Review: Whatever Happens by Micalea Smeltzer
Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Give Me Books Promotions.
“I never had a choice when it comes to loving you, I just do. That's how love works. You don't choose, you just know.”
The best kind of reads are the ones you don't see coming--the ones that knock you over with the most subtle and lightest of touches and leave their mark. That's exactly what Micalea Smeltzer's newest published young adult (YA) novel was. Whatever Happens is the story of a seventeen-year-old named Violet Page who, along with her parents, moves from the only home she's known in Texas to Massachusetts. The loss of her fourteen-year-old sister, Luna, devastated all of them, and Violet is saddled with guilt, believing she'd missed the signs that led Luna to taking her own life. Now, Violet is trying to cope with her new life in her new house in her new town and in a new school. The last thing she expects is to form a connection with the boy next door, and Finnley Crawford doesn't consider himself the typical seventeen-year-old high school senior. Finn's autism has made it difficult for him to interact with his peers, many of whom see him more as an anomaly they don't know what to do with. When an unlikely friendship sparks between Vi and Finn, it's the beginning of a bond that grows deeper the more time they spend together. There may be reasons why they don't belong together, but it's the reasons why they do that matter most.
Just a quick warning: I love alliterations. You'll get why I'm mentioning this as you read this part of my review. Wink, wink. This book was undeniably heartrending, but it never lost that hopeful feel to it. I loved how Violet and Finn evolved throughout the story. She was the girl who wasn't looking for sympathy and found solace with her neighbor; he was the boy who lived in solitude but discovered solidarity with the new girl. These two, alongside their respective stories and their own story as a couple, made me smile but they also brought me to tears. Micalea Smeltzer did a phenomenal job with this novel, never pandering to her reader, instead putting forth an inspirational read that I feel many can relate to on one level or another. All I was hoping for when I picked up this book was to enjoy it for a couple of hours, and what I got was a tale of first love, family, and friendship that will stay me for the foreseeable future. Violet's fortitude even as she endured different forms of loss and heartache highlighted the everyday truth that sometimes, it's the most trying of times that makes us the strongest and that it's okay to put yourself--to choose yourself--first. I'm seriously recommending Whatever Happens. Five-plus stars. ♥
Release Date: 19 July 2019
Date Read: 19 July 2019
Learn more about Micalea Smeltzer.
Purchase Whatever Happens on Amazon.