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?
Thanks to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest review.
Uh oh, I was really loving this book until the very end, unfortunately. Damn, I hate it when that happens! So frustrating!
Despite that, there were a ton of great things about Sarah Tomp's debut. The writing style was very different, but that is a big part of what kept me reading. Being written in the second person was a little confusing at times, but I found that I needed to know what was going to happen to Lulu, and why she was telling the story that way to Mason. Did Lulu get in trouble with the moonshine business and now she was writing a letter to Mason from prison? Did Mason end up getting killed? Or did Lulu make enough money to get to college and now she was writing a letter to him from California? I really had no idea which direction things would go, and the author kept me guessing right until the very end - I love when that happens with a book! I also loved how unique this book is, and the way the author created this amazing world all her own. Lulu's town and situation is unlike any other I've ever read before, and I always appreciate that in a book. I also loved Lulu's personality, and her friendships with Roni and Bucky. The three of them were so much fun, and they reminded me a bit of my group of friends from high school. Mason was a very different love interest - his whole family and upbringing were just so far removed from what I'm used to, but completely fascinating at the same time. Again, love!
Buuuuut, I was so very disappointed with the ending. Not so much with what happened, but with how the pacing seemed to change so abruptly. The book kept up a good, even pace right up until the very end, and then frantically rushed rushed rushed to a jarring finish. Say what?! What was that? What even happened? I don't get it! Ugh! I hated how the author did that, it didn't do any of those wonderful characters justice! So what was going to be a four star read for me ended up getting three stars instead.
That said, I might be tempted to read more from Sarah Tomp in the future because thinking back, I enjoyed about 98% of the time I spent with this book, and that is always a good thing!