By: Emma Mills
“Characters you love so much, that you feel so deeply for, you’ll watch them fall in love a thousand different ways, over and over”
I loooved Sloane, and I can pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with her. Chapter 1 – when she stepped in and stood up for “freaking Gabe Fuller”. Yes, some people may find her somewhat standoffish, maybe a little bit awkward, and the silent-observant type, but I enjoyed every moment with her. She was definitely far from perfect, and I was a little bit mad when she couldn’t hold it together for her audition or when she broke down towards the end, but she was relatable. You may not be the standoffish-awkward-silent type, but I think that everyone can relate. To sometimes feeling awkward, to sometimes feeling a little bit out of the loop, and just generally feeling a little bit off. I saw something of myself in her, and that made me want to believe in her, to believe in her success and to cheer her on through the entire novel.
Surprisingly, her relationship with her father was on a completely different level. It was fresh, shocking, and not at all what I expected. I absolutely adored their banter which complemented Sloane’s sense of humour. It was nice to see a dynamic father-daughter relationship where the parental unit had a healthy balance of being both laid-back, yet disciplined which added to the beauty of the novel.
The lovely aspect novel was the hope found in all relationships. Despite the cracks and broken pieces (Remy and Aubrey, Sloane’s parents) Mills finds a way to emphasise the hope and optimism of the future, which I was absolutely grateful for, because we all know that the world doesn’t need any more depressing stories or as Sloane says, “passive witnesses to injustice”.
The oooonly thing that I could’ve done without would be the in-between writings of fanfic by either Sloane’s dad, or other fans of Were School. Yes, I understand they were there to convey a message, or emphasise a particular point, but I just found myself skimming these parts. I just could not get into it for some reason. They were just a little bit tooo out there for me… What do you think? Pleeeaaase tell me it’s not just me…
Vera on the other hand was the ultimate best friend! I totally totally loved every part she was in! I wish I had a best friend just like her!! She was absolutely freaking FAN-TASTIC! She took Sloane in, she made her feel comfortable around her friends, and she dispelled any awkwardness or uncertainty about where Sloane stood in their little circle of friends.
Having moved school multiple times over the years, I’ve always wished that there would be that someone who would just grab your hand, drag you along and force you to participate, to solidify your existence in a social group, and to say “hey, meet my friend, she exists and she is ah-mazing!” Don’t we all?? 11/10 for Vera, and I would “straight-up kill” for a friend like her.
Throughout the story, I found myself slightly hoping that Sloane would end up with Remy (Slemy? Roane? Slomy?), because I found Gabs a little bit… too intense and loner-ish? But as the story went on, I grew to like and appreciate Gabe, especially how he and Sloane share a sense of humour (#teamGane?). Definitely a worthwhile read!