Book Review: In a World Just Right

20522640Novel: In a World Just Right by Jen Brooks | Goodreads
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher/Edelweiss

High school senior Jonathan Aubrey creates worlds at will. In Kylie-Simms-is-my-girlfriend, he’s given himself everything he doesn’t have in real life-–the track team, passing grades, and his dream girl–-until one day he confuses his worlds and almost kisses the real Kylie Simms. Now his girlfriend Kylie and the real Kylie are changing, and Jonathan must solve the mystery of his own life to save his love from a gruesome fate.

This book surpassed every expectation I had.

I was expecting something interesting, and a bit out of the ordinary, but this book completely floored me. The writing, the story, THE ENDING amazed me and left me in need of more.

Jonathan Aubrey is one of those characters who is incredibly easy to relate to. From the get-go, I understood what he was going through, to a certain extent, in his school life and his personal one. He has been ostracized from his classmates since the plane crash that killed his family and left him miraculously alive, and his only refuge is his “Kylie-Simms-is-my-girlfriend” world. There, he has the girl of his dreams, friends, a scholarship to college, and is on the track team. In his real world, Jonathan simply dreams of having Kylie, doesn’t do track, and isn’t going to graduate on time because of his absences.

So when his worlds begin to collide, Jonathan freaks. Understandably. His two Kylies begin to act weird, and Jonathan is left wondering what is going wrong. This is the part of the story that grabbed me the most – the awkward exchanges with both Kylies, Jonathan grappling with both of his worlds, and him trying to understand where he wants to be.

In a World Just Right is incredibly plot-driven, but also strikes a perfect balance of character development and plot. Over the course of the novel, the reader grows to understand Jonathan more and more, as well as the other characters in the book (mainly Kylie). My sole complaint with the book was the lack of characters – it was an seriously internal book, with most of the text being Jonathan’s thoughts. Kylie was the only character of substance, and I was aching for interactions between Jonathan and his uncle, or some more with his classmates. The ending of this book made up for it though. (If you’ve read this already can WE TALK ABOUT THAT ENDING?!) It’s a complete surprise, yet beautiful and touching at the same time. I got a little teary, I admit.

Jen Brooks’s debut novel was solid, and I’m anxious to read more from her!