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90 Days of Different

Review

90 Days of Different

In a new spin on the typical fun summer before college, 90 DAYS OF DIFFERENT by Eric Walters takes two girls’ last summer together through a whirlwind of once in a lifetime moments. In between it all, readers are transported on adventures as wild as gliding to trying to be the worst employee ever at a fast food restaurant and through it all we come away with a wonderful message about friendships and risks.

Sophie is the main character of the novel and is best friends with Ella. While Sophie is tall and toned, Ella is more on the petite side. While Ella is blunt and knows how to have fun, Sophie is responsible and cautious. Being responsible and cautious helps Sophie keep her family together after her mother’s death, but they were also the traits that made her boyfriend break up with her at graduation and the ones she’s most self-conscious about now. In an attempt to help her friend break out of her shell before heading off to college, Ella makes Sophie promise to follow her lead this summer and do 90 different things in the 90 days before college. With her brother and father supporting the idea, Sophie agrees to the promise and they’re off on a completely new adventure starting off with creating social media and ending with a first visit to her mother’s grave.

" As a high school senior myself, this book has definitely opened me up to being more of a risk taker since I can relate strongly with Sophie."

90 DAYS OF DIFFERENT was a story unlike any other. I enjoyed how Eric Walters not only created the main conflict for Sophie --- doing new things --- but he also created a more minor conflict for her within all of the events occurring that was foreshadowed by the tension that was building up between the two best friends since the beginning. The idea for the two very different characters to participate in real adventures together really was fantastic to read about; however, in all honesty the execution of the actual story was a little poor. I liked the fact that each new “chapter” was the start to a new day and each event Sophie participated in was mentioned; however, I feel as though not enough details were actually used to paint the events and this took away from the story because for a lot of the chapters, the events would just be described through Sophie’s short daily blog posts and sometimes the responses were all that was mentioned, leaving the audience to guess at what the daily activity was. I understand the difficulties of incorporating 90 detailed events in a story that has to stay relatively concise to keep the attention of teenagers and young adults; but I wish there were a way for things to be written more in depth.

Another thing that I found a bit odd about the writing was the tension between the two friends. Although an interesting concept for a novel, and it’s very much realistic, it felt a bit weird to be reading about the two friends enjoying each other’s company to suddenly feeling a bit jealous or angry with one another due to an exchange of a few words about appearances. While it’s something that I’m sure many teenage girls can relate to, it’s a bit awkward and I personally didn’t enjoy these moments at all.

Overall, I felt as though while this book certainly brought about a new idea that was interesting to read through, it could’ve been planned out better and thus written a little bit better; but, it does definitely strike a chord and will probably have a lot of high school aged girls be able to relate to both characters well. As a high school senior myself, this book has definitely opened me up to being more of a risk taker since I can relate strongly with Sophie. I would recommend this book to anyone whose attention was caught by the summary above because even with the negative aspects that I mentioned about this novel. It was overall a pretty good read that will be worth anyone’s time.

Reviewed by Alyssa L., Teen Board Member on August 27, 2017

90 Days of Different
by Eric Walters