ARC Review: If I Fix You

Posted October 17, 2016 / Book Reviews / 16 Comments

I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

ARC Review: If I Fix YouIf I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Harlequin on October 25th 2016
Format: ARC (304 pages) • Source: Around the World ARC Tours
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three-stars

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 . . .

God I have so many thoughts on this book and no idea where to begin. I feel incredibly conflicted because there are some things I really loved about this book. But, unfortunately, there were MANY more things I was not a fan of. AT ALL. It definitely left a lot to be desired and way more angst than expected. Overall, ugh.

The Good

Main character who works on cars with her dad.

I loved the father-daughter dynamics in this story. If all of the rest of the things in my “bad” section didn’t exist, this relationship alone would have made this a much higher-rated book. Jill works on cars with her dad nonstop in his shop. They have a really good relationship that was awesome to read about. Her mom left them after some THINGS went down that I won’t spoil. They had to try to move on and live their lives without her, which wasn’t easy, but they always had each other. I’ve always been close to my dad so I just love these kinds of relationships in books.

No filter when it was needed.

I know it’s never a great idea for a teen to mouth off at their parent, but I was rooting so hard for Jill when certain things happened. View Spoiler » That conversation made me so angry I was literally gritting my teeth while reading.

The Bad

Terrible romantic prospects. Just… terrible.

I don’t want to get into some of the nuances here because very spoilery, so you can check out the tags in a second. Basically there’s the childhood best friend, Sean, who seriously fucked up recently. Then, a new mysterious older boy, Daniel, moves in next door. I just didn’t enjoy either one of these guys for a variety of reasons. About Sean: View Spoiler » About Daniel: View Spoiler » So yeah. As usual, I could understand the “reasons” for the love triangle and why she was interested in both boys, but I wanted no part in either one of them. Also, this kind of thing is incredibly annoying:

  • Boy: *calls repeatedly to make up after fight*
  • Girl: *ignores until he stops calling*
  • Girl: What’s wrong with you? You haven’t talked to me in a week are we ever gonna be okay again????

I can’t with this. You can’t get mad at someone for not talking to you when YOU ignored them for a week… while they were trying to get in touch with you. I don’t get it.

Too much angst and cheese for my liking.

It felt like a New Adult book without the fun sex scenes. I don’t like angsty books or ones with too much drama, and this one had it up the wazoo. I appreciated the different aspects of her life (the boys, her relationships with her parents, etc.) for the most part. I just feel like there was a lot going on and I was constantly angry while reading. On top of the angst/drama, there was too much cheesiness in some of the dialogue. Some things that Daniel said to her made my eyes roll so far back into my head it was unreal. “I forgot I was angry just by looking at you” – yeah you’re right, that’s how life works.

Frankly I just didn’t care much.

Despite having very strong reactions while reading, I didn’t care what was going to happen most of the time. I wanted to finish because I was fairly certain that there’d be one or two twisty things, which made me kind of curious, but that’s really it. I was right because I was pretty interested by the end; a few things managed to surprise me and I actually LIKED some of it.

Thoughts in a Gif

Rating Breakdown

Plot & Premise
three-stars
Characters
two-half-stars
Writing Style
four-stars
Pacing & Flow
four-half-stars
Feels or Swoons
two-half-stars
Addiction Level
three-stars
Overall: 3.3

16 responses to “ARC Review: If I Fix You

  1. Sorry to hear this one wasn’t for you, Lauren! I cannot say that this one was on my radar so I think I’ll just continue to coast past it. The romantic situation does not sound like my cup of tea. Sorry, you weren’t able to enjoy it more.

  2. Oh no!! As soon as you said New Adult, I was off the bandwagon on this one!! I hate when they throw out the Sarah Dessen comparisons, because honestly this sounds NOTHING like Sarah Dessen. Although I must say it sort of sounds like a book I would love to hate. You know when you read a book and all this overly dramatic stuff is happening, and even though you keep rolling your eyes you can’t stop reading because you want to see how much more dramatic and ridiculous it will get?? Okay maybe that’s just me that likes to do that. But sometimes I have a lot of fun with the books I’m not liking so much 🙂

  3. Ria

    Oh, this was on my radar for a long time. I was debating over whether to request it or not. Now I’m glad that I didn’t.

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