Where It All Lands by Jennie Wexler ~ 352 pages ~ to be published 7/6/2021 by Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press
Stevie Rosenstein has never made a true friend. Never fallen in love. Moved from city to city by her father’s unrelenting job, it’s too hard to care for someone. Trust in anything. The pain of leaving always hurts too much. But she’ll soon learn to trust, to love.
Drew and Shane have been best friends through everything. The painful death of Shane’s dad. The bitter separation of Drew’s parents. Through sleepaway camps and family heartache, basketball games and immeasurable loss, they’ve always been there for each other.
When Stevie meets Drew and Shane, life should go on as normal.
But a simple coin toss alters the course of their year in profound and unexpected ways.
Told in dual timelines, debut author Jennie Wexler delivers a heartbreaking and hopeful novel about missed opportunities, second chances, and all the paths that lead us to where we are.
What I Thought:
*I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press for this ARC!*
I really loved the concept of this book from my first glance at the synopsis. A dual timeline romance where the girl is with one or the other of two best guy friends in each timeline sounded really interesting. I had never read a book like this before, so I was very excited to dive in.
I really liked all three characters in this book. Stevie was a really fun character. She struggled with getting close to people when she knew that she would just be moving away soon because of her father’s job. That has to be so hard on a child, to never feel like you can make any lasting friendships. I really liked the fact that both Drew and Shane drew her in and kind of started to dismantle her walls in both timelines. The fact that Stevie was able to make similar kinds of connections with both Shane and Drew in both timelines speaks to how well these characters were developed in my opinion. Drew was a little self-centered, and yet incredibly sensitive in both. Shane was caring and a little insecure in both. The nature of their relationship with Stevie (whether it was dating or strictly friendship) didn’t change much about their actions, but greatly influenced the events of the story, which I found incredibly intriguing.
I loved the fact that all of these characters were so heavily influenced by music in their different ways. Also, the fact that each character approached music differently was interesting. Stevie loved to play the saxophone, but she needed sheet music and needed to practice. Shane was a drumming prodigy, but he could not read sheet music. Drew was an incredible vocalist, but because his father was a jerk he was forced into learning an instrument as well, which made him not feel passionate about said instrument because it was forced upon him. As a musician myself, this was very interesting to me since I have known someone just like each of these characters at some point in my life.
I really liked getting to follow along with the dual timelines. I thought the choice to do Drew’s timeline first was a good one because it made me feel more sympathetic to him. I feel like I wouldn’t have felt that way if we had gotten Shane’s timeline first. Also, the opening (in which Stevie is at the funeral for one of the boys, but they don’t say which one) was just enough of a teaser to get me interested without giving too much away and making me not want to read it.
Overall, I really liked this story. I thought the dual timeline aspect was done very well. The characters were well drawn and relatable. I would recommend this to anyone who loves contemporary YA.
I gave Where It All Lands 4 Stars!
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Are you a fan of books with dual timelines? What is your favorite contemporary YA romance? Are you interested in reading Where It All Lands? Let’s chat in the comments!
Love and happy reading,