Thursday 20 June 2019

ARC Review | Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Call It What You Want
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publication Date: 25th June 2019 by Bloomsbury YA
Format: ARC via Netgalley (384 pages)
Target Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
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Rob had it all – friends, a near-guaranteed lacrosse scholarship to college and an amazing family – but all that changed when his dad was caught embezzling funds from half the town. Now he's a social pariah.

Maegan always does the right thing. But when her sister comes home from college pregnant, she's caught between telling their parents the truth about the father and keeping her sister's trust.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a project, they form an unexpectedly deep connection. But Rob's plan to fix his father's damage could ruin more than their new friendship …


My Thoughts

"Sometimes when we're trying to protect the people closest to us, doing the right thing doesn't always look so clear." 

I really really enjoyed this book. It's exactly the kind of young adult contemporary that I love, further cementing that I have a bit of a thing for the 'two completely different high schoolers get paired up and fall in love' trope. This book is very similar to All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven which is a really good thing as it's one of my favourite books. It's got a resembling storyline and elements but whilst All The Bright Places focuses a lot more on grief and mental illness, Call It What You Want is very family orientated.

Both Rob and Meagan are dealing with major family issues. Rob's dad stole money from pretty much their entire town having severe consequences on their family and ultimately turning Rob into a social pariah. He's gone from being a popular athlete to being incredibly isolated. Meagan is trying to handle living up to her family's high expectations and a mistake she made last summer, who's family is in a bit of turmoil after her sister comes home from college pregnant. Both of these characters were very well written and even though this is a dual POV book, both sides of the story were fleshed out and detailed in pretty equal amounts.

I loved the romance between Rob and Maegan. It was well developed and organic, none of that insta-love that I hate and their scenes together were filled with chemistry. They really did give me the warm and fuzzies due to just how adorable they are. Rob is gorgeous and so respectful and sweet, made me wonder where all the guys like him were when I was in high school! I liked how realistic the relationship was portrayed as well, teenage relationships can sometimes be portrayed as a big cheesy lovefest but Kemmerer balances the romance with pure teenage lust which I think is important to show in young adult books. Sex in teenage relationships is normal and whilst nothing graphic happened it did have a great passionate scene that had my heart going.

Don't be fooled by the sweet looking cover though, this book definitely packs a punch when it comes to the more complex issues our characters are facing. Kemmerer brings up a lot of questions relating to moral choices and if it's right to do the wrong thing for the right reasons. Rob, especially has to face up to his actions and has to decide just how far he's willing to go to protect his family amid their worsening situation. It also looks at how the choices we make shape us into who we are and how much our mistakes define our future as Maegan spends a lot of time thinking about this during the book. This book has a lot of heavy content but ultimately it highlights how two lonely people find each other during their lowest points and begin to move forward again.

The only thing stopping me from giving this a full 5 stars is the fact that the end felt the tiniest bit 
rushed for me. I liked the ending but it was all wrapped up pretty quickly and I also felt that the last small section focused a lot more on Rob then it did on Maegan, I would've liked a little more detail regarding Meagan's situation. Overall though I really enjoyed this book and I'm going to seek out more by this author in the future. 

* I received an ARC copy via Netgalley in return for my honest opinion.  

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