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High school senior Keely Collins takes on firsts, lasts, and everything in between in this sweet, sex-positive rom-com for fans of Meg Cabot and Jenny Han. It seemed like a good plan at first. When the only other virgin in her group of friends loses it at Keely's own eighteenth birthday party, she's inspired to take things into her own hands. She wants to have that experienc High school senior Keely Collins takes on firsts, lasts, and everything in between in this sweet, sex-positive rom-com for fans of Meg Cabot and Jenny Han. It seemed like a good plan at first. When the only other virgin in her group of friends loses it at Keely's own eighteenth birthday party, she's inspired to take things into her own hands. She wants to have that experience too (well, not exactly like that--but with someone she trusts and actually likes), so she's going to need to find the guy, and fast. Problem is, she's known all the boys in her small high school forever, and it's kinda hard to be into a guy when you watched him eat crayons in kindergarten. So she can't believe her luck when she meets a ridiculously hot new guy named Dean. Not only does he look like he's fallen out of a classic movie poster, but he drives a motorcycle, flirts with ease, and might actually be into her. But Dean's already in college, and Keely is convinced he'll drop her if he finds out how inexperienced she is. That's when she talks herself into a new plan: her lifelong best friend, Andrew, would never hurt or betray her, and he's clearly been with enough girls that he can show her the ropes before she goes all the way with Dean. Of course, the plan only works if Andrew and Keely stay friends--just friends--so things are about to get complicated. Cameron Lund's delightful debut is a hilarious and heartfelt story of first loves, first friends, and first times--and how making them your own is all that really matters.


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High school senior Keely Collins takes on firsts, lasts, and everything in between in this sweet, sex-positive rom-com for fans of Meg Cabot and Jenny Han. It seemed like a good plan at first. When the only other virgin in her group of friends loses it at Keely's own eighteenth birthday party, she's inspired to take things into her own hands. She wants to have that experienc High school senior Keely Collins takes on firsts, lasts, and everything in between in this sweet, sex-positive rom-com for fans of Meg Cabot and Jenny Han. It seemed like a good plan at first. When the only other virgin in her group of friends loses it at Keely's own eighteenth birthday party, she's inspired to take things into her own hands. She wants to have that experience too (well, not exactly like that--but with someone she trusts and actually likes), so she's going to need to find the guy, and fast. Problem is, she's known all the boys in her small high school forever, and it's kinda hard to be into a guy when you watched him eat crayons in kindergarten. So she can't believe her luck when she meets a ridiculously hot new guy named Dean. Not only does he look like he's fallen out of a classic movie poster, but he drives a motorcycle, flirts with ease, and might actually be into her. But Dean's already in college, and Keely is convinced he'll drop her if he finds out how inexperienced she is. That's when she talks herself into a new plan: her lifelong best friend, Andrew, would never hurt or betray her, and he's clearly been with enough girls that he can show her the ropes before she goes all the way with Dean. Of course, the plan only works if Andrew and Keely stay friends--just friends--so things are about to get complicated. Cameron Lund's delightful debut is a hilarious and heartfelt story of first loves, first friends, and first times--and how making them your own is all that really matters.

30 review for The Best Laid Plans

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    This book had so! much! potential! to be a new favorite for me, but it just kind of fell flat and I am HECKA bummed about it. This is another one that wasn't necessarily bad, but I just.. did not connect to it nearly as much as I was hoping I would. Womp :c

  2. 4 out of 5

    Angelica

    DISCLAIMER: This is a mostly negative review, pointing out many of the problems that I found in this book. That said, the rating is based entirely on my general enjoyment of the novel. While I had issues (stated in the review), I didn't exactly hate this novel and actually had a decent time reading. Sorry if my review and my rating seem incongruous, this is the way my brain categorized the novel. Now, onto the review!! I liked this. But also, it was lowkey questionable? I read this book in one day. DISCLAIMER: This is a mostly negative review, pointing out many of the problems that I found in this book. That said, the rating is based entirely on my general enjoyment of the novel. While I had issues (stated in the review), I didn't exactly hate this novel and actually had a decent time reading. Sorry if my review and my rating seem incongruous, this is the way my brain categorized the novel. Now, onto the review!! I liked this. But also, it was lowkey questionable? I read this book in one day. In a couple of hours if I'm honest. I started in the late afternoon and between washing dishes, drying my unmanageable hair, and making diner, I finished at 1am. I didn't even feel the time flying by. The book is quick and easy to read, with decent writing and likable characters.  And yet, I never felt truly engrossed in the characters. I also had a lot of problems with the way that virginity and sex, in general, are discussed. In case the title and the synopsis weren't clue enough, this book is about one girl's journey to get laid. She believes that she's the only virgin left in her senior class and this is an issue that she needs to immediately rectify. So, what better way to get rid of her pesky virginity than by losing it to her hot, college junior coworker, Dean? Simple plot. Pretty straight forward. Pretty problematic, I think. In this book, being a virgin is like having a disease. That's actually a quote in the book: "being a virgin in college is like having a disease." It's something that Keely wants to get rid of because she feels that she must, and that point of view isn't changed or even really challenged. This is a YA novel and I think that we need to remember what "Young Adult" really means, and who the target audience really is. In the back of the ARC I got it says, "Ages 14 & up". Why is it ok to tell 14-year-old girls, or any girl in general, that they can't possibly be a virgin by the time you graduate high school because that's just 'not cool'. If you want to be a virgin, be a virgin! Sex is not a rite of passage nor something that should do, just to get it out of the way so you like a good life. And yes, in the end, we find out that Keely isn't the only virgin in her class, but that doesn't really change Keely's ultimate goal, it only changes who she wants to lose it to. I don't want it to seem like I'm against Keely having sex. I'm not. Although, this book probably lowkey does. There is so much slut-shaming in this 'sex-positive novel'. And the worst part, the shaming is mostly done by other women! All the guys in this book were horrible people! And what pisses me off is that none of them face any consequences for their actions. People either let their actions slide or their mistakes are inconsequentially forgiven. They were all oblivious, sexist jerks! All except for Andrew of course, because he was a love interest! Which brings me to the romance. I didn't like Dean. But it's ok, he wasn't meant to be too likable so let's not talk about him. This isn't really a spoiler because we've all read YA contemporaries, we know how this goes. Let's talk about the best friend, Andrew. They were good friends and had great chemistry. But like, was it me, or did they never act like they were in love? I believed their friendship 100%. Their romance? Questionable at best. I would have wanted more of their interactions and seeing them slowly come to terms with their emotions. All of that said. I kinda enjoyed reading this book? It was pretty cute and kinda funny and very easy to read. I liked Keely and her friends. I also surprisingly really liked Danielle, who was a mean and horrible friend, but still strangely likable?? Overall, I liked this book. I flew through it. I definitely look forward to whatever the author decides to publish next. ***hopefully with less questionable topics*** Follow Me Here Too: My Blog || Twitter || Bloglovin' || Instagram || Tumblr || Pinterest

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    fun! another book to remind me how painfully single i am! | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram fun! another book to remind me how painfully single i am! | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    3 stars The Best Laid Plans is Cameron Lund's debut novel and I was impressed. Though there were parts of the story that weren't my favorite, overall I liked most of the characters and her writing was fantastic. This was an easy to listen to and fun audiobook. This story is about a senior in high school named Keely who is one of the only virgins in her class/group of friends and she's over it. She wants to get rid of it. She finds a college guy she's into named Dean and it's her chance. The 3 stars The Best Laid Plans is Cameron Lund's debut novel and I was impressed. Though there were parts of the story that weren't my favorite, overall I liked most of the characters and her writing was fantastic. This was an easy to listen to and fun audiobook. This story is about a senior in high school named Keely who is one of the only virgins in her class/group of friends and she's over it. She wants to get rid of it. She finds a college guy she's into named Dean and it's her chance. The only problem is, he straight up asked her if she was a virgin and she said no. Here lies Keely's master plan. She decides to use her best friend Andrew as practice. She wants to lose her virginity to him first before being with Dean. I didn't love this aspect of the story. I didn't like the using factor, and I felt like she was really insensitive to her best friend and his feelings. I also felt like there was some shaming going on on both sides and I didn't love that either. I think the author could have made a few different choices and handled this topic so much better, but that's just my opinion. What I did love was Keely's relationship with her other best friend Hannah. I also liked Andrew most of the time. The Best Laid Plans is a YA book I can see a lot of people absolutely loving. If you're a fan of the friends to lovers troupe and you're looking for a fresh and new coming of age romance, I recommend picking this one up. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author in the future!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bibi

    This is one of my top reads of 2020.

  6. 4 out of 5

    emma

    will i ever stop highly anticipating books and then waiting a million years to read them? let's find out (but no)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Bishop

    Who among us hasn’t asked our best friend to take our virginity so the cute boy we’ve been making out with won’t run away when he learns we’re a virgin??? I had the pleasure of reading an early edition of this book and I’m so glad that I did! This is one of the best rom-coms that I’ve read in a long time. It’s funny when it wants to be, cover-your-eyes cringey in the best possible way at times, and really thoughtful about the way we talk about sex/virginity/relationships. This should be required Who among us hasn’t asked our best friend to take our virginity so the cute boy we’ve been making out with won’t run away when he learns we’re a virgin??? I had the pleasure of reading an early edition of this book and I’m so glad that I did! This is one of the best rom-coms that I’ve read in a long time. It’s funny when it wants to be, cover-your-eyes cringey in the best possible way at times, and really thoughtful about the way we talk about sex/virginity/relationships. This should be required reading for sex-ed classes (after they finish showing all the STD slides). Moreover, Lund completely nails Keely Collins’ voice (our 18-yr-old MC) in a way that doesn’t sound like a parent parroting kids’ speak or retrofitting older characters into YA. Keely is 18, with 18-yr-old problems. I love this book more than pizza, it should be on everyone’s 2020 TBR. (PS This is a niche pet peeve of mine, but the party scenes are also super accurate, not the Project X-style stuff that always seems to spring up YA)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    When you live in a small town and go to high school with the same people you’ve known since kindergarten, everyone knows your business. So it’s public knowledge among most of her classmates that Keely may very well be the last virgin in the senior class. There’s nothing wrong with her; it’s just all of the guys she knows treat her like she’s one of them. Even her best friend Andrew, whom she’s known since birth, treats her like she’s not really a member of the opposite sex, and they feel comforta When you live in a small town and go to high school with the same people you’ve known since kindergarten, everyone knows your business. So it’s public knowledge among most of her classmates that Keely may very well be the last virgin in the senior class. There’s nothing wrong with her; it’s just all of the guys she knows treat her like she’s one of them. Even her best friend Andrew, whom she’s known since birth, treats her like she’s not really a member of the opposite sex, and they feel comfortable talking about girls and everything in front of her. Keely doesn’t want to go to college a virgin but when she sees how another classmate is treated when she loses her virginity to one of the school’s more popular guys, she starts to wonder: why is it okay for guys—even Andrew—to be with girl after girl, but when a girl sleeps with a guy she’s a slut? Why would her parents be fine if she slept with Andrew, but not with someone else? So when a sexy, college-aged coworker who looks like James Dean (his name is even Dean) and likes movies as much as she does expresses interest in her, Keely realizes he’s what he needs to help her with her, umm, problem. But is he? Is sex with Dean the answer, or is there someone else she’d rather be with? The Best Laid Plans was cute but it just didn’t click for me. The characters were all just so mean to each other and manipulative (even though most behavior was justifiable) so they weren’t tremendously appealing. (That's not saying their behavior wasn't authentic, just irritating.) The book’s conclusion is sweet although obvious from the start, but that’s okay. The book is thought-provoking in its conversations about the double standards around sexual behavior for men and women, particularly high school students. I just wish it had a little more heart throughout. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2019 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2019.html. Check out my list of the best books of the decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hilda

    He can’t know you’re a virgin because then he’ll think of you as only a virgin. Suddenly that’s what it’ll be about. He’ll just want to take it. Your virginity won’t be yours, it’ll be his. Guys are experts at making everything about them. The misogyny in this book was huge. Like the whole book was just men and women hating women. And to top it off there was so much slut shaming and bullying. The only reason it got a two star was because the drama was delicious and Danielle was a true villain. Sh He can’t know you’re a virgin because then he’ll think of you as only a virgin. Suddenly that’s what it’ll be about. He’ll just want to take it. Your virginity won’t be yours, it’ll be his. Guys are experts at making everything about them. The misogyny in this book was huge. Like the whole book was just men and women hating women. And to top it off there was so much slut shaming and bullying. The only reason it got a two star was because the drama was delicious and Danielle was a true villain. She was everyone’s antagonist, she didn’t discriminate. She was awful to everyone. And I loved the vegan parents. The main character Keely and Andrew were frustrating. And even though I found their relationship to be sweet and cute I needed more of that. I didn’t feel like they really loved each other because I never got to see that. Maybe the side drama with all the gazillion high school friends took up too much part of the story. I don’t know. I just wanted more of them together. I wanted those sweet times cemented so I could be sure of their love. As it stands their relationship was very toxic and full of intentional hurt with intentional lies. I don’t care why they lied, they lied. I just needed more cute.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    REAL RATING: 2.5/5 If i were being honest and didn't let other people's reviews affect my mindset going into the book, I would have been VERY excited but then quickly bored because things move at a glacial pace despite me knowing from chapter 1 that our main female character is liking the WRONG guy. But since I did read the reviews, I know going in that this story has been heard and seen before. It just has a lot more discussion of SEX which is fine but it's overly dramatic and left me with a ba REAL RATING: 2.5/5 If i were being honest and didn't let other people's reviews affect my mindset going into the book, I would have been VERY excited but then quickly bored because things move at a glacial pace despite me knowing from chapter 1 that our main female character is liking the WRONG guy. But since I did read the reviews, I know going in that this story has been heard and seen before. It just has a lot more discussion of SEX which is fine but it's overly dramatic and left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Are teenagers truly behaving like this now? Am I too old now to understand the dramatics of this? I just don't get the whole 'he won't like me cause i'm a virgin' plot line!!! it's just so cheesy and unbelievable. also, i agree with everyone saying that they just wanted more Keely and Andrew. Bruh we had to wait until the VERY end for her to realize her feelings for him. Bye.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    This has huge potential to be the biggest mess but I shall remain hopeful.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meags

    2 Stars This one fell short of the mark. I rarely rate below 3-stars and I hate giving negative reviews, but I have to express my feelings about this story, and I fear I may get a bit wordy and ranty before long, so buckle up! But, first, for some (brief) positive musings... For a debut novel, the writing was fairly decent. The premise certainly wasn’t anything ground-breaking, but it still felt fresh, and I was engaged from start to finish, which I can’t always say with confidence after reading c 2 Stars This one fell short of the mark. I rarely rate below 3-stars and I hate giving negative reviews, but I have to express my feelings about this story, and I fear I may get a bit wordy and ranty before long, so buckle up! But, first, for some (brief) positive musings... For a debut novel, the writing was fairly decent. The premise certainly wasn’t anything ground-breaking, but it still felt fresh, and I was engaged from start to finish, which I can’t always say with confidence after reading contemporary YA stories. But this book was not without its faults. It’s promoted as a sex-positive YA story, but by chapter two I knew my definition of sex-positive storytelling must be very, very different from the one expressed here. With a story revolving around an eighteen-year-old high school senior wanting to lose her virginity, I was interested to see how these “sex positive” themes would be handled. Unfortunately, I was none-too-pleased with how it all played out. The way virgins were represented as flawed individuals was of particular concern. Not only did I feel uncomfortable with MC Keely’s motivations for wanting to lose her virginity, but I downright despised how other characters talked about virginity like it made females undesirable (and males, too, to a lesser degree—misogyny for the win 😒). At one point, one character even referred to virginity as a disease, I kid you not. Seriously, what kind of message is that to send to young people who this story is demographically aimed towards? I could have brushed this aside as just the misguided and unhealthy views of a teenage character, but this sort of sentiment seemed to drive most of the story, which really blew my mind. The slut-shaming and the toxic female relationships were also alarming. Yes, girls can be catty and vain—teenage girls particularly so—but this story seemed like a depressing over-exaggeration of how petty and downright mean girls can be to one another. Worst of all, the females in this book were all meant to be friends, yet they not so-secretly hated one another and put one another down at literally every turn. To add fuel to the fire, I thought Keely proved time and again that she was way too immature and decidedly not adult enough to be having sex in the first place, particularly for someone hellbent on losing her virginity. She giggled a lot when sex was mentioned—that alone was enough to convince me she wasn’t ready. Keely was also shockingly naive, not only in her misguided views of sex and relationships, but also in her general awareness of the feelings and intentions of those around her. The hurt she caused because she was a total dumbshit hurt my brain a little (or a lot), to the point that her obliviousness to her best friend Andrew’s feelings towards her was painful to witness. I think a lot of these interactions and countless miscommunication moments were meant to be charming and/or funny, but that was not how I experienced it, resulting in a complete lack of connection to the characters and their relationships. I think I could have forgiven a lot of my issues here, to a degree, if not for the fact that in the back of my mind I kept being reminded that this book is geared towards impressionable teens. Every time I recalled this fact, I became angry and saddened by the kinds of negative messages this story was laced with. It could be considered mindlessly fun YA romance reading, but I’m standing firm that these probably aren’t the best examples of positive character role models or healthy sexual ideals.

  13. 4 out of 5

    sam ☆

    i really really enjoyed this. definitely recommend you guys check it out. 4.5⭐️ full review to come (are you surprised?😂) ——————————————————————-

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lacey

    I was really excited to get my hands on Cameron Lund's debut novel. Anyone who knows me knows that the best friends-to-lovers trope is my kink. My kryptonite. My Achilles' heel. My fatal flaw. My raison d'être. And every time I see a new book that promises exactly that, I smash that mf want-to-read button and count down the days to publication. I'm hesitant to say that I was disappointed with this book because I wasn't really; it was cute and fun, and I enjoyed reading it quite a bit. That said, I was really excited to get my hands on Cameron Lund's debut novel. Anyone who knows me knows that the best friends-to-lovers trope is my kink. My kryptonite. My Achilles' heel. My fatal flaw. My raison d'être. And every time I see a new book that promises exactly that, I smash that mf want-to-read button and count down the days to publication. I'm hesitant to say that I was disappointed with this book because I wasn't really; it was cute and fun, and I enjoyed reading it quite a bit. That said, I went into it with pretty high expectations, so when it was only just good, I consequently felt let down. I think part of that stems from my having mostly outgrown the YA genre, barring YA fantasy. I just get too fed up with the petty high school drama that contemporary YA fiction inevitably includes, which seems so extra, played-up, unrealistic, and at odds with the real high school experience--or, at least, my own. As far as I'm concerned, Mean Girls-level drama is not the norm, and anything that comes close to the Mean Girls experience makes me roll my eyes. That's not to say that this book was at that level, but it definitely didn't resonate with me and it got on my nerves at times. Although I had major qualms with Keely's using Andrew to gain sexual experience (this seems to be such a thing-to-do in YA fiction; do people actually do this IRL?), I thought that the pressure that Keely feels to keep up with her peers and not be left behind was well-portrayed, conveying universally relatable feelings that I think almost everyone, both male and female, has felt at some point in their teens and/or early adulthood. I know that I sure as hell have felt them myself, and it was nice that this novel dealt with these feelings head on, with a sex-positive message that also emphasized personal readiness. Overall, I was pleased with the book and would probably read future books by the author, if I decide to continue reading contemporary YA fiction.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    4.5 STARS Full review here: https://youtu.be/a2ZdjXy748Q Timestamps for titles in description. This is a new favorite for me! It felt realistic for events happening in a small town. (Trigger warnings for underage drinking in nearly every chapter). It is based around our main character who believes she is the last virgin left in their school and feels like everyone else has slept with, well, everyone (again, small town problems!). I loved her and how forthcoming she was about sex and her desire to 4.5 STARS Full review here: https://youtu.be/a2ZdjXy748Q Timestamps for titles in description. This is a new favorite for me! It felt realistic for events happening in a small town. (Trigger warnings for underage drinking in nearly every chapter). It is based around our main character who believes she is the last virgin left in their school and feels like everyone else has slept with, well, everyone (again, small town problems!). I loved her and how forthcoming she was about sex and her desire to have (or not have) sex and how normal and natural those conversations felt. I liked her friendship and the different changes it went through; it all felt like a natural progression rather than a forced one. Only thing holding this back from a five star for me was that there was something that had been happening between the two friends for some time, that our main character was unaware of and had no say over until it was too late, and I felt it deserved bigger repercussions than it got. It was something that had altered the way she looked at herself and was contradictory to the other character's actions, which felt like it played into sexual stereotypes that guys can mess around but girls can't. It does address the issues of stereotypes but doesn't seek to fix them (because that's real life, they aren't fixed overnight) but I felt this action played into that, whereas the conversations before were against it. For those wondering what I am talking about,(view spoiler)[ it is that Andrew had told every guy that Keely is unavailable/undateable because he is in love with her/she is his, and she has no clue this has happened. Although no one can date her, Andrew continues to hook up with people around her. The double standard was highly annoying, especially because Keely began to see herself as unwanted, and I wish she had been more angry that her choices were taken from her and that he continued to date knowing she couldn't. (hide spoiler)] *I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review*

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    I had seen a lot of high reviews for this one and I think this is a case of expectations, a book hangover from my previous read, and not being the target demographic. I liked Keely and Andrew. They have a fun relationship and I especially loved the idea of BFF to more. There’s quite a set of secondary characters here and they’re all sort of toxic. The boys are horrible misogynists and the girls are slut shamers and everyone’s excuse of brushing it off because “high school is almost over” and “th I had seen a lot of high reviews for this one and I think this is a case of expectations, a book hangover from my previous read, and not being the target demographic. I liked Keely and Andrew. They have a fun relationship and I especially loved the idea of BFF to more. There’s quite a set of secondary characters here and they’re all sort of toxic. The boys are horrible misogynists and the girls are slut shamers and everyone’s excuse of brushing it off because “high school is almost over” and “there’s no one else to hang out with” didn’t hold up for me. Plot wise, it was okay. There’s a lot of drama and a lot of characters hooking up with people other than who they wanted because they deliberately wanted to stir that drama up. I wanted loads more supportive or sweet conversations. I wanted more of Keely and Andrew together. Overall, I loved the idea of this book, but it didn’t work for me. If this is a realistic portrayal of high school, I’m equal parts horrified this is happening and grateful I’ve been out of high school for a while. **Huge thanks to Razorbill for providing the arc free of charge**

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mina

    Just like Dean said this was all so high school.. Unnecessary drama I was actually rooting for him by the way. I may have been abit biased though, I am very much very into guys called Dean. Whew! Anyway back to this one.. Juvenile characters, One dimensional, The whole lose your virginity thing to become a woman seems very cringe and 18th century honestly

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    So, the book isn't TERRIBLE. The writing is competent and overall the characters are likeable. But it's exceedingly generic and honestly unrealistic. Stories about high schoolers questing to lose their virginity have been around since the early 80's. Granted, the majority of them have concerned boys rather than girls, so at least this one is progressive in that aspect. But it's not a new idea by any stretch. That would be fine if somehow new life was breathed into this old idea, but unfortunatel So, the book isn't TERRIBLE. The writing is competent and overall the characters are likeable. But it's exceedingly generic and honestly unrealistic. Stories about high schoolers questing to lose their virginity have been around since the early 80's. Granted, the majority of them have concerned boys rather than girls, so at least this one is progressive in that aspect. But it's not a new idea by any stretch. That would be fine if somehow new life was breathed into this old idea, but unfortunately that is not the case here. If anything this feels like a step in a slightly backwards direction. For starters, we really need to knock off this idea that men are sex maniacs with automatic knowledge who can do it and feel no emotion, and girls are the only ones who get nervous about their first time and put a lot of thought into it. Guys can be just as awkward and have just as much anxiety, and it can mean just as much to them. And not every girl is obsessively nervous about her first experience. The book quickly devolves into these sexist stereotypes, right down to the main character's friend promptly being called a slut for sleeping with someone after waiting years to do so because the guy acts like a meathead and tells literally everyone about the encounter. It doesn't help that the whole crux of the story is the protagonist being so worried about "losing it" that she enlists her male friend's help to prepare for her first time with what she thinks is the right guy. The idea that she sees it as a task to be completed rather than an experience that should happen when she's truly ready is legitimately upsetting. She's getting ready to finish high school but peer pressure has made it so that she has nothing better to do than obsess over her first perpendicular poke while every male sews his oats with wild abandon? Which leads me to my next complaint; this isn't realistic. Maybe it was just the fact that I was religious in high school, but I never experienced this kind of pressure regarding sex. I came from a small town but outside of my best friend I had zero knowledge or interest in what other people were doing with their bits. I know for a fact that a handful of people just didn't care because they had better things to worry about. In particular, this was not something girls widely talked about or pressured each other over, and to my knowledge it still isn't except in rare pockets. In my day it was acknowledged that kids were probably banging somewhere, but it wasn't anyone else's business and wasn't obvious unless someone got pregnant. So the idea of a whole town knowing who was still a virgin in high school and talking about it just doesn't ring true. We have luckily reached a point in history where the overall the message regarding sex is simply do what feels right for you, when it feels right, and it's a shame this book doesn't follow that model. After all this it's really a moot point for me to mention that the main character is also a blank slate with almost no real personality traits aside from being like every other cute, smart, insecure YA character ever written. Bottom line: this book seems like a waste of time. It uses outdated cliches, unrealistic characterization of high school students, and sexist tropes to tell a story that really doesn't add anything to the world as a whole. I can't even recommend it for teenagers seeing this story played out for the first time because it puts forth some downright unhealthy ideas. If you want to read something tackling teenage sexuality and the struggles it entails, there are far better options out there.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melanie (mells_view)

    ”Falling in love with a high school boy is the single stupidest thing you can do.” I have been chomping at the bit to read The Best Laid Plans ever since I read the sneak peek on BookishFirst. In my opinion Cameron Lund provided YA perfection with this story. Her writing is tight and flows so easily. I was constantly turning pages and could not get enough of these characters and their banter. I’m not going to rehash the synopsis, because that’s not my strongest skill. All I’m going to say is that ”Falling in love with a high school boy is the single stupidest thing you can do.” I have been chomping at the bit to read The Best Laid Plans ever since I read the sneak peek on BookishFirst. In my opinion Cameron Lund provided YA perfection with this story. Her writing is tight and flows so easily. I was constantly turning pages and could not get enough of these characters and their banter. I’m not going to rehash the synopsis, because that’s not my strongest skill. All I’m going to say is that Keely and her gang of friends come to life on these pages. There were parts that made me laugh, parts that made me cringe, parts that made me mad, and parts that made me happy. I honestly felt like I was back in high school with some of the dialogue and banter. Some of the dynamics between characters, just the petty stuff that goes on. This story is at its heart trope-y YA high school goodness, but there’s also the exploration of virginity that feels pretty realistic. Yes, some characters say the absolute wrong things in this one, but if every character in this story said all the right things it would be boring. It wouldn’t give the chance for other characters to say “that’s not right, right?” Everyone’s sex journey is different, and the way everyone feels about virginity is different, and it takes awhile to get to that point in this story, but it’s the message at heart here. Plus, if you love cute and fun YA with a whole lot of trope, then you can’t beat The Best Laid Plans. It served a delectable trope buffet. I truly truly hope we see more of these characters in the future, and I can’t wait to pick up this authors next book. *SNEAK PEEK REVIEW* I read a sneak peek of this on BookishFirst a couple days ago, and it is legitimately all that I can think about now. Every time I pick up another book I stop and think, “I wonder what happens with Keely and Co.?” Which honestly isn’t so bad, because it releases in 3 months! But it’s also the worst, because I have zero patience skills and now I HAVE TO WAIT 3 MONTHS!! Anyway. If anyone from Razorbill/Penguin Teen wants to enable an impatient person by giving her an advanced copy for review, then I would be very happy to remain impatient for life. Thank you, and let’s skip February&March, bye.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Callie (lovelybookishbelle)

    For a book that’s being promoted as “sex positive” it’s a shame there is so much bullying and slut-shaming involved. And the worst part is most of that behavior comes from other girls. Shouldn’t we want to see girls supporting each other, not tearing each other down? Also the idea that sex is something you should just “do and get it over with” is probably not a healthy message. Honestly, the whole book I was surprised because I didn’t see hardly anything positive about it. Thank you Penguin Teen For a book that’s being promoted as “sex positive” it’s a shame there is so much bullying and slut-shaming involved. And the worst part is most of that behavior comes from other girls. Shouldn’t we want to see girls supporting each other, not tearing each other down? Also the idea that sex is something you should just “do and get it over with” is probably not a healthy message. Honestly, the whole book I was surprised because I didn’t see hardly anything positive about it. Thank you Penguin Teen for sending me an ARC.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Vee

    4.5/5 stars AHHHH THIS WAS SUCH A CUTE ROMANCE. This story dives into the pressure of society regarding sex, how it might feel like a race sometimes, how it is impossible not compare ourselves to others, how this pressure is actually very sexist and while us women have it harder, men are subject to it too. I wish I had this kind of book when I was growing up, but I’m glad that the new generations have this. Totally recommend it!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nana

    I don't know, I don't know. How do I rate this?, if I didn't like the beginning but I adored that ending hehe I guess 3 stars

  23. 4 out of 5

    Storiesandcoffee

    "Sometimes life isn't perfect. It isn't a movie. I can't direct it, can't edit out the scenes that I don't like. Life is messy and complicated and full of misunderstandings. And that's okay. Whatever happens, I can't wait. I'm so ready." Thank you Penguin Teen for the gifted book. All opinions are my own. Another slam dunk, 5 star romcom to add to my list of favorite YA reads for the year. I read this 350 page gem in 24 hours, swooning the entire time. Reading The Best Laid Plans felt both sen "Sometimes life isn't perfect. It isn't a movie. I can't direct it, can't edit out the scenes that I don't like. Life is messy and complicated and full of misunderstandings. And that's okay. Whatever happens, I can't wait. I'm so ready." Thank you Penguin Teen for the gifted book. All opinions are my own. Another slam dunk, 5 star romcom to add to my list of favorite YA reads for the year. I read this 350 page gem in 24 hours, swooning the entire time. Reading The Best Laid Plans felt both sentimental and gratifying---very similar to when I read Tell Me Three Things and Love and Gelato---transporting me back in time and channeling all the joy and fear, worry and delight I felt as a senior in high school. The Best Laid Plans will resonate with readers on many levels, but what I loved most is the sex-positive conversations and real talk that occurs in a book that's targeted towards teenagers. I remember borrowing Forever by Judy Blume from the local library when I was in high school and praying my mom didn't find out. (I had an open and honest relationship with my mom, but somehow that book became psuedo-porn for girls my age, and we were all super secretive about reading and discussing it.) As I grew older, I realized how wrong that was. Sex shouldn't be a taboo topic for teenage girls to discuss; it shouldn't be a taboo topic for teenage girls to read about. Our society has come a long way and reading this book is proof of that. All the anxiety surrounding sex and losing ones virginity is discussed throughout The Best Laid Plans. Some characters are having it, some aren't. Some regret it, some enjoy it. The theme here is self-discovery and recognizing the right time is different for every single person; that if you're scared and confused, there is absolutely nothing wrong with waiting, but if you think you're ready, that's okay too. I would love to see where these characters end up a few years down the road in a sequel, or maybe even a Netflix movie, since they seem to be killing it in the movie adaptation game these days. (Andrew on screen? Yes, please.) Anything to get to spend a little more time with Keely, Drew, and Hannah, because 350 pages just wasn't enough. 😘

  24. 4 out of 5

    Veronica

    1 ⭐ Okay, so this book let me down. I was seeing a lot of glowing reviews about it so I eagerly purchased it becuase pizza and best friends to lovers plot, that's my cryptonite. However, I have an unpopular opinion. . . This book was advertised to be "sex positive" so naturally, I was like "heck yeah, female empowerment!". Well, that was a bold claim. I believe that was false advertising as everything in this story was poorly mishandled. It was riddled with bullying and slut-shaming, which the sha 1 ⭐ Okay, so this book let me down. I was seeing a lot of glowing reviews about it so I eagerly purchased it becuase pizza and best friends to lovers plot, that's my cryptonite. However, I have an unpopular opinion. . . This book was advertised to be "sex positive" so naturally, I was like "heck yeah, female empowerment!". Well, that was a bold claim. I believe that was false advertising as everything in this story was poorly mishandled. It was riddled with bullying and slut-shaming, which the shaming came mostly from other women. The way virginity is discussed in this book is in a manner that shames those who are virgins and encourages a "get it over with mentality", which I find dangerous and damaging. An exact quote used was "being a virgin in college is like having a disease". The intended audience is 14+ and I think unintended consequences could be young aged girls reading this and it validating the societal pressures already put on them surrounding sex and virginity. If I had read this between the ages of 14-18, I would have felt bad about myself. . . The stereotyping and gender roles are very outdated and it felt juvenile, which a "sex positive" book should be more mature even if it surrounds high school and colleged aged people. . . I signed up for "The Kissing Quotient" concept, where there's a consentual and respectful sexual agreement in place, with bonus points because it was going to be with her best friend whom she loved and trusted. But nope, I did not get that at all. There was so much deceit between them and I hardly felt their connection or love for one another. Overall, I just felt disappointed after reading this because I wanted it to truly be a sex positive, consensual story with female empowerment 😖😞😒.

  25. 4 out of 5

    che

    this is like that scene in euphoria where kat tells jules she's a virgin, and she replies with, “bitch, this isn't the 80's, you need to catch yourself a dick.” i liked this a lot. i like that the portrayal of high school teenagers is realistic, especially when it comes to their attitudes towards sex— all the slut-shaming and the hypocritical feminism. i also like how the main couple are dumbasses, because dumbasses deserve rights. however, i feel like the message the author was trying to express this is like that scene in euphoria where kat tells jules she's a virgin, and she replies with, “bitch, this isn't the 80's, you need to catch yourself a dick.” i liked this a lot. i like that the portrayal of high school teenagers is realistic, especially when it comes to their attitudes towards sex— all the slut-shaming and the hypocritical feminism. i also like how the main couple are dumbasses, because dumbasses deserve rights. however, i feel like the message the author was trying to express with this book— that losing one's virginity isn't a race, as well as all the other sex-positivity stuff— wasn't fully expressed well. i feel like more scenes and conversations including that could have made the message stand out and be more clear, instead of just playing out the negative views and opinions some teens have when it comes to sex and the v-card. but overall, i enjoyed this. young-adult books, especially ones involving romance, need to be sex-positive and include healthy conversations and scenes about sex, virginity, and consent.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rumsha

    In the age of quarantine, this was a book I hoped might bring me a moment of respite. Instead, I'm left wondering how any publisher thought this manuscript was worth the paper it was printed on? Let me be clear when I say that this book isn't bad, it's a debilitating indictment of the genre. I don't know whether to rage about the misogyny (and the complete normalization of it), the bullying, the slut shaming, the toxic female relationships, or the lackluster romance. Which brings me to my ultimat In the age of quarantine, this was a book I hoped might bring me a moment of respite. Instead, I'm left wondering how any publisher thought this manuscript was worth the paper it was printed on? Let me be clear when I say that this book isn't bad, it's a debilitating indictment of the genre. I don't know whether to rage about the misogyny (and the complete normalization of it), the bullying, the slut shaming, the toxic female relationships, or the lackluster romance. Which brings me to my ultimate pet peeve about this "novel": how very dare they market this as someone teaching someone else 'the ropes'? WHAT BLOODY ROPES? The whole premise of learning the ropes is covered in less than 5 pages, never to be revisited. Had there been more ropes anchoring this ship, perhaps it wouldn't have sunk to the bottom, utterly unremarkable and forgotten. Just as well though, it's probably best if it lays in the deep.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Wildenstein

    What would you get if you mixed SEX AND THE CITY with AMERICAN PIE? This hilarious and cute book. I've just stayed up half the night to read a book, and even though my eyes feel like they've been rubbed with sandpaper, I don't regret a second of it. THE BEST LAID PLANS made me giggle, grin, blush, and snicker like the awkward teen I used to be. Keely, Andrew and the gang are charming and real, and bursting with hormones and convictions about life, as teens usually are. Speaking of Andrew . . . I u What would you get if you mixed SEX AND THE CITY with AMERICAN PIE? This hilarious and cute book. I've just stayed up half the night to read a book, and even though my eyes feel like they've been rubbed with sandpaper, I don't regret a second of it. THE BEST LAID PLANS made me giggle, grin, blush, and snicker like the awkward teen I used to be. Keely, Andrew and the gang are charming and real, and bursting with hormones and convictions about life, as teens usually are. Speaking of Andrew . . . I usually prefer the hate-to-love trope but Lund might've swayed me into the friends to lovers trope. Okay, sway is a weak word. I now need to find more friends-to-lovers books. Recommendations? I loved THE BEST LAID PLANS* and urge you to one-click it! * Intended for older teens.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Kenneally

    This book reminded me so much of my senior year of high school and all the antics we got up to. This is very real YA and it's perfect for the age group. The characters are real and make mistakes and I loved being along for the ride.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Arpita (world of a book enthusiast)

    This is a funny, cute and really enjoyable book. I loved this book more than a pizza 😃. It is perfect for all YA romance lovers. It is a book we want to read again and again and every time it is as amusing as it was the first time. All the characters are lovable and so relatable. I was a little nostalgic and was remembering my high school days while reading it. We all had such a group of friends and classmates in high school. This book is about Keely who is a high school student and her best frie This is a funny, cute and really enjoyable book. I loved this book more than a pizza 😃. It is perfect for all YA romance lovers. It is a book we want to read again and again and every time it is as amusing as it was the first time. All the characters are lovable and so relatable. I was a little nostalgic and was remembering my high school days while reading it. We all had such a group of friends and classmates in high school. This book is about Keely who is a high school student and her best friends are Andrew and Hannah. The senior year in high school is all about stepping into adulthood. We envy our classmates and are a little conscious of ourselves. I could relate to Keely and I loved her innocence. She is so much like me when I was in high school. Andrew is such a wonderful friend and person and Hannah is Keely’s support system. The story was wonderful and all in all, it was a great read. I will definitely recommend this book if you like YA romance. I could fly through it and it exceeds my expectations.

  30. 4 out of 5

    mich

    Yep this was cute - the cutest! - and it was such a great thing to finally read a book that held my interest all the way till the end. YA best friends to lovers books all pretty much have a kind of sameness to them in that you absolutely KNOW how it'll play out and this one was no different, but the ride was fun. So yeah, it's got casual misogyny and slut shaming and stupid high school drama and the hot girl who doesn't know she's hot and is surprised when anyone tells her she's hot and also the B Yep this was cute - the cutest! - and it was such a great thing to finally read a book that held my interest all the way till the end. YA best friends to lovers books all pretty much have a kind of sameness to them in that you absolutely KNOW how it'll play out and this one was no different, but the ride was fun. So yeah, it's got casual misogyny and slut shaming and stupid high school drama and the hot girl who doesn't know she's hot and is surprised when anyone tells her she's hot and also the BIGGEST infraction of all (view spoiler)[ a fucking spin the bottle scene (hide spoiler)] but you know what, it was a quick and easy read and the main characters were likeable and it was just cute ok?! But I can see how it might rub people the wrong way. Not me though. Cuz I thought this book was cute. I told myself I wasn't gonna buy ANY new books from now on unless it was on sale (especially now when I'm supposed to be saving money), so I didn't feel particularly good about clicking buy on this $10.99 kindle book, but no regrets!

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