This is not how soccer-star Zack Martin thought his summer would go. When the captain’s prank means trouble for the whole squad, Zack’s left with no choice but to take one for the team and cover for him.
Now he’s trading parties and beach days for community service at a seaside conservation center—fair enough. But thanks to his new reputation, the cute intern, Chip, won’t even give him a shot. Still, Zack finds himself falling for Chip between dolphin encounters and shark costume disasters, which means he suddenly has way more on the line than he ever expected.
Zack may be good at winning on the field, but can he keep up the lie without losing himself?
Title: I Like Me Better
Author: Robby Weber
Publication Date: May 2, 2023
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary, LGBTQ+
This book was a nice ode to growing up and dealing with life’s problems, all within a summer setting. This was a subtly funny book with a great cast of characters and enough secrets to keep the plot moving along.
Our main character had a crazy go of things throughout the book. Zack’s troubles are very relatable. He’s balancing his parents’ divorce, trying to be the best team leader possible, standing up for a friend, etc. In order to achieve these things, he’s doing a lot of things he knows aren’t great, but feels are necessary.
Zack was not quite who I thought he was going to be. He was a weird mix of confident jock and shy, just-wants-to-fit-in teenager. It took a minute for me to get a lock on his character and personality, which was fine, but I would have liked to been able to figure it out sooner. Chip’s character was a little easier to grasp. He was nice and focused on his future goals and job. Buuuut he was a little boring, if we’re being honest.
The romance was fine, but I didn’t feel loads of chemistry between Zack and Chip. I think this goes back to their personalities and the problems I had with them.
Overall, great summer vibes and queer rep, but not the best or most entertaining story. This wouldn’t be at the top of my list of recommendations, but I didn’t hate it.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.