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Reviewed by Manik Chaturmutha for Readers' Favorite
Beta Testing by Cody Burke is a young adult coming-of-age story of two boys, Colby and Ryan, and them coming to terms with their feelings. Colby and Ryan are best friends and are just enjoying each other's company when suddenly Ryan announces that he has feelings for someone. This statement leads to Colby being in a state of panic, thinking that Ryan likes him and it might be the end of their friendship. When Ryan confesses that it is not Colby but someone else, Colby should feel relief, right? So why does he feel sad and hurt? It shows the perfect journey a teenager goes through to come to terms with their feelings, and when the said feelings are toward their best friend, things are supposed to be chaotic.
The story starts well and grabs the reader's attention from the very first page. It effectively captures the feelings of all teenagers who have a crush on someone. Cody Burke's writing is straightforward and distinct, making reading it relatively quick. In addition, the characters are so relatable that they can successfully make anyone remember the feeling of falling in love or having a crush for the first time. By making the characters feel so relatable and sassy, the author captured the humor, tension, anxiety, and love perfectly in such a short book. In addition, it has a beautiful LGBTQ representation.
Another thing that the author did so well was showing supportive parents. Generally, books in this genre often either don't have a good parenting figure, or the parents are dead, and having a friendly and supportive parent was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, the thing that this book did admirably was representing anxiety and panic attacks. Not many books targeted at a younger audience show this, and it is appreciated. Beta Testing is like a ray of sunshine. Anyone having a bad day can read this book, and the story will lift their spirits. This book is perfect for lovers of romance and Young Adult books.