Published by St. Martin's Griffin on November 1st 2016
Genres: Young Adult, contemporary, Social Issues
Source: eARC from Publisher
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 to a 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.
The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras is a young adult standalone contemporary. I think a lot of high school students will be able to relate to some aspect of the story and of Viviana‘s character. I really enjoyed this story. There were some things I absolutely loved, and there were a few things I thought detracted from the flow of the story. Overall, it was a very good book, and I think a lot of people will really enjoy the story and be able to relate to it.
Let’s start with the things I liked. I was able to put myself in Viviana‘s shoes pretty easily. (for the most part.) I was an overachiever in high school too and I was very concerned with grades and doing everything perfect. Everything seems like such a big deal back then. One bad test score could ruin my GPA and ruin my chances at college or at scholarships, etc. I got what she was going through. And with the pressure of getting into a good school even greater than it has been in the past, I feel like a lot of people will be able to relate to the stress Viviana is under. I also loved that each of chapters started out in the form of a multiple choice question to show something Viviana was going through in her life. It was hilarious and so very accurate for standardized testing answers. Which made it even funnier. I also really liked the overall plot line. There are some of the smaller side plots that I thought took away from the overall flow of the story, but in general I really liked the journey Viviana went on.
And now for the things I didn’t love so much. I thought there was a lot going on. Some was very relevant to the story and some of it seemed surprising and out of place. Any one of these issues might have been ok on their own, and would have been a very nice complement to the stresses Viviana was under, but taken all together it seemed like a bit too much. I don’t want to say what they are , but if you would like a spoiler you can see what I mean here–> View Spoiler »the thing with Viviana and her friend both crushing on the same guy, the big ole secret with her dad (having multiple secret families) the health issues with her mom, the naked pictures she sent to an ex; etc. See what I mean. « Hide Spoiler There is a lot going on in the sidelines of this story. I wish we would have picked one or two of those things and worked them into the story, but not all of them. As it was, it all worked well together but it did have my head spinning a bit as the reader.
Bottom line: I really liked Viviana, and her friend, and the writing for this story is excellent. I loved how relateable Viviana seemed. I think many readers will love The Best Possible Answer for that very reason. I loved all of the standardized test humor and questions that were woven into the story. I do think there were too many things going on in the subplots. It detracted from my enjoyment of the story, but not by much. Overall, The Best Possible Answer was a great read.See @BookBriefs #review of The Best Possible Answer by @ekatwrites @GriffinTeen @StMartinsPress Click To Tweet
You can watch the book trailer for The Best Possible Answer HERE