The Possibility of Somewhere – Julia Day – St Martin’s Griffin – Published 6 September 2016
Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted– he’s admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There’s only one obstacle in Ash’s path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?
All Eden’s ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college — and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks. . . When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream — one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?
The Possibility is Somewhere is a story of a small town, prejudice, rumours and two teens who fall in love despite it all.
Eden wants out of her town, where her biological mother’s legacy and her father’s unemployment has labeled her as an outsider. Or maybe that’s because of her reluctance to trust people. Her goal is to win a scholarship and start college. Falling for the very annoying but also very cute Ash Gupta, would create more problems than she already has. Especially when his friends and family would never approve.
I didn’t initially like Eden. She’s not very friendly, doesn’t talk to people, is a bit of a know it all and a little condescending. But books are about people’s journeys and people can change, so I decided to give her time to grown on me. I’m glad I did. I never really loved Eden, but as I learnt more of her backstory and her reasons for keeping her distance from the other students, it makes her attitude a little more understandable. I also liked the way she was around kids. She’s great with the kids she babysits and I loved how this influences her choices for the future.
In a way, this was a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Ash is Darcy, with his rich family, prestigious family history, and close circle of friends who are all too happy to close ranks and warn outsiders away. And Eden is Lizzie. Clever, poor, and looked down on because of her family. She keeps to herself. The only difference was that I didn’t find Ash at all charming like Darcy, but he is certainly rude and aloof.
The Possibility of Somewhere addresses segregation and prejudice. Two teens from opposite sides of the metaphorical tracks, whose parents would never approve of each other, falling in love. And yet, I felt the racism and prejudice was never really directly raised or challenged. Sure two teens fall in love and their parents and his friends make a big deal of it but then… It’s hard to say more without giving away spoilers, but it no big ideals were challenged, no sacrifices were made to stand up for what they wanted. The fight just seemed to petter out.
Eden’s new friend, Mundy, a new girl in town, was my favourite character. She is brash, not afraid to speak her mind and happy to call everyone on their crazy, won’t challenge the status quo stupidity. She is the one who teaches Eden to reach out to others. Eden also has a great relationship with her stepmother, Marnie, who I also really liked.
The writing style is short, choppy. It made this a quick book to read, but a little disjointed. The last quarter is especially jumpy, as it skips a lot of time. The whole story is told from Eden’s perspective. I would have liked to hear more from Ash, uncover more of his side of the story and his family situation. I think it would have made me like him more.
And on that note, I wasn’t completely convinced about the romance between Ash and Eden. Sure, they bump heads and are good at arguing. And when they do get together, they are all too happy to have their hands all over each other. But other than their shared determination to win a scholarship, go to college and risk their families’ wrath by being together, I wasn’t sure what else they liked about each other and I couldn’t feel their chemistry.
All that aside, The Possibility of Somewhere was a quick and easy book to read. By no means earth-shaking, but it raises interesting points about the continued segregation and prejudice that exists and how love has long been a way of overcoming that.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Racism, prejudice, romance, high school, family, friendship.
Reading age guide: Ages 14 and up.
Advisory: Coarse language, s***, f***, sl**
Published: 6 September 2016 by St Martin’s Griffin.
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 320 pages.