Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review!
Every May 7, the students at Coffee County High School take a class trip. And every year, Lulu’s relationship with Alex Rouvelis gets a little more complicated. Freshman year, they went from sworn enemies to more than friends after a close encounter in an escape room. It’s been hard for Lulu to quit Alex ever since.
Through breakups, make ups, and dating other people, each year’s class trip brings the pair back together and forces them to confront their undeniable connection. From the science museum to an amusement park, from New York City to London, Lulu learns one thing is for sure: love is the biggest trip of all.
Four Days of You and Me is the cute story of high school/first love and all the stages it can go through. We get to see the ups and downs of how Lu and Alex continuously come together and fall apart during those four years with each turning point being their end of the year class trip. Written in a new and somewhat unique style where we only get to read about those trips. It jumps from event to event from their freshman to sophomore to junior and then final senior trip. It’s the perfect contemporary romance that I’ve been searching for and that Kenneally has never failed to deliver.
So I want to start with discussing the pacing of this book and the distinct way that it goes event to event. I’ve come across two other books that have a format like this (My Year in Love & Parties and Maybe This Time) and I strongly disliked both of them. I just couldn’t get into only covering major events and missing what exactly what exactly was happening between each event. I felt like I was missing a lot, the format just wasn’t working for me. Kenneally came in and kicked butt with this format. It was four major events that broke up this book, four different sections with a majority of chapters being dedicated to the field trips with some chapters that went back to turning events that happened during the year. Instead of being told about what happened during the rest of the school year, we get to read it first hand and get a bit more understanding to where Alex and Lu both are now. I think that’s what finally made this format work for me. Less events, more first-hand background, and Keneally just being an amazing writer.
Lu was a hoot and a hollar. Vegan and set in her beliefs, willing to fight for what she believes in. She was never afraid to be herself though, even when others made fun of her and never pushed those beliefs on others. I also loved that she was into graphic novels and made her own. It was really cool and something that I don’t see come up in books too often, what it’s like to write or draw, it usually just is. Alex was the all-American popular baseball boy who comes from a hardworking family that immigrated to the US and own their own successful business. Between getting stellar grades, being a top baseball recruit and working at the family restaurant, he has a lot on his shoulders.
The romance was everything I wanted/needed. When we first meet Lu and Alex they are sweet baby freshman that are frenemies due to some slight disagreements. They’re young, slightly immature and totally into each other, but being young unsure how to act on it. Through these trips we get to see all the ways their relationship grows and changes with how they mature and the new factors life throws at them every year. It was utterly realistic in the best of ways. We were there from the beginning with the will they/won’t they to the end where college is now a factor added into all the other relationships challenges they’ve faced.
The side characters kind of made this book. Max was FABULOUS. I’ve always said everyone needs at least one guy friend and I’m truly jealous that Max is not mine. He was openly gay, never hiding who he was and was so supportive of Lu. In addition to Max, Lulu also had her cousin Grace who pushed her out of her comfort zone but who was her own character and had her own romantic issue going on. And finally there is Alex’s best friend Ryan. He was the ultimate class clown who hid his own problems/feelings with comedy. I liked how diverse our characters are, not just in race, but in the things they were each facing. It brought even more to the story, making it more relatable because maybe you’ve never had issues like Lu but you can connect to what Grace or Max have gone through.
If, like me, you’re slightly unsure of this format I highly suggest trying again and picking up Four Days of You and Me. I loved Lu and Alex along with their friends. I looked forward to each trip and I’m honestly extremely jealous my school never did anything like this. It’s a cute and quick summer read that hit me right in the feels like Keneally always manages to do.