“Kim Culbertson is back with another fantastic new novel about what happens when you've been planning for the future, but everything falls apart now.
Mara James has always been a perfectionist with a plan. But despite years of overachieving at her elite school, Mara didn't plan on having a total meltdown during her calculus exam. Like a rip-up-the-test-and-walk-out kind of meltdown. And she didn't plan on a video of it going viral. And she definitely didn't plan on never wanting to show her face again.
Mara knows she should go back, but suddenly she doesn't know why she's been overachieving all these years. Impulsively, she tells her mom she wants to go live with her estranged dad in Tahoe. Maybe in a place like Tahoe, where people go to get away from everyday life, and wiht a dad like Trick McHale, a ski bum avoiding the real world, Mara can figure things out.
Only Tahoe is nothing like she thought. There are awesome new friends and hot boys and a chance to finally get to know Trick, but there are also still massive amounts of schoolwork. Can Mara stopping planning long enough to see the life that's happening right now?”
In the land of overachieving students and hyper competitive parents, there is Mara McHale. After an explosive video of her losing her mind and ripping apart Chemistry exams, she goes to live with her father in Tahoe. And what ensues is probably the best coming of age story I have read in a great long while.
Characters: beautifully written, I really am Mara (complete with 5 planners which all have checklists I live by in them!). Everything about Mara’s life is a list. What she loves, hates, what she eats, what to do while she’s in Tahoe. I can respect that. My brain works in the same way.
Trick, the distant father who punishes himself for what happened in the past by not being an active part of his daughters life.
Mara’s mom, the Uber mom who plans every single aspect of her kids lives. They get Google alerts or what they should be working on at any one time during the day. She was the one thing I hated about this book. That mom was obsessed and NEVER listened to what Mara wanted. “We decided you’re going.” Even though Mara said she didn’t want to. I hate parents like that. I will never parent my kids that way. They’d rather see their kids suffer and be “accomplished” than have kids who were happy with themselves. Just no.
Logan, Beck, Isabel, and all the friends up at Tahoe were absolutely my favorite part. They welcomes Mara into their fold and treated her as if she had always lived there. Totally awesome. I need friends like that!
The story line flowed effortlessly and didn’t have too many twists and turns. I loved the relationship that formed between Mara and Trick. They really formed something sustainable towards the end. I also enjoyed the slow burning romance and friendships. Mara really seemed to become a Tahoe native by the end of the story because of those relationships.
The ending was great, completely what I wanted from everything that had happened and I didn’t feel left wanting more. For a standalone, this totally took the cake in the ending department. I felt it all.
The swoons were strong and 2 “maybe” love interests, not really a triangle, which I enjoyed. Mara really felt with her heart and responded how you would expect someone with 2 different maybe crushes would. Nothing felt forced and pieced together.
Overall, I absolutely enjoyed this story! Mara needs to become my best friend and Logan can make me some pizza anytime!!
Looking for a great YA standalone? The Possibility of Now is the perfect choice!