Saturday, February 28, 2015

Review: My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp

My Best Everything
by Sarah Tomp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Pub Date: March 3rd, 2015

Synopsis from Amazon:
Luisa "Lulu" Mendez has just finished her final year of high school in a small Virginia town, determined to move on and leave her job at the local junkyard behind. So when her father loses her college tuition money, Lulu needs a new ticket out.

Desperate for funds, she cooks up the (illegal) plan to make and sell moonshine with her friends. Quickly realizing they're out of their depth, they turn to Mason, a local boy who's always seemed like a dead end. As Mason guides Lulu through the secret world of moonshine, it looks like her plan might actually work. But can she leave town before she loses everything?

My Best Everything is Lulu's letter to Mason--but it a love letter, an apology, or a good-bye?

My Review:
Honestly, I wasn't expecting to love this book as much as I did. I was intrigued by the narrative structure--that the book is written as a letter--and the small southern town setting. But I figured, how much could I really care about people making moonshine? Well, it turns out I can care a lot.

I loved Lulu's character. She was set up as the good, innocent girl, and her innocence was evident in her interactions with Mason. But then the lengths she was willing to go through, breaking the law, to get money for college made her super interesting. I loved her best friend Roni, too. And how Roni was satisfied with small town life until she became the singer for a band that was going on tour. The fact that Lulu and Roni work in a junk yard is cool too. And, of course, Mason was totally adorable. When he first meets Lulu, he lets her puke in his motorcycle helmet. The fact that he still likes her after that just makes him even more awesome.

Because the book is set up as a letter to Mason written after this summer, the whole story has a sort of foreboding tone. I was waiting for the really bad things to happen. I don't want to give anything away, but then ending was different than I expected and I loved it!

When I'm really into a story, I sometimes forget to mark the quotes I like, but here's two:

"I hated not knowing everyone that had ever known you. I wanted to know you best."

Lulu's mother talks about Lulu's dad, saying, "But we're better together than either of us on our own."
And Lulu says, "If I believed in love, it might look something like that."

Ahhh the romance! This story was just so unique and sweet and I loved it! And as a bonus for me, when I got to the acknowledgements I realized that the author is a VCFA grad too! VCFA world domination is the best.

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