Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp

By 9:10 AM , , , , ,

My Best Everything
    by: Sarah Tomp

Publication Date: Mar. 3, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC provided via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 400 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars

You say it was all meant to be. You and me. The way we met. Our secrets in the woods. Even the way it all exploded. It was simply a matter of fate.

Maybe if you were here to tell me again, to explain it one more time, then maybe I wouldn’t feel so uncertain. But I’m going back to the beginning on my own. To see what happened and why.

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 (definitely illegal) plan to make and sell moonshine with her friends, Roni and Bucky. Quickly realizing they’re out of their depth, Lulu turns 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 – including her heart?

The summer walks the line between toxic and intoxicating. My Best Everything is Lulu’s letter to Mason – though is it an apology, a good-bye, or a love letter?

 
 
This was definitely a different read for me. I am all for contemporaries and the premise of this one just sounded so unique, what with the moonshine making aspect of it all. It was a little different reading this, as the main character, Lulu is writing TO Mason and uses second person when it comes to him. As interesting as this one was, it just lacked a certain spark for me. I had trouble with the romance, and when it boiled down to it, I felt Lulu was selfish and undeserving of Mason's affections.
 
I really did feel for Lulu and understand her plight. She is desperate and will do whatever it takes to get her life back on track. She refuses to become a permanent fixture of Dale, Virginia. Her way out comes in the form of college in San Diego. However, when her father informs her they simply can't afford it anymore, Lulu will not accept that everything she's worked so hard for is suddenly coming down around her. Working in a junkyard with her best friend Roni, a still is brought in, thus starting Lulu's crazy plan to make moonshine as a means of earning money. However, Lulu, Roni, and Roni's boyfriend Bucky, don't know the first thing about making moonshine. Bucky's friend, Mason on the other hand....
 
Lulu turns to Mason for help and what agrees as a small favor ends up turning into more. I felt for Mason, because at 19 years old he really doesn't have much going for him. He is a recovering alcoholic for one, and has no plans of leaving Dale. Lulu ends up finding herself enjoying spending her time with him and starts to develop feelings for him, even though she knows they have to be fleeting, what with her leaving as soon as the summer ends. I just didn't like that Lulu pressured Mason into the position she did. Knowing he struggles with alcohol, he ends up being the main player in the moonshine operation, mainly because it's in his family's blood to do so.
 
Lulu is also quite impulsive. Again, I realize her desperation far outweighs her logic, but good grief. If I were conducting an illegal operation, I would probably listen a bit more to the person who has actually done this before and knows the right way of doing things so they don't get caught! She wanted to be in on everything and makes deals herself, thus exposing them to unreliable sources. I do think she genuinely cared for Mason, but I just didn't feel the overwhelming chemistry between them that I would have liked.
 
I do like the way Tomp handled Lulu's best friend Roni's storyline though. Roni feels she's going nowhere and will end up marrying her boyfriend Bucky and that will be it. However, when opportunity presents itself, Lulu encourages Roni to pursue more, something Roni only thought Lulu would have. Roni ends up finding something she's passionate about and that will take her places- not condemning her to a life where she would be settling. I was really pleased to see that in the book, as I really liked Roni and how vibrant she was.
 
Overall, this was definitely not a bad read for me, but I wasn't crazy about it either. Like I said, the spark just wasn't there for me. I was engaged, but not blown away. The underlying thrill of getting caught was very prevalent through the characters, which transferred to me the reader though, so I did really enjoy that. The ending is a bit open ended in terms of the romance, but overall I was satisfied with the direction it took.
 
 

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14 comments

  1. This one is on my TBR, but it's not real high up on the list. Sounds like it might have a bit too much small-town drama for my liking. Great review! I'm sorry this one didn't work out better for you.

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    1. Yeah. I wasn't crazy about this one personally. I liked the unique premise, but the execution just didn't work for me. You'll have to let me know what you think once you get to it.

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  2. I keep hearing about this one, but mixed things! I LOVE the cover, but ultimately, I'm thinking it will be library for me!

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    1. I always library books I'm unsure about! The premise was so cool, that I couldn't resist downloading, so I'm bummed it wasn't really for me, b/c I've seen some really positive reviews too! If you read this one, you'll def have to tell me what you think!

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  3. Hmm definitely a unique premise for sure! Shame it didn't work out better for you but glad it engaged you enough to finish!

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    1. It was weird. I wanted to know how it would end, and instead of being my usual spoilery self, I just kept going. Haha. I didn't hate this one or really want to DNF it, which is surprising considering I was meh about it.

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  4. Like you, I was intrigued by moonshine, but the plot didn't capture me as much as I hoped it would. Apparently, I'm readily seduced by beautiful book covers hehehe. But kidding aside, I think the plot alone hinted it wasn't going to be such a happy story re: Lulu, but I'm glad that Roni's life has improved!

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    1. Haha me too! Awesome book covers always pull me in! So I was bummed this one didn't work out either. I am glad that it ended on a kind of hopeful note for Lulu though in terms of Mason.

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  5. This is new to me! Sucks that it didn't COMPLETELY work out. That type of narrator is always hit or miss, huh?

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    1. Yeah. I wish this one had given me a bit more but it was just a strange kind of read. It was hard to put into words what worked and didn't.

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  6. Hmmm I don't know if this one is for me since it was just kinda meh for you and I trust your judgement in all things. Great review as always!

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    1. Thanks hun! Yeah, I'd say to skip it honestly. I probably could have lived my life without having ever read it.

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  7. I felt the same way about this one - it was just a strange one to me. And I never really felt that connection between Lulu and Mason. It felt forced.

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    1. Right? Strange is a good word for it. I agree- it felt forced between Lulu and Mason and I didn't see the connection, even though I did want them together. LOL. I am all for happy endings with romances even if I liked them. I'm weird like that.

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