My Best Everything is far from the best, but it does manage to cover everything a young adult novel could possibly cover. From romance and friendship to financial troubles and moonshine, this book has it all. Unfortunately, a slow-paced plot fits under “having it all,” and that’s just one of the issues I have with My Best Everything.
Luisa “Lulu” Mendez has just finished her senior year in a small town. Set on leaving her home behind for college, Lulu has no option but to illegally sell moonshine with her friends when her father loses her college tuition money. There’s just one problem– Lulu and her friends, Romi and Bucky, have no idea how to make moonshine. Thus begins the next step towards their initial success and ultimate downfall. Lulu turns to Mason to guide her through the secret world of moonshine. Yet will Lulu be able to leave town before she loses her money and her heart?
My Best Everything is described to walk the line between “toxic and intoxicating.” The book initially fulfills this promise. Sarah Tomp writes such beautiful prose that seems like seeping poetry. At times, the prose was the only motivation for my continuing the book. Tomp’s writing truly shows her skill and her understanding of the nuances of the English language.
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 it wouldn’t feel so uncertain. But I’m going back to the beginning on my own. To see what happened and why.
See, the way Tomp juxtaposes these brief phrases with longer sentences just blows my socks off. Honestly, this is raw talent.
If we compare Tomp’s writing with honey, we have to expand upon such an analogy. The plot develops at the pace of honey pouring out of a container – slow as heck. By the fiftieth page, you realize My Best Everything no longer walks the line between “toxic and intoxicating.” Instead, it’s crawling between boring and boringly toxic. If we condensed the book, the overall plot would be okay. Though Tomp’s novel at times seems dreamlike in the way it meanders, Tomp shows that even in dreams people pay for their actions. Yet I feel like some of the characters didn’t pay enough.
Speaking of the characters, I simply was not impressed, especially not with the main character. Other than the fact that she makes moonshine, Lulu has no defining characteristics. She’s easy enough to relate to, but she lacks the charm and charisma to make her an interesting character. Add in the fact that all the other characters seem to blend in with her, and you’ll begin to understand why I have trouble loving this book.
This being said, I’m eager for the author’s next work. She has the talent to become the next best-selling YA author.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (March 3rd, 2015)
Length: 400 pages (Hardcover)
ISBN #: 9780316324786