All Our Worst Ideas
by Vicky Skinner
August 11th 2020
Two teens who have nothing in common work together at a record store in All Our Worst Ideas, a powerful and voice-driven YA novel from Vicky Skinner.
When Amy, on her way to becoming valedictorian of her graduating class and getting accepted to her dream school, gets dumped by her long-term boyfriend, she takes a job at a record store to ease the pain. She needs a distraction, badly.
Oliver, Amy’s record store co-worker, isn’t so sure about Amy—his complete opposite—but what he is sure of is his decision not to go to college. He just can’t figure out how to tell his mother.
As they work late-night shifts at the record store, Amy and Oliver become friends and then confidantes and then something more, but when Amy has a hard time letting go of what she thought was her perfect future with her ex, she risks losing the future she didn’t even know she wanted with Oliver.
Heartfelt and realistic, this is a tale of figuring out how to find oneself and dance to ones' own tune.
Amy knows how to be successful in school and is on her way to finish high school perfectly and slide right into college. But when the love-of-her-life boyfriend dumps her, it's more than a sour turn. Needing a distraction, she takes a part-time job at the record store. There she meets Oliver, a grumpy-ish co-worker, who is finishing off his 'break-year' before heading to college. But he's pretty sure that's not the path he wants to take. Add the problem of his alcoholic dad, and he's everything but put together like Amy. And yet, the two might just find a way toward their own form of harmony.
This is a read, which touches the heart. The decisions, disappointments and mistakes are understandable and realistic. Told from two points-of-view, the story dives deep into both Amy and Oliver. Each character gains wonderful depth, and although very different, it's easy to see life from both stand points. Teen readers will see some of themselves in these characters and easily connect with them.
Shortly after the tale starts, Amy finds herself with a broken heart thanks to the break-up with her boyfriend. It was refreshing to see that she didn't get over this relationship quickly but needed time to heal. The romance with Oliver is well-paced, allowing the friendship to form first. But here, before relationships can form, it's important to discover what each one really wants and learn to believe in themselves.
In other words, it's a lovely romance which takes on a coming-of-age twist. Not only young adult readers will enjoy this one, but older readers as well.
Vicky Skinner was born and raised in Texas, where she started writing novels about kissing cute boys when she was fifteen and eventually earned a BA in Literary Studies from The University of Texas at Dallas. She’s a full-time writer, a part-time runner, and she currently lives in Dallas with her husband.
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