Viviana is your ultimate high-achiever– attending an elite school to prep her for college, striving to get into Stanford, working towards absolute perfection. But when her ex-boyfriend sends out nude photos of her, her family and social life begin to fall apart. When she falls asleep while riding her bike and crashes, she gets a concussion that forces her to slow down the summer before her senior year in high school. Instead of being shipped off to the physics summer program she was looking forward to, she takes a job at the pool of her apartment complex with her best friend and a gorgeous boy named Ethan. This summer isn’t just about lounging by the pool and relaxing– instead she’s forced to cope with her trust issues, extreme anxiety, and the secrets that have been plaguing her family for years.
I absolutely adored E. Katherine Kottaras’ debut novel How to Be Brave, so I was naturally thrilled when I found out that she was releasing another book. And let me tell you, this book did not disappoint.
- Character development: I cannot say enough good things about the characters– they all grew and developed fully throughout the book, and I found myself absolutely engaged with Viviana’s story. Not to mention the love I have for the supporting characters– her little sister, her best friend, her mother.
- Real teen issues: Oftentimes YA authors glamorize the “I can do it all” characters in a way that I believe is harmful to teenage readers. In The Best Possible Answer, Kottaras brings raw honesty to the reality of many teenagers who are under intense pressure and have to deal with issues like the nude photo scandal that haunts Viviana.
- No picture-perfect happy ending: Don’t get me wrong, I loved the ending to this story. But it wasn’t your traditional, “oh, everything is perfect and fairy-tale-esque.” It was real, it was honest, and it was satisfying to me as a reader.
- Too much plot time dedicated to a romantic relationship. The central focus of this book was Viviana’s growth and strength. While the romantic relationship wasn’t necessarily bad for the plotline, how much it was addressed took away from that theme.
Down in the comments below let me know what authors you’ve been following since their debut novels! I’d love to know.
Until next time,
Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.