I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
Published by Harlequin on October 25, 2016
Genres: Young Adult
Amazon, - B&N
When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.
Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.
With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start . . .
If I Fix You is exactly what I like from my YA contemporary books – an intense problem (or problems) and some serious emotional growth. Jill’s life has imploded and with her mother gone, her feelings ripped to shreds, and her worry over her dad, she isn’t really sure that anything will ever be ok again. She survives by focusing on fixing the cars that come into the shop that her dad owns and trying desperately to pretend that she doesn’t care that her mom is gone. Nature abhors a vacuum and when there is a hole in your life, it will inevitably be filled, but sometimes what fills it might do more harm than good. In Jill’s case, one of the friends she would normally turn two was part of the problem. That conflict and the terrible secret she was holding about her mother’s desertion of the family was a challenge to her “fix-it” nature. The mom character was a classic narcissist. It was tough to read about Jill’s conflicted feelings; she doesn’t want to hate her mom, but it’s hard not to considering the circumstances. This is especially true as we learn more and more about the life she lead that Jill didn’t know about.
The subplot involving the neighbor was interesting. Daniel’s extremely sad history of abuse drew Jill to him, as he was initially something she was drawn to fix, and I appreciated that Jill was somewhat self-aware as to the difficulties (to put it lightly) that their friendship might face. You will meet people that you like in your life and they will need help, but does that mean you can save them? This was a question that Jill faced when it came to Daniel and I liked the way it also took that question and turned it toward Jill’s own life. Was it her job to fix her dad’s pain or her mother’s unhappiness? As some pretty significant secrets are revealed, Jill must face these questions head on. If I Fix You tackled a lot of heavy feelings, but it did it in a way that made for a compelling and emotional story. It’s one of those books that you will want to read in one sitting because you’ll need to find out how it ends. If you are a fan of Katie McGarry, I would definitely put If I Fix You on your reading list.
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3 Finished Copies of IF I FIX YOU (US Only)