THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER follows Vivi, a young over-achieving student who wants to make her parents proud. After a bad incident with her ex-boyfriend, bombing her SATs, and falling asleep riding her bike. Vivi’s plans slowly begin to unravel, causing panic attacks and melt downs. From the very beginning I fell in love with Vivi as a character. All she wanted was to be “perfect” but she was far from it. What most drew me to her was how flawed she was. Here was this character who made these bad decisions, who lost control, who failed and you see how much of a toll this is taking on her. But her need to keep going, her need to find herself and what she wants is very much what had me flipping the pages. A lot of people, myself included saw will see themselves in Vivi. The choices she makes and ultimately where she ends up. Kottaras did an amazing job of bringing her to life. Giving us this flawed character and letting us watch as she grew and came in to her own as a person.
THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWER focuses mostly on Vivi. The choices she makes and how those choices good or bad will shape her. Watching Vivi go from being afraid to fail to someone who accepted who she was, really made this book stand out. I loved her for the flaws she made. They way she never quite felt good enough. It was heartbreaking and tough to read, but so worth it. Kottaras took me on an emotional rollercoaster with Vivi and I couldn’t be happier for it.
Sammie and Vivi’s friendship was not something I enjoyed at first. The whole drama with a boy and what-not caused me to not like Sammie very much. What changed my mind was the way Sammie had Vivi’s back. She was there, despite being mad at each other or getting in to fights, she was there. Every time they fought it cause my anxiety to go up, but they never stopped being friends. The focus wasn’t on them becoming friends again. It was very much on Vivi and her growth. In the end I found myself in love with their friendship and very happy with the way that it was written. I am and always will be here for female friendships!
In general the way Kottaras portrays the relationships in her book, had me crying but also had me so in love. The conversations and the thoughts that Vivi thought her mom had, was so heartbreaking and real. There’s this strain on their relationship that doesn’t allow them to have real, tough conversations with each other. Her mother wants to protect her and give her a better life than the one she had, but because we only see through Vivi’s eyes, we don’t see that.
A little side note, Kottaras’s chapter headers were just the cutest. Every chapter had a different test question or college admissions tip. It was very clever and cute way of going in to each chapter. It was also not something I’ve ever seen before.
What left me wanting more
The lack of more interactions between Evan and Vivi. I really liked what they had between each other, and I would have loved to see more. To learn more about Evan and get a bit more on what his home life was like. Plus I always really enjoyed their interactions between each other. Their back and forth, and their flirting (well Evan’s flirting) was the best. Ultimately I loved that it focused more on Vivi, I just would have loved to see more smooching!
Last thing that left me wanting more was that ending. Vivi has grown as a character. She’s stood up to her father. She’s learned who she is and she is accepting that. I just wish I could have seen where she ended up. Did she get into college? What college? How are her and Evan doing? Just a couple things that an epilogue would have been perfect for! I guess leaving it up to my imagination isn’t a bad way to end the book!
Overall I thought this book was an adorable, and at times heartbreaking, quick read. I sat down in one day and read this thing cover to cover. I loved the characters, the growth and the strength in this book. Kottaras writes some amazing characters that I could easily fall in love with forever. I think young girl, young women, and mother alike will fall for this book. There is so much good in this book, I can’t recommend it enough.