It’s not just a weekend for Lux Castelo. She has a plan, of course.
Phase One: Escape to the beach for a music festival.
Phase Two: Deal with what she can’t control.
Phase Three: Return to reality whole and ready.
Nowhere in that plan is Micah Jacinto, self-proclaimed adventurer and the kind of boy with his head stuck in the clouds and the moon inked on his arm—everything her rational sense tells her to stay away from. And yet Lux finds herself welcoming the distraction. As they spend the entire weekend together, Micah leads her to rediscover the lost pieces of herself amidst the excitement and the confusion of a raving mosh pit.
But all weekends come to an end and Lux needs to return to the dreaded reality she’s running away from. Does being brave enough to leave summer behind mean being brave enough to ask Micah to stay?
1. A STEM graduate student as its main character. Six de los Reyes continues to be my source of novels (bonus that they’re romance novels) with main characters in STEM. Specifically in molecular biology/microbiology in this novel. Being in the same field, I could just relate to everything she’s going through. The long hours, the culture that can eat you alive, that feeling that you don’t know what you’re doing while everyone does, the demotivation, working on something you don’t really like, EVERYTHING. Even the nerdy shirts and explaining common natural phenomena. It is an understatement to say that I related to Lux because HELLO, MIRROR, IT’S ME.
2. Mental illness representation. Lux’s depression and anxiety were portrayed accurately and the author did not cut any corners in writing about it, its effects, and how people react to it. Lux also harms herself and that was difficult to read but important. The latter part of the book when Kris talks to Lux about taking it a day at a time and about having people who love her who are “willing to shut the blinds and soundproof your walls” when you need it the most GAH MY HEART. It’s what someone depressed needs to be told and hear. That’s what YOU should tell someone who’s suffering. That’s how you help. You listen, you don’t invalidate whatever they’re feeling or thinking. So I strongly recommend EVERYONE to read this book, even just for that part, so you know how to help.
3. Micah. Oh, Micah. You and your talkative self. Lux has all these walls and Micah just broke them down with his smile and with his intrusiveness and talkativeness. But he also listens and tries to understand, do what’s right, do what Lux needs or wants. He disarmed her and made her realize that her scars aren’t scary and gross. That she’s strong and brave, despite what she thinks of herself. And hello, moon cycle tattoo on his right arm?!?! Literary quote tattoos?!?! A musician?!?! *fans myself*
4. Romance. Other people might feel that the romance was lacking because they didn’t really fall in love or had grand gestures of love/like or something you would expect out of a romance novel. But for me, it was perfect. Meeting Micah didn’t magically cure Lux of her depression. Meeting him or even love is not the answer. It stayed true to the narrative. It was only a weekend and of course we’d only witness the beginning of a possible romance. And I love how it started.
5. EASTER EGGS. I mean, if you’re like me, a big fan of Six de los Reyes’ novels, you’d read about some familiar names and bands in here. Don’t worry, this is a standalone novel, but it’s so fun to read about what the other ~people~ in the universe of her novels are doing. Isaiah~ Thomas was even mentioned too!. And for fans of Jay E. Tria’s Playlist series, Trainman is even here.
Hello, here’s another book you’ll love from one of my favorite authors. Amazing mental illness representation + beach + music + a girl in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) + amazing love interest = AMAZING BOOK. Like every book by Six.
P.S. THAT COVER. LET ME MARRY IT.