Book Review: The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras

Title: The Best Possible Answer
Author: E. Katherine Kottaras
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published:  November 1st, 2016
Page Count: 272 pages
Format: eARC
Source: From publisher via Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review


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 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 Reader's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars

.This review can also be found on YA Books Central.


The Best Possible Answer is a book that's been on my radar for several months and now that I've had the chance to read it, I am pleased to say that it lived up to my expectations. I've been searching for a book that would give me insight to what happens when a person works herself (or himself) too hard trying to please everyone's expectations but her own while facing other earth-shattering problems, and this book gave me just that. It's down-to-earth, extremely relatable, and inspiring!

What I liked:

First of all, I loved the chapter headers. They're about College application and essay tips, even a few sample questions about Vivianna (the main character) for the SAT's. They were funny, light, informative, and oddly the perfect way to describe Vivi's situation (including how her mind works!).

I had high expectations for Vivi's character, yet I was still surprised at how strong she ends up being. She has her lows in the story, like any other person in the world, but she eventually surpasses them. However, if I had to name one specific thing about her, it's how she deals with her panic attacks. I have never experienced one, but I have reached high levels of stress to the point of getting sick due to overwork, and it's not pretty. And yet, Vivi lives through this over and over again as her world is shattered by secrets too close to home. That takes a lot of strength and I admire her for it.

Another great thing is her friendship with Sammie. Having grown up together, these two girls are inseparable and always there for each other. They might face a few struggles along the way, but I love how they eventually work it out. It's seriously the kind of friendship we all wish to have in our lives!

Vivi also spends a lot of time working at her building's pool along with Sammie, and it worked as the perfect setting to give this book a great summer vibe. It allows to meet so many more awesome characters--like Professor Cox--and a chance to escape the turmoil of being at Vivi's house. 

What left me wanting more:

The romance. Even though I did like Evan and Vivi as a couple, I wish to have seen more of them together. The cover alone suggests this book has a cute romance in it, but there wasn't that much. I wanted more Evan, more feels, and why not? more kisses (or near-kisses, I'm not picky). I understand that there were more important things to handle than a summer romance, but since it is brought up, it's hard not to want more.

I also feel that there's more to Professor Cox's story. He's such an interesting character and it would have been great to learn more about him, though I did love every scene he appears in!

Final Verdict:

The Best Possible Answer is a noteworthy read that deals with serious themes like cheating, anxiety, and family issues but also one that is light enough to have readers smiling throughout its pages as the main character pushes through each of her problems. It's heartfelt, inspiring, and definitely one I would recommend to readers of all ages.

2 comments:

  1. Sounds pretty good :)
    I hope I will stumble over it in my local booksstore, then I would definetely pick it up.
    Great review, perfect length.

    Greets, Ella
    http://passionandpages.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's my first time hearing about this book, actually! I'm so glad you liked it :) This sounds like an insightful and interesting read! Fabulous review, as always <3

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    ReplyDelete