Alex and Lulu are as close to star-crossed lovers as you’ll see in Coffee County High School.
Beginning in their freshman year, both run for class president on the platform of how to best use some of the school’s vacant land. Alex wants a batting cage, Lulu want a garden to provide the cafeteria with sustainable fresh fruits and veggies. Despite being opposites, there is an unmistakable attraction between the two.
That attraction plays out over the next four years of their journey through high school in Miranda Kenneally’s Four Days of You and Me. The story unfolds one day in May as their class takes a field trip — whether it’s to the local science museum, a theme park, New York City or London.
Kenneally’s allowing us to check-in each year on the duo is a fascinating and well-executed hook to the novel. There is a bit of teasing in the opening chapter of each year as narrator Lulu fills us in on the status of her relationship with Alex. (SPOILER warning: It’s not always a smooth one and there is some nice mileage achieved by Lulu teasing us about her boyfriend when it may or may not necessarily be Alex as the trip begins).
As with previous works by Kenneally, the strength here is authentic characters who look and sound like teenagers. This also means this book comes with my standard warning that if you don’t like hearing teens swear, embrace and explore their sexuality and being chock full of angst then you might want to think twice before starting this one.
Not only do Alex and Lulu work well, but the supporting cast is memorable, fun, and entertaining. As we jumped forward each year in the novel, I found myself looking forward to seeing what happened to their friends over the course of the year as well as seeing if and how Alex and Lulu might be together or not.
Authentic, entertaining, and a great diversion, Four Days of You and Me is a welcome addition to Miranda Kenneally’s library. If you’re looking for a good distraction during these unsettling times, you can’t go wrong.
In the interest of full disclosure, I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.