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The Best Possible Answer by E. Katharine Kottaras

Sunday, October 16, 2016

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.

Goodreads Summary

As a perfectionist myself...I feel bad for all the other perfectionists in the world. Our greatest enemeis are nearly always ourselves. Viviana has a set plan to follow through high school that she believes will lead to the best possible outcome. Unfortunately, and it's hard to believe a perfectionist wouldn't think of the ramifications, Viv makes the wrong choice of trusting her boyfriend with rather sexy pictures. When he brags and shares those pictures her perfect world caves in and she is left without a lifeboat in the sea of disaster that is her life. In order to move on, Viv must learn to trust again and to realize that nothing in life can ever be perfectly perfect.

I liked Viv's character for the most part, but I often found her more of a bad decision maker than I thought possible (if she truly was a perfectionist). I hated her goofy and dumb decisions and wished I could reach in the book and fix them. The reader will often see how something is going to end a mile away. I understood the message in the book: don't obsess, be happy. It's a good message for the most part (some things do call for a little perfectionism, people). I felt terrible for Viv when her family began to fall apart. The author very accurately portrays a take on how a young girl would feel through all of the rough parts. Overall, I found this to be a decent, intriguing read.

3 1/2 Stars

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