I am loving this book so far. It had a slow start, but I knew it was going to have the "forbidden romance" style relationship later on, and it got kind of suspenseful, so I stuck around. Plus it's fascinating watching what party-loving teenage girls do in their free summers.
This is a story about choices. Will is a real guy, who makes bad choices, good choices, and deals with the consequences. This is a story about realistic, coming-of-age decision making and the mistakes teens make. This is a book I wish I had had, as a teenager. I know it's going to be so important to the teens who discover it, and find themselves within the pages.
The protagonist, Will, is not the greatest friend. He ends up dating his best friend, Angus, and a girl from school, Brandy. Angus and Brandy go to different schools and live in different towns - Will travels between them as he spends time with his divorced parents. Will knows he's doing something wrong. He very much knows that he's messing up by being with both of them. But he also knows that he doesn't want to choose, and while his feelings for Angus are incredibly confusing, he doesn't want to hold back. And so he doesn't - Will is full of so much feeling for both Angus and Brandy, not to mention his relationships with his parents, that the book was practically dripping with emotion.
CUT BOTH WAYS has the most honest, realistic, and sad ending to a YA book I've ever read. Mesrobian's writing is so powerful that when it was over, when I turned the last page and then closed the book, I physically hurt with feeling. My chest ached with compassion for Will, and with a tainted hope for his open-ended future.
I highly recommend CUT BOTH WAYS to adult and teen readers. Every library should have a copy - you need to have this book for teens who are questioning their own sexuality and decisions in life.