Saturday 8 February 2014

Review: If Only We by Jessica Sankiewicz

The Story:

They say all it takes is one wrong move and you lose the game. One false step and you’re trapped. One slip-up in your choice of words and you ruin a friendship forever. That is what they say. They say I lost.

I do not believe them.

At the end of the summer after graduation, Adrienne wonders what happened to cause her life to be in ruins. She isn’t getting along with her mom, her stepsister isn’t talking to her, and, to top it off, the boy she’s been in love with doesn’t want anything to do with her. She believes the turning point was a choice she made at graduation. When she wakes up the next day, she has been transported back three months to that moment, the one where everything started to fall apart.

Adrienne realizes she has been given a second chance—and this time she doesn’t want to mess anything up. Reliving the entire summer, though, turns out to be a lot harder than she thought. As the same days and weeks go by, she starts to see how simple decisions can make a huge impact on the world around her. Despite knowing some of what lies ahead, there are some things she didn’t anticipate. She thought she knew what mistake led her to where she ended up the first time. She was wrong.

And by the time summer is over, she discovers what was really at stake.

My Thoughts:

I don't often venture into the realm of contemporary novels but when I do the experience usually makes me wonder why I don't read them more often. If Only We was no exception to this. It is a story about second chances, taking  risks and at the same time staying true to yourself. 
     Adrienne was a likeable narrator whose reactions were never over the top or too dramatic as seems to be the norm in NA novels. Also missing is the trauma and angst that this new genre has been built on and I for one am glad as I find all the drama difficult to relate to. I love the Adrienne is a normal girl with normal problems. She doesn't see eye to eye with her mother, she's finding it difficult to connect with her younger step-sister and she's declared her love to her best friend Chevy only to have him reject her. These are all things most readers can identify with.
       Unlike us though, Adrienne gets a second chance to do the summer over via the help of a little time travel. This time around Adrienne is determined to set things right, though she soon discovers that there are reasons why everyone acts the way they do and most of the time its got nothing to do with her. Instead of running away from her problems this time Adrienne makes herself face them no matter how painful or awkward. She also makes mistakes despite trying hard to be better and I thought this added a sense of realism to the plot. 
       I really liked that Adrienne was proactive in getting her life together and although there was romance it wasn't the center of the story. Adrienne learns that she has to be happy with herself before she can make someone else happy and that's a point so many other books miss.  Towards the end Adrienne grows as a person and is able to take drawbacks in her stride instead of feeling sorry for herself and just giving up like she would have previously. 
        There were a few things that I felt could have been done better, like an explanation for the time travel and a bit more tension in the romantic relationship. I thought Chevy was sweet but not super swoon worthy though to be fair I prefer boys of the supernatural variety! Overall I really enjoyed If Only We and look forward to future works by the author.  

The Rating



  1. I completely agree! Chevy didn't do it for me but I loved the story.

  2. A book review? You haven't put one up here in a long time! I don't usually read NA, but I keep my eye on the ones that stray from the norm. Maybe I'll keep this on my radar.

  3. That sounds great -- I appreciate a supernaturally-themed YA (or I suppose NA) novel that does not rely on vampires or werewolves.

  4. Oh, this book sounds wonderful! Contemporary is my cup of tea so I think I will enjoy this book even more. <3 Haha, you're so right about angst and trauma in New Adult genre, Lan! Most narrators in NA genre are overly dramatic sometimes. This book seems very lovely. I'll make sure to check it out later. Wonderful review! :)

  5. Ooo, I've been looking for a solid contemporary to read after finishing a bunch of drama- and angst-packed ones. This one looks good!

  6. Great review! I don't really read contemporary either but it does leave me wondering why I don't! I'm checking this book out of course, thanks for sharing! :)

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

  7. "I prefer boys of the supernatural variety" LOLOLOLOL!!!!!! That had me smiling so hard, Lan! And also, great review. This book sounds really sweet, and I love the idea of integrating time travel into a New Adult contemp. Sounds like a great book!
    Ninja Girl

  8. Nice review. This sounds like an interesting read, especially that it doesn't fit the bill of the normal New Adult genre. I'll have to add this to the TBR list :)


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