May the Best Man Win by ZR Ellor
Release Date: May 18, 2021
Why I love this book: I love this book first and foremost because it employs my absolute all time favorite trope- and that is lovers to enemies. Most people like enemies to lovers, but for me, it's all about the opposite. It's all about two people who used to be everything to eachother, and who know each others deepest secrets, suddently using all that knowledge to absolutely destroy the other person. Jeremy and Lukas are perfect in this trope- neither is a bad person, but they are both hurt and angry and have goals that pit them against each other and neither is willing to give even an inch and so they take all that pain and aim it at eachother, no matter who might get caught in the crossfire. Even though we know they might circle back around to find each other again, getting to follow along as they try to one up each other and become Homecoming King is pretty great.
I also love this book because I adore both Jeremy and Lukas, who are, quite possibly the most disasterous main characters I've even encountered. I say that with the absolute most love possible. Teenagers are, generally speaking, a mess. If I had even a nickel for everytime I looked at one of my students and said, "Does that seem like a good idea?" I would be rich. I would be able to retire young and just enjoy reading about teens making hysterically bad decisions instead of watching it happen in real time. That said, there is something so good about following characters like Jeremy and Lukas battle it out. Here is the thing that I think is a super important takeaway from Jeremy and Lukas that both teens and adults need to hear... even when you are at your worst, you are worth loving. Even when you are letting your hurt and pain and confusion cloud your judgement, you deserve to find love. If you are lucky you will find people who will hang with you as you muck it all up, and if you are, make sure you apologize for being an asshole and do what you can to make it up to them, and then hold on to them as hard as you can. Jeremy and Lukas are a perfect example of how you can get horribly off track, but find your way back, and that's something we all need to see.
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