Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day

The Possibility of Somewhere
by Julie Day
Read: August 29 - 31, 2016
Published: September 6, 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Netgalley (thank you St. Martin's!)
Category: YA, contemporary, Pride & Prejudice retelling 

Book Description: Together is somewhere they long to be.

Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted-- he's admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There's only one obstacle in Ash's path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?

All Eden's ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college -- and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks. . . When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream -- one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?

Eden Moore is a smart, hard working but poor girl living in a trailer with her (awful) father and (loving) stepmother. She wants nothing more than to get out of town through college, but her dad isn't making that easy for her. Eden hasn't gotten where she is by playing it safe. 

Ash Gupta is a wealthy boy from a close but controlling family with a lot of expectations on him. As a result he's a bit of a control freak and plays it safe more times than he should.

All though high school, Eden and Ash have been competing for the top spot, and they've always been much more rivals than friendly competitors. That all heats up (and begins to change) their senior year when they both have their eyes on the same scholarship...and also on each other. 

I enjoyed

The pacing of this book felt rushed overall. But once I got into the story, I didn't mind that. Both Eden and Ash are fast movers and it matched their quick dialogue and overall characters and energy. Once I saw it, I enjoyed their connection, and I'm always up for an enemies romance, especially one that gives a nod to Pride and Prejudice like this one does. I've found that straight retellings don't work as well for me as stories that take themes from the original and rework them in a way that fits the current characters and set-up. I thought The Possibility of Somewhere did a good job at that. Although some things gave me pause, I also liked that poverty and race are discussed in a frank way.

From the start, I was able to easily connect to Eden. This girl works hard and keeps going, even though she has very little support - and then struggles to see it when it's there in front of her. I definitely wanted all the good things for her. Although I wasn't sure of the romance at first, I got into it. Despite Eden and Ash's very different backgrounds, I could see why they were attracted to each other. It seems very antagonistic at first but I was able to pick up the thread of it and enjoyed their interactions. One of my favorite parts of this book is when they have to act out a modern adaptation of a scene in Pride & Prejudice for one of their classes. 

Although it began sort of abruptly, I enjoyed Eden's new friendship with Mundy, and I loved Eden's relationship with her stepmom and the way they grow closer as the story goes on. Watching Eden realize she really did have a support network, was rewarding. 

I didn't 

I struggled with the fact that Eden and Ash are competing for the same scholarship. I just couldn't understand how Eden could be dating Ash while that happened. I wanted so many good things for her, and I began to resent him a bit. Perhaps that is unfair, but I believed her needs were greater, and not being inside his head, I was not as able to connect to his perspective. 

Then something happens around 3/4 thru the book where I lost the thread of the romance and also Ash's Darcy connection, and I was never able to fully get it back. I ended the book feeling somewhat lukewarm about him and their romance. I think some of this because I was able to connect so well to Eden, and not as well to Ash. Although I understood his behavior from a practical, objective standpoint, none of that helped me with his relationship with Eden. (spoiler) What I needed to feel good about this romance at the end, was for the 'grand gesture' to have been done by Ash, and not Eden going to the airport after him. Once again, it is her saving everything around her. Although, I like that the author was trying to play with gender expectants, I needed it to be the other way around for this particular situation.(end spoiler) 

I also felt like this book tried to add a few too many themes and several of them ended up feeling rushed at the end. I was unsettled with the non resolution between Eden and her dad (I don't like the message that sent), and I'm not sure why the Tiffany plot was added in this book. 

Despite the rushed beginning, for 3/4 of this story, I'd say this was a good modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice, which does a great job at playing with the original themes in a contemporary way.  Although the story ends solidly, some elements in the last quarter made it hard for me to love this story and romance more than I did. However, I'll definitely be on the lookout for anything this author writes next. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone 


  1. Hmm, I'm curious about this since we so rarely see YA which features an immigrant household and this book really seems to have a good set-up to discuss priviledge. It doesn't really sound like it does that, though, and the issues you had with this are ones I can see myself having too. Will have to think on this one some more, but great review, Lauren! :)

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  3. This one sounds intriguing to me. I'm definitely going to give it a go. Thanks for the great review!

  4. Lovely review Lauren. <3 Yay for enjoying parts of it :D As you know, I was also pretty disappointed with this one. Sigh. I just didn't care for the romance or any of the characters, haha :) But I'm glad you cared for the girl. <3


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