Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 585
thought-provoking and emotional YA contemporary
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
WHERE IT ALL LANDS is an emotional YA contemporary read about the ripples of our choices. A seemingly random decision can lead to major consequences. The book is told in two parts, heads and tails. Stevie is the new girl at school, and she is finding her footing when she meets BFFs, Shane and Drew. Both Shane and Drew like her right away, and they each want to ask her out. Playing a game they have since they were young and couldn't decide something, they decide to flip a coin to see who will get to ask her out first. The book first starts with heads, if Drew won, and then goes to tails, if Shane won.

The first part of the book is told in alternating perspectives with Stevie and Drew, and the second part is alternating between Stevie and Shane. It all begins with a funeral, but the book must be read to understand who has died and the events that led to this tragedy. Could a random decision, like a coin toss, have changed their fate?

What I loved: This is such a unique and interesting premise. I found the look at the two potential scenarios really thought-provoking. Although it seemed like a small thing, this little decision changed the way they all interacted and those led to bigger changes and so on. The question also becomes whether you would end up with the right person, even if it starts out wrong, though this is a slower-building theme. Ultimately, the book completely broke my heart, and I really enjoyed the emotional ride and feels.

The three perspectives ultimately give the reader a lot of insight into the main characters. I found them all compelling, and I appreciated their personal challenges in addition to the romance. Stevie is frustrated about being moved around and her father's disapproval of her aspiring to be a musician. Coming to terms with her father and their family's lifestyle is a challenge for her, particularly considering all the people she has left behind and those she feels that it is hard to get close to for knowing that she might have to leave them as well. Drew feels betrayed by his parents, since his father left and his mother has had trouble reaching out to him. The feeling is even worse as everyone is interested in him for the connections his father has. Shane is awkward and bullied by some awful guys at school. He is trying to find his way and his courage. I found these stories to be compelling as well, and they really kept the book moving.

Final verdict: Heartfelt, emotional, and thought-provoking, WHERE IT ALL LANDS is a consuming YA contemporary about the power of a single choice. Recommend for fans of AMELIA UNABRIDGED, AGAIN AGAIN, and IF I STAY.
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