Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book Review: If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson

If I Fix You
By Abigail Johnson
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Source: ALA
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 . . .

I went into this book with really no expectations. I had never heard of this one but I had an ARC from when I went to ALA this summer, so I decided to give it a try and ended up not being able to put it down. 

When Jill's mom walks out on their family claiming to be suffocated by them, Jill and her father are left broken. Jill knows why her mom really left and knows that she could never tell her father, no matter how much it's killing her. Spending her summer working at her dad's garage doing what she loves, Jill uses the garage as an escape from her longtime best friend and crush who has done the unforgivable to her. Jill is trying to keep it together, so when a new guy moves in next door, Jill finds someone else to focus on and someone to open up to like she never has before. 

Like I said, I had no idea what I was in for when I picked this book up. The thing that really intrigued me about this book was the fact that Jill worked in her dad's garage. I absolutely loved her relationship with her dad and how much she loved working with him on cars. So many things in this book tested the relationship between Jill and her dad, which was so heartbreaking to me because they were really all each other had left. I was definitely intrigued by Daniel, the new boy who moved in next door just when Jill was feeling completely alone. Daniel had problems of his own and I loved the unique relationship that grew between Daniel and Jill. There was an age difference and I normally hate it when the guy is a lot older than the 16 year old girl, but their age difference didn't bother me because it was done so tastefully. They were both very aware of their age difference and just found solace in each other due to the fact that they were both feeling alone with their family troubles. 

While this book did have a romance, I don't think I would classify this as a romance. There was so much more substance to the friendships and family relationships in this book that it wasn't just about who Jill would end up with. And even though there were two guys who she was kind of into, it wasn't at all your typical love triangle. I loved how much Jill really needed the relationship she formed with Daniel while her relationship with Sean was up in the air and trying to mend itself. Jill was in a really tough spot and she just needed someone to just be there with her in her time of understanding her mom and watching her dad fall apart. 

Overall, I absolutely loved If I Fix You. With such complex relationships and a real look at what it means to be a family and a friend, Jill goes through a summer of just trying to fix herself and understand the relationships she has always depended on. If you want a complex book that deals with family, love, and friendship, you have to pick up this book.

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