Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Books I've Read: Every Other Weekend


I have a confession to make.  Reading this book was cheating on the book I'm actually supposed to be reading - a massive 800 page Ukranian novel which I'm reading for my book club.  I picked this up while I was writing at the library on Wednesday so I had something to read while eating lunch and just kept going...  Apologies to my other book.  I will get back to it, I promise.

I'm a huge fan of Abigail Johnson, and I enjoyed this one very much.  The characters kind of irritated me to start with, but they really grew on me as they began to see themselves and their circumstances more clearly.

The premise is simple - two kids have to spend every other weekend with their fathers in a dodgy apartment building after their parents separate.  Both hate it for different reasons, but once they meet and become friends, these weekends become the best part of their lives.

Jolene is an aspiring filmmaker, living her life in stories she can control because her own life is so miserable through no fault of her own.  She is deliciously snarky and mean as a result and has some of the4 very best lines in the whole book.

Adam, on the other hand, comes from a tight, loving home. But after his oldest brother dies, everything falls apart and his father moves out, unable to keep living with his wife's grief.  Adam s furious at his father, seeing his leaving as an abandonment of the family as a whole.  The way he treats his father and brother made me really dislike him, but his loyalty and obvious care for his mother kind of redeemed him a little.

With only two days a fortnight together, the friendship between Jolene and Adam is slow to start, but feels so organic as a result. It is so easy to see why these two people might bond, given their similar-yet-different circumstances.  With chapters alternating POV, we also get an insight into their lives when they aren't together (although I feel like we get much more of Jolene's life than Adam's - especially her friends).

I really enjoyed seeing the way they both grew and changed over the course of the book and how their friendship grew with them.  Their circumstances may have been similar to begin with, but by the end of the book they are in very different (better) situations yet you can see that their relationship has developed to a place where they don't need the shared anger and misery to bond them anymore.

So I'd recommend this one.  

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

Can life begin again… every other weekend?

Adam Moynihan’s life used to be awesome. Straight As, close friends and a home life so perfect that it could have been a TV show straight out of the 50s. Then his oldest brother died. Now his fun-loving mom cries constantly, he and his remaining brother can’t talk without fighting, and the father he always admired proved himself a coward by moving out when they needed him most.

Jolene Timber’s life is nothing like the movies she loves—not the happy ones anyway. As an aspiring director, she should know, because she’s been reimagining her life as a film ever since she was a kid. With her divorced parents at each other’s throats and using her as a pawn, no amount of mental reediting will give her the love she’s starving for.

Forced to spend every other weekend in the same apartment building, the boy who thinks forgiveness makes him weak and the girl who thinks love is for fools begin an unlikely friendship. The weekends he dreaded and she endured soon become the best part of their lives. But when one’s life begins to mend while the other’s spirals out of control, they realize that falling in love while surrounded by its demise means nothing is ever guaranteed.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting. I also have to side with Adam here. It is abandonment.