Book Review: Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund

PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book with a pun in the title Other PS 2020 reading prompts this would satisfy: A book t...

PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book with a pun in the title

Other PS 2020 reading prompts this would satisfy: A book that's published in 2020, A bildungsroman, A book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to it, A book featuring one of the seven deadly sins, A book with a three-word title,

TW: Discussions in racism, sexual assault, pedophilia, classism

I first started reading Best Laid Plans from an excerpt on Netgalley. I read the first six chapters and immediately needed more! Unfortunately, I had to wait until I could get a copy from my library, and I finished the rest of the book in a day. It was such a good read and I was totally enthralled as soon as I started reading.

Keely is a high school senior, and the only virgin left in her class. It's not something she's necessarily ashamed of, but she would like to get it out of the way before graduating. So when she starts a new job at the local video store alongside a modern-day James Dean, she's maybe going to get what she wished for sooner rather than later. But this James Dean heartthrob is in college, so her virginity seems shameful, and she doesn't want to appear like she doesn't know what she's doing. Luckily, her oldest and best friend is a bit of player, so just maybe he can give her a pointer or two.

I went into this book thinking it'd be a similar vibe to The Anti-Virginity Pact, but the books were polar opposites. Where Pact went wrong and was a total mess, Plans was well-written and smart, fun and sexy. I did really like the very intersectional story for Pact's MC Mare, and felt that it was the one place where Best Laid Plans fell short. The characters in Plans were all very one-dimensional and I would have very much like more background and development for them. But overall, the story was so good and sex positive, that I just couldn't help but love it.

I would've liked to see more diversity in the characters, but I very much felt the connection between Keely and her best friend Andrew. There were several moments in the book that I literally laughed out loud.

I loved that there was a lot of focus on consent and safe-sex practices. There were also many conversations surrounding the double standards set between male and female characters (ie, it's cool for a guy to be a player, but a girl is called a slut), and I really enjoyed seeing how the characters handled those situations and stood up for each other. I've also found that with stories such as these, there are usually a focus or a scene involving really assault-like scenarios, and while I find that those can be meaningful and powerful statements, I find they're often used as some big climatic scenario unnecessarily. I was really glad to see that wasn't a theme here. Again, I really appreciated the sex-positivity, conversations about safe sex practices, as well consent being a pretty consistent theme.

"Love is when your weirdness matches up with someone else's weirdness. When you're comfortable being exactly you." - Best Laid Plans, Cameron Lund

Cameron Lund really knocked it out of the park with her debut novel. I will definitely be reading more from her in the future, and I can absolutely see myself re-reading Best Laid Plans. I fell in love with the characters and their connections.

Goodreads rating: ★★★★★

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