Author: Sarah Tomp
Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Classification: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Source: e-galley via NetGalley (Thanks Little Brown!)
Read: February 2015
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?
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***I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
I definitely found this story to be unique and interesting. Quite unlike any others I have read before.
Lulu and her friends, Roni and Bucky, have finally graduated from High School. Each are looking forward to the future, but must make it through the summer first. Lulu is excited to be getting out of her small hometown, Dale, and attending the college of her dreams. Far away from Dale! Until she finds out that all her college money is gone. Lulu and her friends come up with a plan to come up with the money that she needs to get away. But first she must convince local boy, Mason, to help. Will she make enough money to go to college? Will she fall in love? Will they get caught for doing something so illegal? So many things to find out while reading this fascinating debut story!
One of my favorite things about this story was how it was written.
The story is told from Lulu's point of view. But what is unique about that is the way it is told from her point of view. As a letter. Everything has already happened, but we learn the entire story from a letter that Lulu is writing to Mason. For me, this made the story feel even more personal.
We hear about the events (and some looking back reflection) from Lulu and I really loved reading the story this way!
The story itself is also entertaining. I found it easy to read and was really wanted to find out what was going to happen. It is a slow type story meaning it isn't packed with action (though there is some). I enjoyed reading about how they came up with the idea and all the things that they had to do to get the idea off the ground. I also was worried a lot about them getting caught.
I really liked the characters. They all felt real to me. They aren't perfect and each character has flaws and their own personal challenges that they need to face and overcome. And each character has their own reason for why they become involved with making moonshine.
Lulu is easy to relate to (at least for me). She has always been the good girl, doing what is asked of her and pretty much never getting into trouble. Then things start changing for her after she graduates high school. I like Lulu's determination to doing anything and everything that she can to be able to achieve her dreams. Sure, I don't really agree with doing something illegal to make money. There are a lot of other things going on in her life besides making the moonshine though. She is working, attending church, dealing with family stuff and she meets Mason. Plus, the things that come up with her friends. Overall, I think she is a well developed character, full of determination. I think she is a good friend and I like the relationships she has.
Mason is another interesting character. There was quite a bit to learn about Mason as the story progressed. And he isn't your typical bad boy character. He has been through a lot in the past and has a lot of challenges to face during this story. There are things that he isn't proud of and he tries to make things right. I love that he is trying to do better for himself and that we see that it isn't an easy path for him. He has struggles, but we also get to see his strength and how that grows. I really like the relationship between him and Lulu. As well as, the friendships between the four characters.
Roni and Bucky are a couple and they were both also interesting characters. I enjoyed their relationship and the struggles that they face as being a couple. The challenges of being together but also being individuals. Roni is a great best friend to Lulu and I really love their friendship. I also really liked Roni being able to find something that makes her happy.
I recommend giving this story a read. It is unique and interesting. I enjoyed reading to find out what was going to happen to the characters, their lives, and whether they were going to get caught for making the moonshine. It is a great coming of age story. The characters felt realistic to me and were easy for me to care for.