Published by St. Martin's Griffin on November 1st 2016
Amazon ♡ Chapters ♡ TBD
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.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book.
DNF @ 27%
Trigger Warning for on screen anxiety and panic attacks, horrible language when talking about someone the MC assumes has a mental illness, and on screen bullying.
I wanted to like this one, I really did. I really enjoyed reading HOW TO BE BRAVE and talked about how refreshing and fun it was in my review. So when I saw that Kottaras had another book coming out, I was all over it. I requested it right away thinking that I would have a similar pleasing experience reading this book as I did the last. But I was mistaken.
I think this book tried to do too much. There was so much happening that nothing was fully developed and we were moving really quickly. I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to care about or what I should focus on because there was a concussion, cancer, divorce, etc etc and I just felt like my attention was being pulled in so many different directions that nothing ended up mattering. Do people have to deal with a lot of things all at the same time? Of course, but I think in fiction it is best to focus on two or three things, not five hundred. Because that’s what it felt like.
But what really irked me was the way that the main character and her friend discussed someone that they ASSUMED had a mental illness. They watch this man through the window and he has some different habits and when they were in the elevator with him, he was talking to himself, so the MC’s younger sister made up a song about him which turned into a nickname, “The Nut.” Instead of saying “hey Mila, I know you are young, but that is not a very nice way to talk about someone, whether or not they do have mental illness” the two girls use that nickname. And while on page, our MC says “this probably isn’t nice” she CONTINUES to use this nickname AND tell other people about it. When she does tell someone else, he tries to correct her saying that he knows this man and he does not appear to have mental illnesses and instead of thinking “oh I will make sure I don’t use this name anymore” she thinks “WOW THIS GUY SPEAKING TO ME IS SO DREAMY.”
I also have a problem with how jealous the MC’s friend was that the love interest was paying attention to the MC and not her, including physical violence because the love interest was touching the MC (WHICH IS SOMETHING SHE CAN’T HELP. Although people should not be touching people without consent; however, it was an “innocent” touch [his hand on her shoulder]. Still CONSENT IS IMPORTANT) But I was really put off by how much hatred and jealousy this friend had for the MC. I expect that if I had continued to read, they would have fought over him.
I DNFed after the section where the MC talks about how AWESOME AND SPECIAL her friend is and how she was SO SHOCKED that she got a boyfriend first because her BFF is just SO AWESOME. Another thing I wasn’t a fan of was the formatting. There were like “cool” ways to have each chapter start, either a SAT question, writing prompt, etc. and it just didn’t jive with me.
I am REALLY sad that I didn’t like this one. I am also just REALLY disappointed in the language that was used in this one. I also can’t believe I had so much to say for a DNF review where I didn’t even read 30%. BUT HERE WE ARE. Take care if you choose to pick this one up!