to the other students. Ten dollar money back guarantee and Locker 89 will read your letter and reply with her advice. No one at school knows it’s her, not even her best friend Brooke. The only person in on it is her sister Ainsley. Until one day when someone finds her going through the locker and wants to hire her as a relationship coach. Brougham is one of the most attractive senior boys and in desperate need of getting back together with his ex Winona. Darcy agrees to help him so that he won’t tell everyone her secret.
This was such a fun, realistic, and relatable story. Obviously the love advice plot line is not something everyone has experienced, but the relationship questions, the searching for advice, that’s all too real! The things people wrote in were actual things kids (and adults!) worry about. The way they spoke was so realistic. They swore! They drank! They got high! These are all real things teenagers do so I’m glad to see that in this story. I really loved the relationships with all the characters and the realistic way they moved and shifted throughout the story. There’s the fact that Darcy is in love with Brooke and how that colors her actions and words, her weirdly budding friendship with Brougham, her relationship with her sister and mom. All of them were unique and true to at least what I’ve experienced.
On top of all that, the love story in this book is fantastic!! Not me smiling like a goof ball and laughing with delight. The chemistry and how slow it developed and what it was based on just made the relationship more real and solid than some other YA romances. Not only that, this book was mad queer. So many different and diverse queer characters that had genuine conversations about the queerness including a whole part about biphobia. We love to see it. And it wasn’t just said once for the title of ~~this story is diverse!~~ it was consistently brought up and everyone got to live in their identities – even if it was questioning! I love seeing a book take all of that on, allow it to be a significant part of the story, and have it not be the main storyline. It just proves that we are more than capable of making deeply queer stories that are about being queer and other things.
I loved this story and the characters and I’m honestly so pumped to read whatever Sophie Gonzales publishes next. I think that she is going to be contributing really meaningful works to the young adult sphere that are honestly good for the new adult age range as well (this one especially for how to communicate with a partner!).