Wednesday, 1 May 2019

All We Could Have Been review

162 days.

That’s how long Lexi needs to survive at her new school. Every year, she starts somewhere else under a new name, hiding in plain sight for as long as she can manage. Her record is 134, but it's senior year now and if she can make it till June, she can disappear into the real world. Maybe a big city, where no one recognizes her and no one knows about her brother and what he did.

But this time things are different. This time there’s her new friend, Ryan, who makes her believe that she belongs somewhere. This time there’s Marcus, the boy who looks at her in a way no one has before. This time she’s actually started to miss her older brother, Scott, even though she knows she shouldn’t. Scott was the boy who hung out with her reading comics and riding bikes. The boy who applied Band-Aids to scraped knees and chased away spiders. But he’s also the reason that she’s been in hiding away from the world, and from herself.

It’s just 162 days, but for Lexi that's a few days too many. Because it turns out you can't really run away from who you are. Eventually, the truth will always catch up with you.

All We Could Have Been is a memorable, gripping book with a strong voice and I'm still thinking about it a week after I finished reading. 

I think the voice and characterisation are what left such a lasting impression. Lexi seems like a real character, with authentic reactions to events. I liked the way the story unravels for the reader as Lexi makes sense of what happened to her.

This book didn't shy away from tough subjects and there are some violent scenes from Lexi's past. I thought it explored dealing with traumatic events in an honest, empathetic way. It looks at the lasting impact on Lexi's mental health and the treatment she sought.

Another thing I really liked about this book was how it evokes settings. The estate where Lexi lives, school and other places are described in a way that took me right back to my teenage years.

This is my first TE Carter book and I can't wait to read more. If you're a fan of Adam Silvera's writing and authentic contemporary YA with a darker side, I'd definitely read this book.

Thanks so much Simon and Schuster Kids for the review copy!

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