Monday, November 7, 2016

Review: The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

 
The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine KottarasThe Best Possible Answer
by E. Katherine Kottaras
November 1, 2016
288 pages

Goodreads Summary:
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 toa 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.


Review

The Best Possible Answer was quite a surprising read. I was not expecting this book to be so heavy with touchy subjects. It's an incredibly emotional story about (making) mistakes but not letting them define you.

Each chapter of the story starts off with either an exam question or an advice on test-taking or college admission. I love the way they were incorporated into the story. They're very relevant to the plot and essential to learning about the characters. It was also a fun way to get a glimpse of what's ahead.

Viviana's life is pretty messed up. Her family's not exactly together and her personal life is not in a good place. Her overachieving personality gave way to panic attacks whenever she screws up. To minimize that along with some of the other awful things going on in her life, she kept to herself and denied her true feelings. It was unhealthy and I didn't like it one bit. I wanted her to just be honest. After discovering a big secret her emotions further spirals downward. I hated watching how depressed and resentful she became. That emotional hole she was in, I felt it too. It took some time but I applaud her for her eventual bravery. Those confrontations were not easy but she kept herself together enough to think for herself and finally be her own person.

Sammie, Vivi's best friend, is the best. She can be a bit over-the-top sometimes but she takes better care of Vivi than Vivi herself does. The two girls have their differences but they stood by each other during their toughest times. They are the definition of friends for life.

Now here goes my spoilery thoughts about one of the major driving points in The Best Possible Answer. What kind of an asshole is Vivi's father?!??? A gigantic one I tell you. He's the one with a messed up moral compass yet he has the audacity to push Vivi so hard and expect so much from her? I could not stand reading how he justified himself over what he's been doing all these years- having another family. I literally... I cannot... I was and still am, so mad! It is not okay for anyone to do that.

There wasn't much of a romance in the story besides there being a love interest for Vivi. Evan is an all-around nice guy who's patient and kind. He served as a gentle remainder that there are nice people in the world. People who won't judge you and just genuinely like you for who you are.

I couldn't stop thinking about Vivi and her story after finishing this book. The Best Possible Answer really turns the wheels in your head. It's a humble and heartfelt look at how to be yourself without letting other people and mistakes affect you. Just be you.

3.5 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.

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