Review by Hadley Willman, age 17

The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras


AP exams—check
SAT test—check
College application—check
Date the wrong guy and ruin everything you’ve spent your whole life working for—check

Super-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has never had room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection is derailed when her boyfriend leaks a private picture of her to the entire school—a picture only he was supposed to see. Making matters worse, her parents are getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Vivi feels like a complete and utter failure.

Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new group of friends who know nothing about her past. That includes Evan, a gorgeous guy who makes her want to do something she never thought she’d do again: trust. For the first time in her life, Vivi realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that? While she tries to figure it out, she learns something they never covered in her AP courses: that it’s okay to be less than perfect, because it’s our imperfections that make us who we are. -publisher

Viviana is a normal girl with normal feelings and problems. As a junior in high school, her primary focus in life lies on trying to get straight A’s in order to please both her father and herself. Additionally, she is trying to move past the scandal of what happens when a girl breaks up with a boy who makes personal things she sent to him public. As a result of these two parts of her life, she now has undiagnosed anxiety that no one knows about, and there lies another hurdle, yet she tries to run around it instead of finding her way over.

Now, it’s summer and time for her to de-stress. She gets a job at the local pool, working alongside her best friend Sammie and a cute boy named Evan who she can’t bring herself to let in despite how quickly he proves himself. Add in parental troubles, raining tomatoes, the burden of keeping too much in for too long, and postcards from chihuahuas? Viviana has an eventful summer in store.

This book is relatable, more than most on the market today. Anxiety, divorce, misplaced trust, high school, what to do when you like a boy, and the general overwhelming totality of life itself are all real issues people deal with, and Viviana experiences all of them in a very short span of time. Every word set in her point of view is brutally honest and will hit every reader as being real, at least on some level. Her story is the story of the modern teen, one that is either yours, the one you need to read to understand, or both.

Overall, The Best Possible Answer is short and sweet, though it does leave some aspects of the plot feeling like they could be explored more, such as her possible relationship as well as the threat of her friend moving away. The novel reads like nonfiction with nothing feeling exaggerated or forced. The characters can all be related to and make the story enjoyable. I would give this book ⅘ stars and recommend it to those who need to know they’re not alone in feeling what they’re feeling.

Find this book in our catalogue: The Best Possible Answer


263 pages

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