Review: The Best Possible Answer

E. Katherine Kottaras - The Best Possible Answer
Published: November 1, 2016 by St. Martin's Press
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 272
Find on: Amazon, Book Depository, 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.

Totally agree with Lola. This would've made the perfect beach read. It's a shame it wasn't released during the summer, but I'm glad I read it now because I'm currently in the middle of a semester and it's very fitting of the season.

Viviana's life isn't the easiest. Her father has recently ditched the family for another woman, her mother has an early form of cancer, and after sending the wrong kinda pic to the wrong kinda guy, she decides to solely focus on her education and quit the idea of romance altogether. But when she crosses paths with a boy she once knew, she questions everything she once stood by.

This book seriously handles a lot: illness, infidelity, a "pic" scandal, anxiety, and it tackles most of the topics well, albeit rushed. Although, maybe it's just me, but I would've preferred Viviana to re-apply for her next semester, or party with her friends. I mean, I'm all for romance and great kiss scenes, but I hate for just that to be the basis of her life.

The younger-sister inclusion is beginning to annoy me, ala Kitty from TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE. Little siblings who spit wisdom and try to involve themselves in the family drama, but they're still in elementary school. Mila was an unbelievable pest. When she wasn't arguing, she was crying, so she could be included in the tea spillage.

Also, I think it's cheating logic to keep your sidechick/secret partner in a complete different town, but that's also just me. Viviana catches her father, doing something a man in a committed relationship with grown children should never do, and he can't even provide an excuse.

Overall, it's an adorable read and I could mostly relate to Viviana's struggle. I feel like Viviana's going to be a favorite MC amongst a few because she's so determined and headstrong, especially in regards to her schoolwork, and the mother-daughter relationship between Viviana and her mother is so, SO genuine and darling. Also, this publishes in my birthday month! Is that not exciting or is that not exciting? Come on. As if you needed to fill your shelves with any more YA Contemporary, but is that ever truly a bad thing?