“The Possibility of Somewhere,”
by Julia Day
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin; September 6, 2016
Synopsis: Together is somewhere they long to be.
Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted– he’s admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There’s only one obstacle in Ash’s path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?
All Eden’s ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college — and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks. . .When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream — one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?
Review: “The Possibility of Somewhere” is the upcoming debut teen/YA contemporary romance from author Julia Day. This is such an overall fantastic novel on so many levels. Day tells the story of Eden and Ash, two high school seniors that are intellectual competitors, both hoping to become class valedictorian and recipient of a prestigious scholarship to Chapel Hill. Ash is from a Hindu family of Indian heritage and Eden is considered “white trailer trash,” living with poor parents that frequently need Eden’s help with financial problems. Eden has no real friends, but instead spends her time at school, putting in time with school clubs, studying, and working as an overnight babysitter for two young children – one of which is on the Autism spectrum.
Things change when Ash and Eden are paired together in work groups and also given an important assignment to work on together for their AP English class. Deciding to call a truce on their competition they quickly become friends, which eventually results in new, undiscovered feelings of wanting to be more than friends. Eden also has a real friend this year in a girl named Mundy, a transfer from California. While some things are going great, she’s also facing her Dad’s unwillingness to help her go away to college and backstabbing from other students. Eden learns all about these new feelings for a boy, learns what it’s like to have a real friend, and struggles against the judgment and prejudice of those around her.
Eden is a wonderful character that you will find yourself cheering for throughout the novel. She has grown up with the reputation of her real mother (who left when she was young) being a slut, her Dad has been laid off and bounced from job to job, and the embarrassment of where she lives as compared to others. She’s only had one date that was short, awful, and turned out to be a dare. Ash has grown up in a wealthy home, but a strict home where his parents’ expectations have always been very high. Moreover, his friends that are also Indian, look on at him and Eden with disdain. Mundy grew up in a comfortable home but is attending public school for the first time after being homeschooled her entire life, making her somewhat awkward getting to know others.
One shining light in Eden’s life is her step mom, Marnie. Where Eden’s Dad is stubborn, racist, and refuses to consider what Eden really wants or needs, Marnie is kind, loving, and supportive. Without giving away any spoilers, there are so many sweet and tender moments between them, making you so thankful that Eden has Marnie in her life. Eden has so much pressure and responsibility for a girl her age which Marnie recognizes and acknowledges, unlike her father that commits her to more responsibilities despite her protests. I quickly found myself so happy and excited for Eden when things were going well, but also so sad for her when things were going badly. I can’t imagine how anyone could read this novel and not become completely invested in Eden and just wishing and hoping for her to get a break, as well as, for her to be happy.
“The Possibility of Somewhere” is happy and romantic at times, but also has cringe-worthy moments of racism, judgment, and meanness. Eden is judged by most because of their socioeconomic status and where she lives. Ash and Eden are judged because of their differing ethnicities, not just by his parents and her Dad, but also by fellow classmates. The majority of the novel is just one crappy thing after another being said to or about Eden, but the amazing thing is how strongly she prevails regardless of others treat her. My hope is that teens and young adults will read this novel and learn something from it. If they have judged others or treated others unkindly, then perhaps they will think about their behavior in the future. If they are the ones that have been judged by others, then hopefully this story will inspire them to rise above, be successful, and find happiness regardless of what others have said or done to them. Not to say that adults couldn’t also learn from this novel because there are several important lessons about supporting your children, as well as, the importance of not teaching them to hate.
Julia Day has written an incredible and important novel in “The Possibility of Somewhere.” The writing style, characters, plot, and lessons of this novel are not something you will quickly forget. I cannot wait to read more from this amazing author in the future. This si a definite must-read to add to your list!
Learn more about Julia Day by visiting her web page.
Purchase “The Possibility of Somewhere” on Amazon September 6, 2016.
*Disclaimer: I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.