Published by HarperCollins on March 17th 2015
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Edelweiss
One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.
And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?
Hasn’t everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.
This has been one of my most anticipated debuts of 2015 for a long time. Because really, who among us hasn’t wondered what our lives would be like if we had taken another road, made an alternative choice, done something just a little bit differently? I pretty much ask myself this every day, so the topic of this book was appealing to me from the start.
Some things worked, and a few didn’t. Overall, I liked the book, and I really only had one actual issue with it.
- I enjoyed the different viewpoints of Fiona and Fi. Neither was always likable, but I mean, neither is anyone else. Both Fionas had a habit of feeling bad for themselves and wallowing a bit, but no one is perfect, and I probably would have felt sorry for myself too. But apart from that, they were quite different people, though they shared some similar characteristics. It kind of brought up the nature versus nurture debate, and whether our experiences define us.
- The secondary characters were intriguing too, since a lot of them overlapped in both Fionas’ lives. But as she was different, so were they. I then started questioning the impact and influence of those around us on our personalities.
- The plot was (predictably) character driven, since the point was exploring what would happen if Fiona hadn’t had the accident. I liked that it spanned a pretty long period of time, because I think it gave more insight into both girls’ characters. There was a lot of focus not just on romantic relationships, but friendships and family relationships as well (quite possibly more of a focus on the latter two than the first).
- Basically, this book made me think a lot, which I appreciate in a book. It made me consider the importance events have in our lives, the importance other people’s interactions and reactions to us have in our lives… pretty much it made me question how every single experience brought me to where I am. That’s heavy stuff!
The Not As Good:
- I really only have one complaint, but it is a kind of big one: I don’t think it is a spoiler, per se, but I will mark it as such just in case. View Spoiler »The book didn’t actually connect the “what if” part to “real” life as I’d hoped it would. I mean, yes, it did answer the question about what would have happened if Fiona hadn’t had the accident, and what Fi’s life would have been like, etc., but I had been hoping for a bit more cohesion, and I didn’t get it. Perhaps this is my problem for assuming Fiona as the “real” character, maybe I am looking at it incorrectly, but either way, I wanted Fi’s story to reach her. « Hide Spoiler
Bottom Line: I enjoyed the book while reading it, and I definitely had feels on more than one occasion. I think that the separate lives of Fiona and Fi were handled quite well, and the way things played out was incredibly plausible. If the “real world” application piece had been there, this probably would have been a home run for me, but it was still worth reading for sure!
Okay, spill: Is there any event in your life that you really, really wonder what would have happened if it had gone differently? (I know, we are getting personal in here!)
I’ll tell you mine: I wonder what would have happened if I had gone to college somewhere I wanted to go instead of just going to the least scary place that fell into my parents’ “not home” rule.