Call It What You Want – ARC Review

Synopsis – Goodreads

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

There is just something so addictive about Brigid Kemmerer’s writing style. For a majority of the books I’ve read by her, I’ve finished them in one sitting. Call It What You Want was definitely one of those books for me. 

Rob was once the quintessential High School student-athlete. That was until his father was accused of embezzling money from people in their community and, his peers treated Rob like he was the one responsible or at least he was in on it. 

Maegan wasn’t at the top of the high school chain but she sure wasn’t loved by many after she cheated on her SATs. Which resulted in those students who were taking the test with her, having to retake the SATs.

Both social pariahs end up paired together for a math project and thus their story commences. 
Maegan in a lot of ways reminded me of myself back in highschool (minus cheating on the SATs of course). I also enjoyed the fact that the plot is more character-driven. But what I appreciated the most about this story is Kemmerer’s writing style. As I mentioned before, it’s addictive. And that is mostly because Brigid tends to include serious situations in her YA books. Making her books more relatable and de-mystifies some of the fantastical elements that are usually included in YA contemporary books. Also, the character development of the main characters, as well as the side characters, was phenomenal. I enjoyed getting to know all the ins and outs of Rob’s life especially after something traumatic. 
I will say that I found the end of the story to move at a faster pace than the rest of the story. I’m not completely satisfied with the ending. I would’ve liked to see how the big revelation of the plot played out over maybe a couple of chapters, instead of one chapter and an epilogue.

However, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed Letters to the Lost and More Than We Can Tell, or those who enjoy YA contemporary that includes what I call real life grit. 

TW: Self-inflicted harm, Gun-use, Teen Pregnancy

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Special thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books for an e-Advanced Reader’s Copy of the book. Receiving Call It What You Want did not affect my review or rating.

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