I received an ARC from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Best Possible Answer
Author: E. Katherine Kottaras
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Summary (from Goodreads): 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 really surprised me! This book is all about overcoming difficulties and contains a main character who overworks herself. I didn’t know that it would be set at a pool, one of my favourite locations ever! I loved the mix of fun and seriousness and would recommend it if you are a fan of the same thing.
This book is all about dealing with hardship. After her ex leaks pictures of her, she overworks herself to the point of being hospitalized, and her parents announce divorce, Viviana takes the summer to calm down and work at the local pool. I loved how this book is light yet deals with serious topics and sadness. There is also a big theme of friendship and family, which is one of my favourite things in books. I would say that this book is perfect for curling up with on a rainy day.
Viviana is an interesting character who I really sympathized with. She deals with so much stress in her life and her family situation doesn’t help. I feel like AP students and academic overachievers will be able to relate to her, even if the situation is on the more extreme side. I admired Viviana’s determination to get through her issues and her ability to recognize that she should change her ways and not strive for perfection all the time.
I adored the setting in The Best Possible Answer. The book is set at an apartment building with a pool where Viviana works. In the building and across the street are these quirky neighbours that Viviana and her friends create backstories for. The pool is one of my favourite places to be and I was thrilled when it was introduced. Although it’s fall, it is still nice to read about summer and days in the sun.
The Best Possible Answer is a fun yet intense book with a perfectionist main character. I loved the setting of the pool and the summer vibes. I would recommend this book to those who like their contemporaries more on the serious side.