"The Best Possible Answer" takes place during the summer between Viviana (Vivi)'s junior and senior years of high school, when her life undergoes a huge overhaul. The book begins when Vivi is on the way home after bombing her AP exams and crashes her bike. She is stressed from being unable to please her father with her academic work, the fact that he has left (for which she blames her failures), and a lingering photograph of her that she had sent her cheating ex-boyfriend Dean privately. After the accident, doctors advise that she slow down and take it easy. However, Vivi has a plan for her life and education- she wants to go to Stanford like her father- and so she has to work hard and make sure things get done.
After the doctor's advice and her parents' repeal of the summer engineering camp she was planning to attend, Vivi takes an easy summer job with her best friend, Sammie, to check people in at the pool for their apartment complex. The summer doesn't go as easily as she expects when she meets a boy, Evan, who coincidentally had been her first kiss 4 years before. Sammie is interested in Evan, but he seems more interested in Vivi- this threatens to tear the BFFs apart. Vivi isn't sure she's ready to trust anyone again after Dean- and besides, she needs to buckle down and prep for college applications.
The book is not really about Vivi and Evan's relationship (or lack thereof). In fact, the winning relationship here is the BFF connection between Sammie and Vivi- their friendship is incredibly close and strong. They help each other through the many events that threaten to break each girl apart. Vivi has a lot to deal with and a lot about herself and her family to come to terms with- everything is not as it seems. I admire the way her mother handles the situations that arise. Vivi has a strong fight-or-flight response to tough situations and this arises throughout, as well as shows the impacts on her family and especially her little sister Mila. I won't say much more so as not to include spoilers. Vivi really grows into her own throughout the book and learns about what she wants and what she values. These kinds of realizations don't come easy.
This is a book which deals with some pretty heavy issues for Vivi and for her family. It's well written and reads pretty quickly but is by no means easy. There are some big issues addressed in the book, even with other characters (such as Evan and Professor Cox). It's a good read and a quality lesson in how to figure out what you want and how to move on from big obstacles.
Please note that I received this book from the publisher through netgalley in exchange for my honest review.