Monday, March 19, 2018

#SuchAGingerRead: If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson

Howdy, friends! Last year I started a series on the blog titled "Such a Ginger Read" that highlights books I read that are definitely a me kind of book. Now, for those who don't know me, you may be wondering: What exactly IS a Ginger Read? There are lots of different ingredients to this type of story, but if it's got any of these: romance, emotional depth, set during the summer (bonus!), and/or a contemporary storyline, then you can definitely call it #SuchAGingerRead!

If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
Published: October 25, 2016 by Harlequin Teen
About the book: Readers of Sarah Dessen, Cammie McGovern and Morgan Matson will adore this thought-provoking, complex and romantic contemporary novel from debut author Abigail Johnson, about finding the strength to put yourself back together when everything you know has fallen apart.

When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.

Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.

With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . . [goodreads]

This book came highly recommended to me by a trusted friend, so I already had high hopes going into. It's a scary thing though when your expectations are way up there, and you're wondering if the book can actually pull it off.

This book can. And it did.

When you look at the overall storyline on paper, there is A LOT of drama here. And I mean, a whole lot of angsty-drama. Usually that would steer me away. However, this goes to show what a brilliant writer Abigail Johnson is because she was able to weave me through the drama and connect all the dots, at just the right moments.

I felt truly connected to Jill and this fateful summer she had to endure. It's rare I see a parent in YA, especially the mother, painted in such a poor light. I was disgusted with her actions, angry with her choices, and finding it so incredibly hard to forgive her -- just as Jill, her daughter, did. That, to me, is excellent writing. I struggled through accepting Jill's relationships with both Sean and Daniel. In the end though, as I saw the whole picture unfolded, as messed up as their relationships were, it totally made sense in my eyes. Sometimes the beauty in a story doesn't present itself until the very end, when it's meant to.

I am claiming this novel as #SuchAGingerRead for its emotional depth, filled with all its ups and downs as the story takes the reader on a journey through heartache and beauty. It's definitely not an easy read, but its by far a rewarding one. And sometimes, those are the best kind.

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