Review by Jasmine Sov, 13

Better Than the Best Plan By Lauren Morrill

Maritza Reed always has a plan for everything. Then again, when your life is about jumping from house to house and living under an enlightenment-obsessed mom, you always need a back-up plan. That is, until Ritzy’s mom bails on her to find her bliss in Mexico. No problem, seeing as Ritzy’s almost 18 and highly capable of living by herself. However, Social Services doesn’t exactly have the same mindset.
Ritzy is put into foster care after someone tips off Social Services that she’s living by herself. She’s sent to the house of a couple who’s actually met her before‒ but as a baby. As Ritzy explores her new life and digs into her past, she can’t help but notice the cute guy next door. And when her old life collides with her new one, can Ritzy plan for the worst but still hope for the best?
This feel-good comfort read was delightful to read. It’s not a roller coaster, but more like a road trip. It takes the time to stop in different places and to just enjoy the moment. It also features many squeal-worthy romantic moments. But while most of the characters, like Ritzy and her mother, were very nicely developed, I wish that Pete, Ritzy’s adoptive dad, got a little more airtime. There’s a lot of untapped story opportunity in his character, and I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t put to use.
I particularly enjoyed the deeper aspect of the relationship between Ritzy and her mother. This book really explores the concept of how parents do things for the right reasons, like how Ritzy’s mother runs off to Mexico. Initially, it feels like she’s not being a good parent, but later on we discover that she’s finally trying to support her daughter by finding a good job. Ritzy and her mother have a true, very real-feeling parent-child relationship. This reviewer’s heart was touched.
4 stars.

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Catalog Number: YA FIC MORRILL,L

324 pages

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