My Best Everything
by Sarah Tomp
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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?
From the cover (the couple on the truck), to the setting (small-town Virginia), to the first lines of this book ("The ingredients for moonshine are ordinary. Innocent."), I had high hopes that I would love My Best Everything. I do and not only for these reasons. I loved the characters and their friendships and the fun times they had together, but also all of the complications the experienced. The book takes place the summer after graduating high school and this is their last summer together and they are starting to make major life plans.
You go tubing down the river with your friends. You take long drives on country roads with no destination, you just drive because it makes you feel free. You hang out with your best friends, doing things that you know will get you in trouble, but luckily, you never get caught. You do to field parties that, for whatever reason, never get busted by the cops. You fall in love with the place you are from and make some of the best memories of your life. But you continue to wonder is this all you will ever know.
I have to admit seeing the names of towns I know mentioned throughout the book was a head trip for me. (I mean these are tiny towns, really) I tried to figure out if some of the places were real places that I know, places that I've seen. This made me feel connected to the book and absolutely adore it. Because I got it. And I knew this character. She was the teenage me. I knew the desperation she felt trapped in this small town that didn't seem to have a lot to offer. I knew the feeling of wanting to escape and be in a new place where I could be myself where people understood me. And I also knew what it was like to meet that boy who colored my world in unexpected ways and made me reconsider everything.
I loved My Best Everything for the friendships, the romance, for the fun. I loved it for the nostalgic feeling I had. I connected with this book on such a personal level. I can't wait to find out what my friends think about it and how their experience reading it differs from mine. There is so much to take away from My Best Everything and I think each reader will find their own connection to it.
Disclaimer: I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I was not compensated in any way other than the ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.