Shane perceives Jess as an outsider to the normal group of people he socializes with. Jess ignores the signs and tries to create friendship between Shane and her by creating an atmosphere full of happiness and gives Shane a gift while he is in hospital. Shane starts to see Jess as a very thoughtful person when he opened his gift and revealed an electronic chess board. Shane remarks that he does not know how to play chess, and is thankful when Jess enlightens him that she will come over every weekend and teach him how to play.
The relationship between the two characters at this point has not truly started yet, with Shane still wary about Jess. Shane and Jess’s relationship starts to grow and becomes closer and closer later on in the book. Shane is grateful that Jess is the only one from school who has visited him since he came to rehab and unlike their first interaction, Shane is now eager to see Jess when she comes ever weekend to rehab and challenges him in a game of chess. Like most relationships between people there will always be hiccups along the way.
We are confronted with a change in progress between Jess and Shane’s relationship when they are fooling around in the hospitals gymnasium. Jess challenges Shane to a wheelchair race and questions Shane to whether she can use his new chair. Thinking twice, Shane agrees and let’s Jess use his new chair that is far lighter than the hospital chairs that she generally uses.
Giving Jess a head start, Shane quickly catches her with a great amount of effort. Shane finishes first and while he rests, he watches Jess finish speeding towards him with fear covering her face. Shane I can’t–,’ she shrieks and at that moment she collides with Shane. Jess lays on top of Shane at this point, only centimeters away from his face. Jess looks into Shane’s eyes and surprisingly to Shane, Jess kisses him. Shane finds himself kissing back without realizing what is going on. Shane becomes puzzled on what has just happened and has an aggressive outbreak at Jess, telling her that he is ‘Not a friggin’ charity case! ’ Jess responds with sadness saying that Shane is stupid if he thinks she only kissed him because she feels pity towards him.
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As Shane watches Jess leave, he realizes that the relationship between him and Jess now, is very brittle. A week after their dispute, Jess returns like every other weeked to challenge Shane to another game of chess, not acknowledging their fight. When Shane returns back at school, he notices that Jess is back to her old dorky self again. He attempts to thank Jess for the wheelchair access but she quickly becomes shy and leaves, leaving Shane confused. He is amazed by the way Jess responded to seeing him and at this point the relationship becomes awkward once again.
The relationship starts to even out when Shane is told that Jess’s dad didn’t die, he in fact left her family when she was only a child. Wanting the relationship to heal, Shane reacts in a nurturing manner giving support as she cried. Jess notices that Shane is not irritated about her lying and is relieved. After a lot of thought, Shane realizes that he and Jess have always had a bond even through their ups and downs and knows that it is more than friendship. Shane convinces himself to ask Jess the big question, unaware that his friend Ryan is at her house.
He arrives at her front gate with flowers on his lap that he had previously bought from a nearby florist, with the flowers specially picked out for her. Abruptly, Jess comes out of the front door with Ryan following, grasping her hand. At this stage Shane is confused to why they are together as Jess and Ryan walk over to greet him. Jess reveals that Ryan bet him to it and they are now a couple as Shane sat shocked in his chair. Although he is upset, he states that he is happy for the both of them.
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Jess acknowledges the flowers on Shane’s lap, knowing that it is too late Shane that they are for his mother to save the embarrassment. The relationship between Jess and Shane has now become awkward due to the fact that Jess is now focusing on Ryan instead of Shane but still remaining close friends. Until the last number of pages in the novel, the relationship between Shane and Jess remained the same. Shane has always been uneasy about Ryan and Jess dating but has always covered it up when they are around only wishing that he was in Ryan’s position.
Before his Nationals race, he is asked out by another competitor at his racing school. Shane reveals that it is Jess that she likes, knowing his feelings are for only her. Rachel gives Shane advice pointing out that he should tell Jess that he likes her, slowly building Shane’s confidence. He finally decided to tell Jess that he loves her, Jess did not react but quickly became nervous leaving Shane quite anxious as he punched the wheels on the wheelchair and sped off. Their relationship at this point is building but still remains awkward from when Shane told Jess he loved her.
It wasn’t until a week later when Jess went to Shane at his home to congratulate him about making Nationals. Everything was usual until Jess told Shane that she had broken up with Ryan and that she had feelings for someone else who turned out to be Shane. At this leg in Shane and Jess’s relationship, they are both interested in each other and are closer than any other point in the book. In conclusion, whilst observing the relationship between Shane and Jess, you are shown their friendship between the two characters is genuine and that it turns out to be more.