Title: My Best Everything
Author: Sarah Tomp
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance,
Published On: March 3rd 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Netgalley *received in exchange for an honest review* This in no way influenced my opinion.
My Rating: 4 Stars
You say it was all meant to be. You and me. The way we met. Our secrets in the woods. Even the way it all exploded. It was simply a matter of fate. Maybe if you were here to tell me again, to explain it one more time, then maybe I wouldn’t feel so uncertain. But I’m going back to the beginning on my own. To see what happened and why. Luisa “Lulu” Mendez has just finished her final year of high school in a small Virginia town, determined to move on and leave her job at the local junkyard behind. So when her father loses her college tuition money, Lulu needs a new ticket out. Desperate for funds, she cooks up the (definitely illegal) plan to make and sell moonshine with her friends, Roni and Bucky. Quickly realizing they’re out of their depth, Lulu turns to Mason: a local boy who’s always seemed like a dead end. As Mason guides Lulu through the secret world of moonshine, it looks like her plan might actually work. But can she leave town before she loses everything – including her heart? The summer walks the line between toxic and intoxicating. My Best Everything is Lulu’s letter to Mason – though is it an apology, a good-bye, or a love letter?
Okay, so I downloaded this book as an e-ARC from Netgalley last year. LAST YEAR. And then I got busy and life happened, but I’ve been meaning to catch up on all my ARC’s, even if they’re ridiculously late. So here goes. Also, receiving this book from the publisher through Netgalley does not influence my opinion or my review, I promise.
I LIKED THIS BOOK. Which was a relief after pretty much hating Maybe Someday. But for the first time in awhile I read and finished a book in less than a week. This used to happen all the time when I first started blogging, but as of recently, it takes me weeks to finish a book. So that was nice.
At first, I was wary about My Best Everything because the characters are a little bit irritating. They don’t make good decisions. These characters are not role models and for some, that might be hard to get around if you like to like the characters you read about.
But while the characters were irresponsible and made bad decisions, and I absolutely would not ever want to be friends with them, I did like them. Or maybe, I liked reading about them. Their story was one that is easy to relate to, or at least to have pity on.
Our main character, Lulu, finds out her father lost the money to pay for her education at University in San Diego, which is something she’d worked hard for and always dreamed about. She’s eager to escape her podunk little town in Virginia and to finally live her life independently in California, so when she get’s desperate to make the money herself, she steals a still from the junkyard where she works and her and he friends cook up a plan to start selling moonshine.
Which is obviously not the greatest idea ever. I mean, it’s illegal and if she gets caught then, well, bye bye San Diego. So clearly, she didn’t think this through. Or, maybe, at this point she was so desperate, she didn’t even care about the possible consequences.
Lulu’s got a lot of problems. She’s impatient, reckless, inconsiderate, and selfish, but she’s not flat or boring and she has quite the story to tell.
Which is how the book is formatted. Lulu is writing a letter to Mason, a boy who she recruits to help her on her mission to sell moonshine (even though this is not good for him at all and UGH. Gosh Lulu), and recounting what happened that summer.
I liked this format, it was easy to read and it had a bittersweet tone, that is often accompanied by humor. I really loved that we get insight to Lulu’s feelings about the events that happened, as she reflects on what she regrets and how she felt. It made Lulu more real, and it made it easier to understand where she’s coming from. It was a very personal point of view. However, she addresses Mason throughout the letter, saying “you” and it is a bit weird, but not bad.
Overall, this book was sweet and sad and funny and it was a very easy and enjoyable read, but it’s nothing too spectacular. The ending was warm and gave me lots of feels, and I’m so glad I gave it a chance. The highlight of this book (for me) is the way the characters are so human and real and flawed, and that’s okay.