Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Books I've Read: My Week With Him


The description of this one sounded interesting, but it was actually kind of misleading...  The whole thing with the missing sister lasted a handful of pages and was actually kind of a minor part of the book, not the focus the way the blurb suggests. The book is actually about Nikki spending a week of Spring Break with her boyfriend and him trying to convince her to stay with him in their small-town and not pursue her dreams.

I didn't buy it.

Nothing about this story rang true for me.  Nikki never seemed to be scared or worried about her situation and kept pushing away people trying to help her.  If I was 18 and on my own for the first time with no family to fall back on, I'd be scared.  Even if I did have a super supportive boyfriend whose family seemed willing to take me in at the drop of a hat.

Even Nikki and Mal's friendship felt off to me.  While in a hotel, Mal tells Nikki a whole lot of his history, and it's pretty major stuff.  If these two were really the close friends the book wants you to believe they are, Mal's past shouldn't be a mystery to Nikki.  If she's spent as much time with him and his family as the book suggests, she'd know he was adopted at the age of ten.  I mean, didn't she wonder why there were no baby photos at his house?

Her relationship with her mother was troubled, and I get that.  Teenage girls often butt heads with their mothers.  But I never felt like Nikki was in any real danger from her mother, physically or emotionally.  The fights they had were the same kind of fights girls often have with their moms as they struggle to become their own person.  And her mother's explanation for why she acts the way she does didn't fully ring true to me either.

And then there was the whole sister relationship which was never fully developed.  And the fact Nikki has this dream of being a singer and an audition to get to, but doesn't seem that focused on actually getting there.  She talks about it a lot, but doesn't do a lot to actually get there.  She keeps letting things back home draw her back, even when she does leave.  And despite her saying how dreadful things are back home, nothing felt that bad because Mal was always there with his big house, plenty of money and parents who would do anything for him (and Nikki by extension).

So, I wouldn't recommend this one.  It's not a difficult read, but ultimately, it didn't feel satisfying.

But don't just listen to me.  Here's the blurb.

"A cute portrait of agency, hope, and intergenerational trauma by Goffney. "— Publishers Weekly A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection pick! 

From Joya Goffney of Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry, comes a stirring YA coming-of-age, best friends-to-lovers romance about a girl named Nikki who plans to run away from small-town Texas, but ultimately finds that her oldest friend, Mal, just might be the one who’s been there for her all along. Filled with heart and humor, this novel captures complex family drama, friendship, and love. 

For fans of I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest and Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan. Nikki can’t wait to leave Texas and follow her dreams of a music career . . . After a painful betrayal by her sister and a heated argument with their mother, Nikki is kicked out and finds herself homeless. She decides to go to California to pursue her singing career. When her best friend, Malachai, discovers her plan to flee Texas, he begs her to spend the remainder of spring break with him. He believes that over the course of a week, he can convince her to stay in Texas, or to at least graduate high school. But their plans are interrupted when Nikki’s little sister Vae goes missing. Nikki is forced to work alongside her difficult mother as they set off in search of Vae, with Malachai’s support. Will Nikki find a reason to stay in Texas, or will this spring break be the last time she sees them? Through her emotional journey, Nikki ultimately finds the love she’s always been missing and discovers the power of her own voice.

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