Published February 15th 2017 by Swoon Reads (first published February 7th 2017)
Format read: ARC via publisher
. . . which is why being Juliet's understudy in the school's yearly "Evening with Shakespeare" is the perfect role for Emily. She can earn some much-needed extra credit while pursuing her main goal of spending time with Wes, aka Romeo, aka the hottest, nicest guy in school (in her completely unbiased opinion). And she meantto learn her lines, really, it's just:
a) Shakespeare is HARD,
b) Amanda, aka the "real" Juliet, makes her run errands instead of lines, and
c) there's no point because Amanda would never miss the chance to be the star of the show.
Then, Amanda ends up in the hospital and Emily, as the (completely unprepared!) understudy, has to star opposite the guy of her dreams. Oops?
It’s a zippy, sunny story of Emily and Wes, two long-time neighbors who like each other and don’t know how to show it. Petroff narrates the story from Emily’s point-of-view, and readers are privy to her constant attempts to try and gain Wes’s attention, only to fail spectacularly (and repeatedly!), and with a large audience, to boot.
Though Emily is mortified at her failed attempts, Petroff does a solid job of emphasizing the importance of picking one’s self off from the floor, and continuing on with it. Though many of her attempts to get past Wes are borderline cringe worthy, they’re also very true to life. I was alternately cringing while reading, but also recognizing a lot of Emily’s tactics as things that I did myself, when grappling with crushes in high school. It’s the type of realism that is appreciated in YA, and I hope that we can have more of it.
Moreover, Emily is supported by her friends, with relationships and a camaraderie that I hope to see more of, in young adult fiction. Emily has friends who are not willing to take no for an answer, and she also sees how their presence in her life, means more than any boy ever could.
While My New Crush Gave to Me ends exactly how you would expect it to end, it’s a fun ride, and I highly recommend it. It made me feel a little nostalgic for high school, which actually doesn’t happen.