If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance
Page Length: 304 Pages
Publication Date: October 25th, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Source: ARC via The Irish Banana Review
My Rating: 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Readers of Sarah Dessen, Cammie McGovern and Morgan Matson will adore this thought-provoking, complex and romantic contemporary novel from debut author Abigail Johnson, about finding the strength to put yourself back together when everything you know has fallen apart.
When sixteen-year-old Jill Whitaker’s mom walks out—with a sticky note as a goodbye—only Jill knows the real reason she’s gone. But how can she tell her father? Jill can hardly believe the truth herself.
Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things—cars, relationships, romances, people—is all broken up. Used to be, her best friend, tall, blond and hot flirt Sean Addison, could make her smile in seconds. But not anymore. They don’t even talk.
With nothing making sense, Jill tries to pick up the pieces of her life. But when a new guy moves in next door, intense, seriously cute, but with scars—on the inside and out—that he thinks don’t show, Jill finds herself trying to make things better for Daniel. But over one long, hot Arizona summer, she realizes she can’t fix anyone’s life until she fixes her own. And she knows just where to start.
So…..I’ve been sitting here and typing and then deleting and then re-reading some of my favorite parts of If I Fix You and after doing it for a few hours I’ve come to the realization that all I can do is make a list of all the reasons why you need to add this book to your tbr immediately. Because If I Fix You is one of those books that makes you speak incoherently after reading it and then just start shoving your copy into everyone’s hands screaming “read it!”because IT WAS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!!!! (P.S. I’m pretty sure that my review will be a hot mess so please bear with me because it was like the author took all of my expectations and then just threw it out a window because I was not expecting to love If I Fix You so much and I just don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to fully communicate my adoration of this book.)
The first reason that you need to read this book is because the synopsis forgets to tell you that you are going to cry and laugh at the same time. That you are going to hold your hand over your mouth as you read and flip the pages so quickly because you are so involved in all the characters stories and need to know what happens next.
Usually I find it overwhelming when a story has so many themes that it wants to address all in one book but with If I Fix You it was done so well and with such a sensitivity that it never seemed preachy or like another way to add in a story line. There’s the discussions of abuse physical & emotional, trying to fix other people instead of yourself, family friendship, unhealthy relationships, health problems etc.That were surprisingly well developed in a very realistic and natural way. There weren’t any moments of i-just-met-you-now-let-me-tell-you-my-life-story-because-you’re-hot tropes that you find in so many other books. The characters sat down and talked things through and those conversations felt so real as you read them that it felt like you were there too.
My love for the main character, Jill, is difficult to put into words. Jill was such a smart, mature, headstrong, loving, loyal character who ended up surprising me 99.99% of the time. She is everything I want in a main character, she wasn’t perfect but her characterization is flawless. Jill likes to fix things but what made me love her was when she realized that sometimes you can’t fix others until you fix yourself. Jill is someone that everyone can relate to, her emotions, thoughts and feelings are very easy to understand. I thought that her being a mechanic was so cool, and loved reading about how much fun both her and her dad had together in their garage.While I can go on and on about her all day long and about the many instances in which Jill is amazing. I think that you’d be able to appreciate her character more if you just read the book yourself.
Another aspect that made me love Jill was her relationship with Daniel. It’s hard to define what exactly it was because they both knew that they shouldn’t really spend time together. They had an age difference of five years which is a lot when you’re a teenager, and she was still reeling over the departure of her mother and he was carrying a lot of emotional baggage as well. Their connection to each other was because they both knew what it was like to be betrayed by those who are supposed to love you. This caused me to expect one of those sapppy heartbreak romances that ends in disaster but instead it went in a different direction that surprised me. Now I don’t know how much I can talk about them without spoiling you or giving away too much but I must say that I was surprised at the maturity that Jill displayed even while being in such a fragile emotional state. Both of them knew that their relationship couldn’t go anywhere and while there was definitely an attraction, Jill never wanted to overstep that boundary and was levelheaded even though Daniel wasn’t. However, there was no black and white when it came to them and their friendship/relationship, I didn’t really want him to end up with her more than I wanted her to end up with Sean.
My absolutely favorite parts of this entire book were the conversations that Sean and Jill had with each other. The dialogue was just so well written and the moments that they had were so real. Again, I can’t talk about them too much otherwise I will end up giving too much away. The plot and pacing flowed together in perfect harmony which made sure that nothing ever felt rushed or not well developed and there weren’t any characters that were thrown into the plot for no reason at all. Jill and Claire supported each other and their. conversations were superbly written. Overall…you really just need to read this book.
Thank you so much Harlequin TEEN and the Irish Bananas Tours for providing me with an e-arc for review. In compliance with FTC guidelines, I must state that I received this book for free and was in no way compensated for my review.
About the Author:
Abigail was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snow storms for year round summers, and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip (in a purple spiral bound notebook that she still has) and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high school production of Cinderella, and publishing her first novel.
3 Finished Copies of IF I FIX YOU (US Only)