There are no spoilers in this review.
Every Other Weekend, Abigail Johnson
Publishing on January 7th, 2020 by Inkyard Press.
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..
☂️ TRIGGER WARNINGS: click here to see them.
grief, parental abuse, emotional abuse, sexual assault, toxic relationships.
☂️ DIVERSITY: unspecified.
- Let me start this by saying: this was my first Abigail Johnson book and it won’t be the last.
- Every Other Weekend is one of these realistic, raw, real contemporaries that I adore. It had everything I want in a book: complex, three dimensional, a little messed-up but still amazing and so real main characters, family relationships, a slow-burning, realistic and incredible teenagers’ romance and emotions. It’s such an incredible read, really.
- That being said, I urge you to read the trigger warnings (above in my review) before heading into this, because it deals with a couple of tough topics, too.
- Told in two POV, we get to hear both Adam and Jolene’s sides of the story and I loved both characters, even if I had a slight preference for Adam.
- Adam lost his brother a couple of years ago and, on top of dealing with his grief, he’s dealing with his broken family. I loved how wonderful Adam was. He’s sweet and tender despite the anger that consumes him, at times, and I just grew fond of him so quickly.
- Jolene’s family has been broken for a long time, between a toxic environment with her mother and an absentee father. I appreciated Jolene’s passion for movies and her drive to reach out for her dreams, even if, at times, I didn’t love her as much as Adam.
- I rooted for the relationship so, so very much. Adam and Jolene start off as friends and I love how their relationship, their feelings build up slowly. The dialogue is one of the best dialogues I’ve ever read in any YA contemporary book. The banter, the way they bounce off each other and react to every event is so realistic, I felt like I was reading a slice of life really happening.
- The growth of each character during this quite heavy, both in themes and in number of pages, contemporary, is stunning. I loved seeing both Adam and Jolene change through the course of the story.
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…
- The only, small reason I’m not finding this to be a 5-star read is how much time it took me to warm up to Jolene and how conflicted my feelings for her were, overall, through the course of the book. If I can appreciate and understand her character, I wasn’t as fond of her as I was for Adam, which is completely a personal opinion though!
If you’re looking for an emotional, realistic, incredible YA contemporary about grief, healing, finding your place in the world and your person, too, I’d recommend Every Other Weekend. It was such a wonderful contemporary, I will most certainly scream about this book for many, many years to come.
Final rating: 4,5 drops!
Did you read Every Other Weekend? Do you want to?
Do you have any recommendations of hard-hitting contemporary reads? Let me know in comments!