The Bad Boy and the Tomboy by Nicole Nwosu (360 Pages)
In The Bad Boy and the Tomboy, Typical Tomboy Macy Anderson’s life is about to be rocked.
Macy Anderson is perfectly fine with her ordinary life. She’s the captain of the boy’s soccer team, achieves excellent grades, and has an awesome group of friends. Macy is totally okay with being known as “one of the guys,” in fact, she prefers it that way.
However, like most teenage girls, Macy does fall victim to the ever-present “high school crush.” So when Cedric Cahill, the school’s popular rugby player, asks her out, she is head over heels in excitement. But of course, there always needs to be something that gets in the way of young love, and in this case, it just happens to be Cedric’s cousin, Sam Cahill.
Sam Cahill and his bad-boy reputation seem to have a way of intruding into Macy’s life at every turn. When Sam becomes well-acquainted with Macy’s friend group, she can’t escape his infuriating yet enigmatic personality. As the two inevitably begin to get to know each other, they start to find that they have a lot in common. Not only are they skilled soccer stars, but they also find solace in each other over the deaths of loved ones.
As their connection grows, Macy finds that she can’t stop thinking about this endearing troublemaker who isn’t afraid to challenge her. Torn between her ideal relationship with Cedric and her intoxicating connection with Sam, Macy is about to find herself in the messiest situation of her life.
A Love Story That Goes Much Deeper
The Bad Boy and the Tomboy goes much deeper than just a typical high school love story. Not only does it highlight the ups and downs of first love, but it also sheds light on serious topics that should be represented more in teen books. Macy losing her mother in a car crash at just nine years old is something that shaped her into who she is today, and Sam losing his sister to the same fate gives them a common ground.
Not only do we see the main characters dealing with their emotional trauma, but Nwosu does an excellent job of fleshing out other characters and their internal feelings. Each person in Macy and Sam’s friend group has their own unique personality that adds so much depth to this story. Macy’s best friend Jasmine deals with the racist behaviour thrown at her by the school’s resident mean girl, and their friend Austin works to open up about his sexuality.
This story shows the highs and lows of standing up to immoral behaviour and stepping into who you are. The realistic characters and the powerful bond of friendship they hold demonstrate what you can achieve with your friends behind you.
The Bottom Line: 4/5 Brookie Stars
The Bad Boy and the Tomboy kept me captivated from start to finish. Macy is an easily relatable character that a lot of young girls can see themselves in. It’s easy for readers to fall for the witty bad-boy, and I found myself rooting for Sam as soon as he showed up on the page. Their love story is fun and enthralling and gave me that sense of satisfaction I was looking for.
Although there were a few times I questioned setting and structure choices, this story comes with a wonderful bunch of characters that each add their own value. This story would not be the same without every character that Nwosu created, and it was fun getting to know them!
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Brittany Amalfi is a 20- something- year- old developmental specialist living in Massachusetts where she loves all things New England. Brittany is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing, and working on her young adult fantasy novel. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, working with awesome kiddos, and spending time with friends and family.
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