*I was given an advanced reader’s copy of this book for an honest review.
The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Price: $9.99 (Kindle Edition); $11.72 (Hardcover)
Review: I absolutely adored this book! This is Julia Day’s first young adult (YA) contemporary romance novel and it was nothing short of amazing.
She did a phenomenal job with the writing, the plot, the characters and the romance. I read right though this book, so it was definitely a home run for me.
In The Possibility of Somewhere, we meet Eden Moore and Ash Gupta, two high school seniors. Eden and Ash are alike in the that they’re both the smartest kids in their grade (one is the valedictorian and the other is the salutatorian), but they are also very different in the way of how they got to the top and their motivation for staying at the top.
Ash is perfect. He’s beautiful, intelligent, nice and rich, which a lot of girls see as the total package. But, he’s also constantly striving for his parents approval and his parents want their son to, not only have the best, but to be the best. Ash is Indian (not Native American, but from India, the country) and, from what I understand, parental respect and approval is very important in their culture. Not saying that it isn’t in American culture, but I don’t think it carries as much weight as it does in other cultures, at least not in some households. Case in point, Eden’s relationship with her biological mother and father.
Speaking of Eden, she is the complete opposite of Ash. Although she is beautiful, she downplays her beauty with baggy clothes and a terrible attitude because she doesn’t want anyone to get close. The only thing that she flaunts is her intelligence. Eden is the self proclaimed loner that everyone considers trailer trash and stays far away from because of her determination to never get hurt again.
I loved the complexity of Eden’s character because there was so much going on with her. One minute she would be mean and swearing and the next she would be as sweet as pie, but I think it was all about who she was interacting with. I noticed that while in school, she was mean to anyone who approached her because of how they’d treated her in the past (with rumors and stuff), but when she was talking to her stepmom, Marnie, or the two little ones that she frequently babysat, Kurt and Marta, she was as sweet as ever.
I think she knew that they would never judge her for someone else’s choices. They had already proven that they were on her side, so she had no reason to doubt them. But, with all that being said, she still knew that if she truly wanted to be able to be herself, she would have to leave their small town of Heron because, no matter how much she tried to ignore it, she would always be Heather’s daughter.
This brings us to one of the main plot lines of this story: the competition between Ash and Eden to be the one that their school would endorse for the highly coveted and prestigious Peyton Scholarship Program. The Peyton Scholarship Program would be awarded to one student and that student would get a full ride for four years at the University of North Carolina with tons of other benefits.
This was what Eden had been searching for. She and her family were barely getting by, so college was a stretch for her, but if she got this scholarship, then she would be set. She wouldn’t have to worry about the tuition, which was her main issue, plus, UNC was the school that she was hoping to get into. Everything was perfect. She knew that she would get it because the other students that she was competing against had nothing on her grades, her work ethic or her drive.
But, that was until she found out that Ash was in the running.
She and Ash are similar intellectually, but he participated in a lot more extracurricular activities than she did and these schools usually give their scholarships to students who are more well rounded. They want to know that whomever they pick has more to them than just their intellect, which is where participating in clubs and volunteering come into play. Eden lacked in that area because her family needed money. Her dad had been laid off and her stepmom wasn’t making enough on her own, so Eden had to pitch in.
Now, I’m going to be honest, and say that if I were Eden, I would’ve been a little angry that Ash chose to participate as well because he didn’t need the scholarship. His family was rich, so he didn’t have to worry about money and he wasn’t even interested in going to UNC, so if he did get it, he wouldn’t have used it. That really annoyed me, but I did like the fact that instead of being discouraged, it only made Eden want to work harder.
I don’t want you guys to think, from reading my previous paragraph, that I didn’t like Ash because I did. He really was a great character and his reasons for wanting to participate in the program are his and, as long as he’s qualified, he should be able to participate.
In fact, one of my favorite aspects of this story was Eden and Ash’s romance. It was a sweet and innocent love and Ash treated her with so much love and respect. I loved that and, although it was talked about, there was no sex. They didn’t get pass kissing, which I didn’t mind. These two were so sweet together and I couldn’t believe that they didn’t get together years before.
I also loved the secondary characters. They rounded out the story and helped, both, Eden and Ash shine. Mundy and Marnie were definitely Team Eden and they made sure that she stepped outside of her comfort zone. The little ones (Kurt, Marta and Raj) that Ms. Day added also provided a nice touch. Kurt was autistic and I loved reading his interactions with Eden. She was so nice and patient with him that I wasn’t surprised at how close she was to, not only him, but to all the little kids. She definitely chose the right career for herself.
Overal, this was a fantastic YA novel and I definitely recommend it. Even though it’s over 300 pages long, it didn’t feel like it to me. I finished it pretty fast. I wonder if Ms. Day will do a follow-up with Ash and Eden or even give another character (like Mundy) her own story.
The Possibility of Somewhere doesn’t come out for a few more weeks, but you all need to mark your calendars for this one. Trust me!
If you do read this novel, please come back and let me know if you loved it as much as I did.
A Little Extra: I don’t think that I’ve ever read an interracial romance novel where half of the pairing was Indian. I believe that I’ve read interracial romances that involved pretty much every other race, except this one. That’s strange, but it might’ve played a role in why I enjoyed this book so much.