Goodreads Rating: 3.80 Stars
Katherine Tegan Books Publishing
Publication Date: March 17th, 2015
Get a copy here!
One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.
And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?
Hasn’t everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.
Quick Reasons: I don’t… I can’t… WHAT did I just read?!; there might be tiny pieces of my heart embedded in the carpet where it dropped out of my chest while reading; why isn’t this book talked about more?!; beautifully heart-wrenching; I LOVE the juxtaposition of these two “what if” situations
I don’t… Guys, I don’t know how to write this review and make ANY semblance of sense. I’ve been sitting here SCREECHING in my head for the last twenty minutes and I cannot… CANNOT…make this review come out coherently. This book, guys… This book twisted everything that is me into teensy tiny pieces and then made paper cranes out of them to string from the ceiling. I do not even know… I just… Screw this, okay?! Bear with me if things get a little bit confusing.
Okay. Seriously, guys, the juxtaposition Moriah McStay employed throughout this book? PURE. GOLD. I seriously, I have never in my life… Okay, that’s a lie. We get a teensy, tiny taste of this juxtaposition in The Love That Split the World, by Emily Henry. But THIS BOOK! I don’t know what it is, but somehow this book did it BETTER. Which is crazy talk, because I adored Emily Henry’s version too, but… THIS BOOK IS BETTER! Er. Somehow? I think, honestly, it has to do with how the side characters were handled. In TLTSTW, we weren’t given much in way of side characters–we focused mostly on the main ones. In THIS book, though, we get ALL the characters–in both versions–and are able to see the many different ways time can branch off and change people, change relationships, change everything.
And that… THAT is what I think needs to be taken from this read. We make tiny decisions and big decisions alike every single day…and sometimes, those decisions change literally everything. Sometimes, those decisions change people and situations we, ourselves, don’t ever see. Sometimes, those decisions don’t change anything at all. There is a poignant, beautiful moment in this book where I literally stopped, gave in to the cold chills, and understood EXACTLY what Moriah McStay was trying to say with this book. It’s a moment I feel every reader needs to experience.
No, Fiona/Fi are NOT the same character. Each side of her was written and constructed in a uniquely individualized way, catered to and molded by a vastly differing series of events. With this, every relationship they forged throughout was called into question, reshaped and reconstructed–redeveloped entirely, in certain instances. Moriah McStay knew, without a HINT of doubt, what she was doing when she ventured down this journey–and she made it into a gorgeously human experience that every reader can empathize with and grow from.
Don’t get me wrong–there are no real “pulse-stopping” dramatic moments. This is a more subtle, quiet read on the plot-mountain scale. Yes, there is tragedy. There is heartache, and angst, and drama. There are moments you’ll question everything, including yourself. There ARE moments your heart will skip a beat. But overall, this journey? It’s meant to be felt with the heart, not with adrenaline. It’s meant to seep deep beneath your skin and BREATHE there. It’s meant to make you think–and it will, if you let it.
I don’t know why I waited so long to pick this book up. This book literally is tied for “top favorite read of 2016” right now–it is SO, SO good. It is SO, SO life-altering. I’m not afraid to admit that it totally broke me into about a trillion pieces. If you dig contemporaries, juxtaposed “what if” scenarios, and earth-shattering reads…this book is for you. Pick it up. Pick it up now. Don’t wait.