Monday, October 10, 2016

Review: If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson

If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
Readers of Sarah Dessen, Cammie McGovern and Morgan Matson will adore this thought-provoking, complex and romantic contemporary novel from debut author Abigail Johnson, about finding the strength to put yourself back together when everything you know has fallen apart.
When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.
Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . .


Publishes in US: October 25th 2016 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: ya contemp
Source: earc from Harlequin Teen via Netgalley
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not affected by the book being free.
Series? no

Buy it: Amazon IndieBound Book Depository Barnes and Noble

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook

    I wanted to read If I Fix You because I liked the sound of the main characters. I have a thing for contemp genre, especially ones dealing with hurting people and their healing. It also sounded like it had a good chance for a good romance where two people support each other. 

    I liked the main character Jill. She has her issues, but she is trying to move on with life. She is close to her dad, still upset with her mom for leaving, the boy who used to be her best friend and his part in it, and their resulting distance from each other. She sleeps on the roof trying to find a way to deal with her pain, and escape her dad's pacing. But she has her own interests, cars and running. She helps in her dad's mechanic shop where she is more than tired of changing oil, but she gets to work on older cars, her passion and what she's saving up for. 

   Her new neighbor Daniel, who when she was hanging out/sleeping on the roof, overheard a huge fight between him and his mom, and begins to see where his bruises and scars come from. They had a connection from the start, but he was still trying to keep some sort of hold on his secrets, but they keep being drawn to each other, helped by their proximity to each other. 

    The romance, the deal with Sean, as well as some of her mom's issues ended up surprising me, but I appreciate the deviation from the norm. It went through a lot of emotions not only with Jill, but all of the characters had things to learn about relationships, their view of certain events, and themselves to learn. 

    While there were some heavy things in this one, it managed to not be depressing, but left me with a deeper understanding of the characters. It left Jill at a good point where she could forgive and more towards healing. I also liked the lighter moments, showing how involved and present her dad was, and the things in life that they shared and making it through her mom leaving. 

   I liked this one, and would read another by Abigail Johnson. 

Bottom Line: Good character growth, heavy at times but worth the read.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you have a favorite or dream car?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

A contemporary YA novel about growing up and learning that loving yourself is more important than trying to be perfect.
AP Exams – check
SAT test – check
College Application – check
Date the wrong guy and ruin everything you’ve spent your whole life working for– check
Ultra-high-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has always had a plan—and no room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection comes toa screeching halt when her boyfriend leaks racy pictures of her to the entire school. Making matters worse, her parents are getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Viv feels like a complete and utter failure.Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new group of friends who know nothing about her past. That includes Evan, a gorgeous guy who makes her want to do something she never thought she’d do again: trust. For the first time in her life, Viv realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that? While she tries to figure it out, she learns something they never covered in her AP courses: that it’s okay to be less than perfect, because it’s our imperfections that make us who we are. 


Publishes in US: November 1st 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: ya contemp
Source: earc from Netgalley via St. Martin's
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not affected by the book being free.
Series? no

Buy it: Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 2.02.10 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-04 at 2.02.29 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-04 at 2.03.49 PM

Author stalk away: ~site ~twitter ~facebook ~blog

     I wanted to read The Best Possible Answer because I liked the sound of Vivi. I am drawn to books about anxiety, young people making mistakes and how they learn from them, and the complicated family dynamics that it hints at. 
     Vivi is it dealing with panic attacks at the beginning of the book and her mom has finally realize how much stress she's only trying to do so much and be so much as an honor student and although she is trying to encourage her to slow down part of the problem is that she won't admit what else is going on with Vivi. We know from the synopsis that her boyfriend had leaked some pictures of her and it really affected her in a lot of ways and her mom just wants to look at the school aspect of it and tell her to calm down instead of trying to face the emotional pain that she's facing with that.

    As far as family dynamics that's pretty complicated as well. Her dad is not living with them and not on good terms with her mom even though her mom just dealt with thyroid cancer and well things are looking okay she's still got a lot of uncertainties. Vivi has a younger sister who looks up to her a lot and wants to be closer. When her mom takes away the normal academic summer camp that she usually goes to that one chance to and it also brings her new friends into the picture. Vivi's father is a story unto himself. He has a lot of secrets, and he has hurt those around him in a lot of ways. Vivi figures out some of the things that he was hiding, and it only adds to her confusion and identity issues. 

     I liked the friendship aspect in this one as well. Vivi and her best friend Sammie live in the same building and they have been friends for years. They've always been close, but their own family issues that left them hurting have allowed them to bond even more and know that someone else understands. I do wish that the whole aspect of both of them liking the same guy wouldn't have been there, but it did allow for a lot of character growth and for them to look at their relationship and how to work on it. 

    I liked the story line, how Vivi realized a lot about herself, her life, her plans for the future, and how she interacts with others. She wasn't in the best place at the beginning but she certainly learned a lot and while the main story lines were tied up, she still had a lot of room to grow, make choices, and move on with both old and new friends.

Bottom Line: Good read, had decent emotional connection, and complex family dynamics.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Did your college plans turn out how you thought?