Where It All Lands by Jennie Wexler ★★★☆☆ #BookReview #BookBlog

Primary Genre(s): Young Adult, Romance
Published: 6 July 2021 by Wednesday Books
Page count: 352 (print)
My Format: ebook via NetGalley
Cover: Creative
Pacing: Okay
Ending: Ambiguous  
Do I Recommend: Maybe
Commission Link (U.S.): Buy Where It All Lands

My rating: ★★☆☆

Synopsis
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.

Twice.

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.

My Thoughts
I love dual/concurrent timeline books so this one intrigued me. Here are my pros and cons Where It All Lands:

Pros

  1. I think it is very interesting to explore how our lives could change if a single, inconsequential decision or event had been different. What if I hadn’t gone to the store that day? What if I hadn’t ignored that voice mail? What if I had walked into the library 5 minutes earlier? What if I had gotten into that first taxi instead of the second? These are such small events and trivial choices, and we can likely never know how our lives might have changed if they had been different… but it is fascinating to read about the what ifs in a book.
  2. It is also interesting to consider the concept that maybe we don’t actually have as much control over our lives as we think we do.
  3. I loved the musical aspect of this story, including all of the references to songs and artists. A lot of the music referenced was from my youth, so it was fun to read.
  4. Stevie moved and changed schools a lot because of her Dad’s job. I appreciated that the story explored the psychological impacts of that, particularly with regard to maintaining connections with people.
  5. Shane was my favorite character. He isn’t the “typical” love interest guy and I really felt like I got to know him.

Cons

  1. Dual timelines always suffer from repetitiveness, but for some reason this one felt particularly repetitive to me. I did find myself losing interest from time to time.
  2. Ugh… insta-love and in multiple directions! I am not a fan of that trope.
  3. I didn’t buy the angst over the coin flip. I honestly don’t understand what the big deal was, and the manufactured controversy felt forced and unrealistic to me. I wish the coin flip hadn’t even been part of the story.
  4. The ending is ambiguous. I don’t always mind open endings, but in this case it bothered me. After investing so much time in both scenarios, particularly considering how one of the timelines ends, I wanted a solid ending regarding what really happened and I didn’t get it.

Summary
I really anticipated enjoying this book more than I did. I’m sad about that actually, because I love the dual timeline concept. But in the end, I think I needed more depth to the story. I wanted to know more about what changed in Stevie, Shane, and Drew’s lives due to the result of the coin flip, rather than just who was dating whom and an ambiguous ending.

This young adult book is written for reading ages 12 to 18 years old and is 352 pages long.

Thank you NetGalley and Wednesday Books for a free eARC of this book, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.  

If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy Where It All Lands. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Click here for a description of my rating scale.

(image from Goodreads)

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