Gemma can’t believe her luck when the star football player starts flirting with her. Max is totally swoon-worthy, and even gets her quirky sense of humor. So when he asks out her so-called best friend Addison, Gemma’s heartbroken. Then Addison pressures Gemma to join the date with one of Max’s friends. But the more time they all spend together, the harder Gemma falls for Max. She can’t help thinking that Max likes her back — it’s just too bad he’s already dating Addison. How can Gemma get the guy she wants without going after her best friend’s boyfriend?
I’m going to try to review this book without gushing over it. The One That I Want quickly became my favorite Jennifer Echols book (that I’ve read so far). Well, maybe tie for first. It’s hard to top Going Too Far. (Love. That. Book.)
One of the best things about this book, if not THE thing, is the main characters. They are so different from most of what’s out there in YA and it’s refreshing.
Gemma is…she’s special. She now holds a part of my heart. She is strong. Tough. Determined. And man is she stubborn. Though did I had a hard time picturing Gemme at first. And not because there wasn’t a good description, because there was, but it was from Gemma’s point of view and right now, she doesn’t picture herself clearly. When the story opens we learn that Gemma is in the process of losing weight. Not just five to ten pounds that most people are always complaining about, but almost fifty pounds. That’s an incredible amount. But she does it the healthy way which is even more inspiring. Her reason? She wants to be a majorette in her marching band. Or rather, her best friend does, so they do it together. For this (and many other reasons) Gemma is so my hero. I played in band in high school and would have loved to be a majorette, but I was too self conscious to wear those skimpy outfits (even though I was in pretty good hape. So not the same as wearing a bathing suit) so I never tried out. But Gemma did it. She got to where she felt confident enough and just did it. Watching Gemma discover herself throughout this book was a real eye opener. If this teenage girl can accomplish so much in her life, then why can’t I?
Then there’s Max. Cute, sweet, funny, quirky Max. Sure, he’s your typical hot male athlete. But what’s different about him is he has a sensitive side that shows on more than one occasion. And it’s hard on him because he thinks he already has one strike against him; he’s half Asian. Max, like Gemma, struggles with who he is and who he wants to be and who he’s willing to give up along the way to find that person.
You see Gemma and Max have two different, yet very similar best friends. The type of friend who needs you at first, but after time just uses you to make them feel better about themselves. Something Gemma and Max both learn the hard way. It’s when they stop trusting these friends, and start trusting themselves, that they really learn who they are and what their made of.
Jennifer Echols does a fantastic job of meshing together the oddest of characters and making it work. The chemistry she creates between them is remarkable (and a lot of the time uber hawt). She hit it out of the park with this book.