Happy Tuesday, and happy book release day to One Way or Another! We got an ARC of the book in at work (Indigo books) and so I was fortunate enough to to get to read it a bit early. Rom-cons are some of my most favourite books to read so I was more than excited to dive into this book. And let me tell you it did not disappoint! It was a perfect mix of romance, real life problems and holiday feels.
Before I continue to what I thought of the book, here’s my synopsis so you can get an idea of what it’s all about.
The story is about Paige: a teenage girl who has anxiety which makes every single decision she makes seem just about impossible. Her life is constantly full of what ifs that often lead her down a rabbit hole to an almost inevitable panic attack. Right before Christmas she’s faced with an almost impossible choice of how to spend the holiday. Go to New York, a place she’s been longing to visit forever, with her mom? Or go to a cabin in the mountains, to see real snow for the first time, with her best friend Fitz (who she’s had a crush on for the longest time.) In the midst of making the impossible decision Paige slips and hits her head in a grocery store, and her life suddenly splits into two paths of how she spends Christmas. One leads to New York pleasing her wanderlust while the other leads to the snowy mountains and time with Fitz. Both have opportunities for romance but Paige’s anxiety threatens to take over and ruin both trips. Will she be able to take charge of her anxiety enough so she can get her happy ending or will both paths lead to disaster?
To start off I have to say a huge Thank You to Kara for writing a rom-com book where the main character deals with Anxiety. I feel like any time a character has those type of troubles they’re kind of swept under the rug so it’s not a main part of the story. Having a character dealing with anxiety as a main part of the story held such significance to me. Sometimes you have those character moments or traits that make you as a reader feel embarrassed as you read, but with Paige’s anxiety I never felt that way. It felt relatable in a way that I don’t find with many other book characters.
I loved that Paige’s aspiration was to travel the world or better yet be a travel writer so traveling could also be her job. I also loved that her mother seemed to support her dream and wasn’t pushing her to think of something more “normal” or “realistic”. Speaking of supporting Paige, I just have to talk about Fitz. Fitz was just the sweetest person ever. I don’t thing you could ever ask for a better friend than him. He always put her first and looked out for her, and most importantly would always help with her anxiety. He was the one person who could calm her down from a panic attack and never saw her as anything less than amazing. Unlike Harrison, the boy she hung out with in New York, who didn’t seem to know how to handle Paige’s anxiety. I did like how Paige brought Harrison out of his shell and how Harry showed Paige the sights of New York. Their new found friendship was sweet and because it was so new, exciting.
Although it’s hard to compare someone you’ve known only a few short days to someone you’ve known for years.
In terms of how the book goes between the two location, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked out. The chapters alternate in location which means one chapter is in the mountains and the next one is in New York. I’ll admit I got a slight bit confused when I initially started reading those chapters, but as I got going I quite enjoyed it. The end of the chapters always left me on the edge of my seat knowing I’d have to wait an entire chapter before I found out what happened next in that location.
Overall I absolutely loved the book! Like I said at the beginning it was the perfect mix of rom-com, holiday and real-life. The way the story was laid out and told was well done, the characters were all significant, and I thought the way the book ended was perfect. Of course I won’t spoil the ending so if you want to find out what happens you’ll have to read it yourself (which I would highly recommend doing anyways.)
I hope you all enjoyed my thoughts of the book just as much as I enjoyed reading it. If you get the chance I would definitely say to go pick up a copy if not now then during the holidays. It a perfect book read while curled up in a blanket with a ward drink on a colder day (if you live in a place that gets colder in winter.) I know that’s something I’ll probably end up doing.
For now I’m off to work and reading textbook. And I’ll see you next week!
XO, Emily Marie