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Almost Impossible

Review

Almost Impossible

Jade has never had a mundane life, constantly traveling around England with a popular band, fronted by her single mother. Despite all the experiences she has attained through the years, she craves being in one place for an elongated period of time. Due to this, she arranges to live with her aunt in California for stability during the summer under the guise of having a “normal” teenage lifestyle for once. However, she has an ulterior motive: to find the father she has never met while away from her mother. To keep up with the typical American teenage lifestyle, she quickly obtains a job at the local swimming pool and meets Quentin, who happens to be her next-door neighbor. To Jade, he seems perfect on the surface but he is hiding a secret.

"ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE by Nicole Williams is a perfect summer read regarding relationships and unexpected secrets."

ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE by Nicole Williams is a perfect summer read regarding relationships and unexpected secrets. The central relationship revolves around Jade and Quentin, with Williams slowly divulging Quentin’s secret as the book unfolds. Although the reader could figure out the secret quickly in the story, I thought the idea of delaying the information added a layer of complexity to the storyline and made the characters more relatable as they were dealing with serious issues.

Through the witty banter and undeniable connection, Williams was able to cultivate the relationship between Jade and Quentin, thoroughly engaging the reader along the way. Contrary to Quentin, Jade preferred to stay home, was very pragmatic regarding her actions and rarely took risks with her choices. Meanwhile, Quentin’s carefree attitude and spontaneous mindset served as an avenue for Jade to embrace what she viewed as the ideal American lifestyle. However, the reader will learn that Quentin’s laissez-faire approach is not actually as it seems, and there is a darker component to him. As a reader, I would have liked to see the secret and the issues surrounding it explored with more depth in the story, but I understand Williams’ desire to keep it a lighthearted YA novel.

Equally significant to the story is the unwavering supportive relationship between Jade and her mother, evident from the first scene of the novel. This relationship is in sharp contrast to the overbearing rules of living with her aunt in suburban California. I thought it was interesting how Williams chose to contrast the two parenting styles, clearly showing two different sides of a spectrum, with Jade serving as a reliable narrator.

Overall, Williams takes an extended time unraveling the secrets and nuances of these characters and exploring how it influences their relationships. However, if readers stick with it they will be rewarded with a rich summer read in the end. I highly recommend ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE as a quick coming of age, lighthearted beach read for contemporary YA lovers as it even takes place over the period of a summer and draws on all the unique things inherent to the season!

Reviewed by Ryan H., Teen Board Member on June 28, 2018

Almost Impossible
by Nicole Williams