Monday, March 2, 2015

ARC Review: My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp

Title: My Best Everything
Author: Sarah Tomp
Published: March 3, 2015 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: An Appalachian summer walks the line between toxic and intoxicating in this debut novel about first loves, broken hearts, and moonshine.  

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?

My Best Everything is Lulu’s letter to Mason – though is it an apology, a good-bye, or a love letter?

**** I received and advance copy of this book from the publisher (thank you Little Brown) via Netgalley. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****

My Best Everything was a beautifully-written and unique Contemporary novel that I really enjoyed. From the story, to the writing style, to the characters this was unlike any book I have read and that made it a truly captivating read.

This book is told in such a unique narrative style. It's first person but it's like the main character is telling the story not to you, the reader, but one of the other main characters. Not everyone could pull this off but Sarah Tomp does it with beautiful prose in a way that is completely captivating. This is not the kind of book that I would expect to have an atmosphere of suspense and confusion but with that narrative style it does. I found myself needing to keep reading so I could find out what was going to happen, what led to the characters to be interacting in this way. It was utterly brilliant and enthralling.

The plot itself of this book is one of the things that made it so unique. It's also a coming of age story and Contemporary Romance but it's not your typical version of either story. Well maybe it was your typical romance, but that doesn't mean that it didn't work. It was a decent slowburn and the characters really seemed to care for one another and their relationship grew as the book developed. No, what the most interesting thing about this plot was the coming-of-age story. It was a sort of good girl gone bad kind of story but not in any kind of extreme of stereotypical way. It was really the story about a teenage girl who has been relatively sheltered, finding her independence and making all kinds of mistakes along the way. I love those kinds of stories, they always feel so real.

The other thing about this book that felt so real was the characters. It was so easy to connect with each and every one of them particularly Lulu, the main character. The whole small town girl feeling stifled and wanting to leave can be a bit of cliche but it's the kind of cliche that exists for a reason. As a small town girl myself, I've been there. I could easily relate to Lulu and her desire to get out and be more than what her town had to offer. I was completely invested in her struggle and desire to make her desires come true. I also really enjoyed Mason, the romantic lead. He also could have been a cliche, the redeemed bad boy, but there was still so much grey where it came to his personality and actions. All the characters in this book had that complex and odious sort of characterization that makes them so interesting.

I'm not a big fan of Contemporary novels but lately I have really been enjoying them and this book was no exception. Everything combined to make this an interesting and gorgeous read that was incredibly interesting. I didn't know exactly how emotionally invested I was in the story until it was over and there were tears. Not only was I sad for it to be over but I found myself feeling a bittersweet combination of happy and sad with the way it all concluded. My Best Everything drew me in and took me on an emotional ride like all good books do.

I give My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp a 9 out 10

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Buy. Fans of Contemporary Fiction or Realistic Fiction, as they call it, should absolutely check this book out. It's a unique and interesting read with a lyrical writing-style, a unique story, and interesting characters. I would definitely recommend it.

Have you read My Best Everything? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

1 comment:

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