Published by St. Martin's Griffin on September 6, 2016
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Together is somewhere they long to be.
Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted-- he's admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There's only one obstacle in Ash's path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?
All Eden's ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college -- and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks. . .
When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream -- one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Possibility of Somewhere tackles some heavy issues: poverty, interracial dating, class and income disparity, kids with autism, etc. The book is mostly successful at tackling these issues.
Eden is very poor. Her family lives in a trailer. Her biological mother is the talk of their small town and leaves Eden with a nasty legacy. Her only chance at college is getting a scholarship. And the only way to do that is to be valedictorian. Unfortunately, she has some stiff competition–Ash Gupta. I think the author did a nice job representing the hardships of poverty and academic achievement. As someone who has been very poor and has dealt with the fallout of being very poor in a small town, Eden’s plight was an authentic one.
I have conflicted feelings about Ash though. I know the author vetted her writing with Indian-Americans she knew, but sometimes he felt dangerously close to stereotyped. But, I’m not Indian-American, and I don’t know how much veracity my opinion really has, so take it with a grain of salt.
I do applaud Day for making her love interest a POC. There is far too little of that in contemporary YA. Eden and Ash’s relationship really exposes the kind of racism that happens in small, rural towns. To be honest, it exposes the kind of racism that happens everywhere.
Even though I enjoyed reading The Possibility of Somewhere, it wasn’t without its problems. Eden’s friend Mundy is nothing more than a plot device. She sits with Eden in the lunch room because she wants to know what it’s like to be friends with a poor person? Right. Ash only notices Eden when she wears revealing clothes and a little makeup? Eye-roll. Marnie legally adopts Eden when she was little and NEVER told her? Literally not believable.
But, the story has a lot of heart. It’s an enjoyable read if you can get past the problems.
© 2016, Jessica Workman Holland. All rights reserved.