Saturday, February 7, 2015

For Your TBR Pile - My Best Everything

My Best Everything
By Sarah Tomp
Published: March 3, Little, Brown For Young Readers

From GoodReads
: 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?

Thank you GoodReads and LBKids for the eARC!

My Thoughts:

I've wanted to read this book forever! I remember reading the PW announcement when it sold and thinking that I hadn't ever thought about moonshining as a hook for a YA. I was so excited to see how this book pulled it off.

What I really loved most about this book was how it captured the panicked feel of being stuck in a small town. Tomp did a great job developing characters who had limited options outside of just poverty--because of their family ties, lack of drive or fear of change. I connected to Lulu right away once she found out her college fund was depleted and her dreams of leaving Dale, VA were squashed.

The book reads as a letter to Mason, which I really liked because I'm really into finding different structural ways to tell a story. My only note was that sometimes the tense slipped (because she's writing about past events through the present-tense letter) and it pulled me out of the story. This was something I could adjust to, but it might take some getting used to when you first start reading.

Mason was a fascinating love interest. I really loved the way Tomp wrote about his addiction, something we don't see enough of in YA, in my opinion. I thought his daily battle to stay sober--while making moonshine--and his deep love of his family's craft came through so well. His cousin, Seth, was a great villain and I wished he was around a little more.

Overall, though, I really liked this book and thought it was a fresh concept with an exciting hook. The ending (no spoilers) was just perfect for me. 

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