Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for a YA/New Adult M/M romance from Jay Northcote. INTO YOU is a sweet–and a little sexy–enemies-to-lovers “body swap” story that puts two former best friends on the right path.
Olly and Scott promised to be best friends forever. They grew up on the same street, went to the same school, and did everything together. But one hot summer night, teenage experimentation caused hurt feelings and confusion, and their friendship was destroyed.
Four years later they’re both eighteen years old and in their final term at school. Scott is a football star and Olly’s preparing for a main role in the school play. After a heated argument in the street—witnessed by their mysterious, elderly neighbour—they wake up the next morning stuck in each other’s bodies.
With no idea how to get back to normal, they have to co-operate in order to hide their secret. Spending time together rekindles their friendship, yet feelings run deeper for both of them. With the end of school fast approaching, the clock is ticking. Unless they discover how to change back, they could be stuck in the wrong bodies forever.
This is an upper YA/New Adult type of read which features two 18 yo boys who finally experience a real love.
Olly and Scott were best mates from the ages of 9-14. Then there was a kiss. And, their friendship dissolved. Olly admitted he was gay, and Scott would never admit to such a thing, not with his extremely homophobic father pressuring him to keep away for Olly.
Now, they are 18, and finishing their A-levels (think: senior year in high school here in the US). The pressure is on, and their coming exams will determine which uni they’ll attend. When Scott takes a bad turn and injures Olly by mistake, their animosity is exposed out on the street. Miss Wychwood, odd neighbor to Olly, takes a particular interest in the melee, and it’s not long before Olly and Scott have their lives turned upside down. Olly wakes inside of Scott, and Scott is trapped in Olly’s body.
It’s a body swap! I’ve loved this trope since the original Parent Trap (with Hayley Mills!!) and I really enjoyed how it worked here. Instead of Olly and Scott helping others connect, they get a unique chance to discover all the good and bad bits of the other, and come to terms with their true feelings. While “Olly” is brushing up his footie skills so as to not shame Scott on the school pitch, “Scott” is learning all the lines for Romeo, as he’s now the lead in the school play. If it means “Olly” gets the chance to flirt with boys–and even kiss them (as Scott has secretly desired for a while), well then “Scott” must also snog “his” girlfriend. Poor Olly! He sure knew he didn’t have a single scrap of heterosexuality after those experiences in Scott’s stead. Thing is, Scott becomes more and more convinced that he’s the one living the lie–and that Olly is the love of his life. Olly already knew that about Scott; it’s why he broke off their friendship four years ago–he couldn’t bear to watch Scott date girls.
This book is a *little* light on the sexytimes, compared to other books by this author, but it fit reasonably well with the story. These are boys trapped in the others’ body–and it feels like an invasion of privacy to indulge even in manual stimulation. They do break down those barriers, as they build a better rapport and reconnect with each other. I liked how their bond had some time to develop, and it’s SOOO tender. And sweet. And just a bit hot, too.
I really liked how Scott’s parents dealt with the changes they are noticing in “Scott.” Olly, in Scott’s stead, is exposed to Scott’s dad’s homophobia, and that’s pretty rough. Olly’s own parents are super open and loving, and it was interesting to see the careful steps that Scott’s mother took to open communication and build a better rapport. Scott’s girlfriend, on the other hand, wasn’t a nice gal, and Scott was better off being fully shot of her. I liked his friends, on the whole, and I LOVED how conscientious Olly was–to be mindful of Scott’s needs and not trying to make any permanent changes that would play out unfavorably when/if he and Scott swapped back to their original selves.
Ultimately, this is a sweet read, with lots of excellent introspection, a little magic and a YA-ish level of sexual exploration. It’s probably a bit racy for young teens, but the emotional accessibility will appeal to all age levels.
About the Author:
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats. She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!