Title: Call It What You Want
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA/Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.
Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.
When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…
This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?
Hello book friends! Back again with another eARC review 🙂 Special shoutout to Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books for sending me this galley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Guys, I am obsessed with this book, I quite literally read it all in one day. Once I started, I just couldn’t put it down. I would die for Rob and Maegan and will stand in the way of anyone hurting them!!
CIWYW was such a cute, contemporary novel. This is the first title I’ve read by Brigid Kemmerer (I do own A Curse So Dark and Lonely but have yet to pick it up) and I am impressed. She officially has a fan for life. I read so many YA Fantasy novels that I forget how much I enjoy a good, contemporary novel. This book is written from two perspectives – Rob and Maegan’s. This is nice because you get a slice of the story from both points of views and in their own voices.
So let’s start off with the characters. I am a sucker for some lonely, messed up characters!! Rob and Maegan are struggling with very real, and very personal problems while trying to survive their senior year of high school. They are learning to navigate life as social rejects. Rob’s dad embezzled many in the town out of a whopping 7 million buckos and Maegan cheated on the SAT’s, which ended up invalidating 100 students scores. Both of them are hurting and have resulting trust issues of others from the backlash of their peers. They are thrown together to do a math project and neither of them are happy about it, they both would prefer to be alone. Rob and Maegan quickly learn to lean on each other, and begin to explore the idea of having close friends again.
There is a love story between two characters, an LGBTQIA character (no love story for him womp womp), and some sneaky Robin Hood themes. It begs the question – is it wrong to steal if you are using the items for good and not evil? It is a theme that is highly explored, and is an interesting concept.
Frankly, I loved CIWYW and have preordered a copy as a result of reading this. The love story is SO well done – reading Rob’s point of view was so important. The topic of respecting woman is brought up at one point, and Brigid did such a good job of presenting a teenage, male character that was interested physically in the girl – but acted (and thought) with nothing but respect for her wishes and comfort levels in intimate situations. It was honestly a breath of fresh air in a time when this topic is difficult to navigate.
Upon finishing CIWYW I almost immediately went back to reread a few scenes that stood out of me (okay, the romantic scenes – I’m a sucker, alright?!) and this is a huge sign for me that it is a five star read. The fact that I wanted to go back to relive big moments doesn’t happen with every title I pick up. Frankly, my sole gripe about this book is that there isn’t a follow up book to go with it! I need more Rob and Maegan!
In conclusion, pick this one up if you like a good high school romance, Robin Hood, real teenage angst and issues, and some well built characters. This would be a great beach read for the summer!
Enjoy, book friends!