Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication: March 3, 2015
Genre: YA, Contemporary
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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 I wouldn’t feel so uncertain. But I’m going back to the beginning on my own. To see what happened and why.
Luisa “Lulu” Mendez has just finished her final year of high school in a small Virginia town, determined to move on and leave her job at the local junkyard behind. So when her father loses her college tuition money, Lulu needs a new ticket out.
Desperate for funds, she cooks up the (definitely illegal) plan to make and sell moonshine with her friends, Roni and Bucky. Quickly realizing they’re out of their depth, Lulu turns to Mason: a local boy who’s always seemed like a dead end. As Mason guides Lulu through the secret world of moonshine, it looks like her plan might actually work. But can she leave town before she loses everything – including her heart?
The summer walks the line between toxic and intoxicating. My Best Everything is Lulu’s letter to Mason – though is it an apology, a good-bye, or a love letter?
Something to Note: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Characters: Lulu is the narrator of this novel - which I thought was a smart decision. I loved her voice and her view on everything going on in this book. Lulu is a girl set out for the rest of her life. She wants out of her little ole' town and to move to California and pursue her dreams of college life. Well, not everything goes her way and her thinking gets her into the moonshine. She is very determined, smart, and stubborn. I know at heart she wanted what was best for everyone around her, but at times she was very selfish and to it seemed like to her, her opinion was the only one that mattered.
Mason was my favorite character of the book. He is the boy with the not so amazing past. He has had loss, but has picked himself back up. In the book everyone looks at him as some lost cause, even Lulu. The author tries to make it seem like Lulu sees him as the new him, but you can tell Lulu has a hard time seeing him as that. Mason is someone who makes you smile throughout the whole book and he is someone who stays true to himself throughout the whole book.
Bucky is also someone I really enjoyed in the book--until the end. Stuff had happened throughout the book and he blamed everyone else for what was happening to him, but never took an of the blame. He thought he never did anything wrong and that was disappointing to me. He seemed like he was going to go so far in this book and I really enjoyed him, but he definitely took a turn for the worse.
Roni is such a fun, spunky girl who I liked very much. She has her own little story in the book. I thought the author spent a lot of the beginning chapters speaking of her story and towards the end it dwindled away. Roni's story was very hopeful and I was so happy for what was coming for her. I think Roni made all the best decisions throughout this book and she definitely had a great head on her shoulders.
My Thoughts: Going into this book I really was skeptical...I didn't know how I would feel about a book about moonshining (is that even a word?). But, once I started reading the book the whole idea of moonshine was actually quite interesting.
I kept updating on Goodreads and at first I was a little hesitant...I didn't think I was going to enjoy it. For me the book started out a little slow to me, but it definitely picked up the pace. There were so many things going on in this book that just kept me intrigued. The story of Lulu and Mason was wonderful and the stories of her friends Bucky and Roni were great assets to the whole story line. I loved that it wasn't just focused on one person the whole time. The other characters intertwined really well and just kept the story going.
Something that I wasn't too fond of in the book was that the characters had a lot of past stories and I don't think we got enough of that. I know the author was kind of stressing that the past is in the past for a reason, but I think that some of the past was needed to be brought up -- if not in actual conversation between the characters, but at least let us readers know.
Overall, this book was a wonderful read and kept you intrigued throughout the book. There will be times when you get mad at the main characters, but I think that aspect helped the book. You knew that no one was perfect and it made everything more believable. Though, believable was something hard to get at some points in this book. The ending to me was wonderful, but how one of the characters ended just didn't seem plausible - it seemed too easy.
One Line Wrap Up: Four characters, all in need of money, but what risks will be taken to reach their dream goals?
Recommend to the lovers of: A contemporary novel with a little twist.