There are no spoilers in this review.
Time of Our Lives, Austin Siegemund-Broka & Emily Wibberley
Publishing on April 21st, 2020 by Viking Books for Young Readers.
A boy desperate to hold on, a girl ready to let go.
Fitz Holton waits in fear for the day his single mother’s early-onset Alzheimer’s starts stealing her memory. He’s vowed to stay close to home to care for her in the years to come–never mind the ridiculous college tour she’s forcing him on to visit schools where he knows he’ll never go. Juniper Ramirez is counting down the days until she can leave home, a home crowded with five younger siblings and zero privacy. Against the wishes of her tight-knit family, Juniper plans her own college tour of the East Coast with one goal: get out.
When Fitz and Juniper cross paths on their first college tour in Boston, they’re at odds from the moment they meet– while Juniper’s dying to start a new life apart for her family, Fitz faces the sacrifices he must make for his. Their relationship sparks a deep connection–in each other’s eyes, they glimpse alternate possibilities regarding the first big decision of their adult lives.
Time of Our Lives is a story of home and away, of the wonder and weight of memory, of outgrowing fears and growing into the future.
☂️ TRIGGER WARNINGS: click here to see them.
parent dealing with early on-set Alzeihmer.
☂️ DIVERSITY: adopted main character, Mexican-American main character, Indian main character.
- You all know by now how much I love Austin & Emily’s books and was so, so eagerly anticipating Time of Our Lives. Well, I’m really really happy to say that this book more than met my expectations, it kind of blew me away. Really.
- Time of Our Lives perfectly captures the messy, complex feelings of… in between. That in-between time where you’re close to finishing off high school, so close to head off to the rest of your life and college. It’s a complicated time, it’s hard between knowing whether to let go of your family or not, knowing whether or not staying close or going far is the right thing, and what is the right thing, really?
- Once again, the authors deliver with amazing, relatable main characters. One of my favorite thing about this book was the dual POV, giving us two point of views of very different, yet both really endearing characters.
- Fitz, oh Fitz. He’s a worrier and he’s kind and he thinks of others before putting himself and I don’t know, I could relate to him and the way he thought a whole damn lot, also I just wanted to protect him and I loved him so much.
- Juniper feels like the signature female character from Austin and Emily and I ADORE their characters so much. Juniper is determined, bold, she’s ambitious and I just loved her confidence and everything about her SO much.
- The relationships in this book are wonderfully built up. We got romances, already happening prior to the story and building up as we read, we got family and siblings vibes and relationships, too and I loved both.
- I really liked the romance in this story, from knowing you’re headed separate ways to the slow-burning, building up of romance with incredible chemistry, I loved it all so much.
- The family’s relationships were wonderfully done, too and the authors just know how to juggle between both kinds of relationships perfectly, making Time of Our Lives such a well-rounded, incredible read. From Juniper dealing with her big family and siblings and trying to get away, to Fitz afraid to get away from his mother himself and slowly building up a relationship with his brother again… I loved it.
- As the story goes on, we’re taken away with them on their college road trip, through Boston and campus visits, we’re struggling along with Fitz and Juniper as they wonder about their future, the right path to take or whether there even is a right path, at all. Realistic, heartwarming and with the right amount of emotions, Time of Our Lives was just so, so good.
Reading anything by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley feels like coming home to me and holding Time of Our Lives in my hands felt just like that, again. After Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest, the authors deliver another incredibly realistic young adult contemporary with characters you’ll root for, emotions you’ve been seeking, and their signature amazing main characters and their incredible chemistry. I’ll never stop screaming about this book now, if you’ll excuse me. Okay.
Final rating: 5 drops…and a hurricane!
A thousand million infinite thanks to the authors for sending me an ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating and also I’m still crying.
Did you read Time of Our Lives? Do you want to?
What’s the latest contemporary you’ve loved? Let me know in comments!