The Best Possible Answer: A Novel by E. Katherine KottarasThe Best Possible Answer: A Novel by E. Katherine Kottaras

The Best Possible Answer: A Novel

byE. Katherine Kottaras

Hardcover | November 1, 2016

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AP Exams - check
SAT test - check
College Application - check
Date the wrong guy and ruin everything you've spent your whole life working for- check

Super-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has never had room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection is derailed when her boyfriend leaks secret pictures of her to the entire school-pictures no one was ever meant to see. Making matters worse, her parents might be getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Vivi feels like a complete and utter failure.

Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new circle of friends who know nothing about her past. That includes Evan, a gorgeous and intriguing guy who makes her want to do something she never thought she'd do again-trust. For the first time in her life, Vivi realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that? While she tries to figure it out, she learns something they never covered in her AP courses: that it's okay to be less than perfect, because it's our imperfections that make us who we are.

E. Katherine Kottaras once again captures what it means to be a teenager in The Best Possible Answer.

About The Author

E. Katherine Kottaras is the author of the young adult novel How to Be Brave. She is at her happiest when she is either 1) at the playground with her husband and daughter and their wonderful community of friends, 2) breathing deeply in a full handstand, or 3) writing. She now lives in Los Angeles where she's hard at work on her next bo...
How to Be Brave: A Novel
How to Be Brave: A Novel

by E. Katherine Kottaras

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Details & Specs

Title:The Best Possible Answer: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.63 × 5.83 × 0.98 inPublished:November 1, 2016Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1250072816

ISBN - 13:9781250072818

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Customer Reviews of The Best Possible Answer: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from An interesting mix of fluff and serious issues Viviana is having a rough few months. Her ex-boyfriend spread her nude selfies around the school, she’s feeling an immense amount of pressure to do well in school, her dad has moved out and barely contacts them, and her relationship with her mother is strained. She hopes for a quiet, relaxing summer, but between her anxiety, a job that’s more stressful than she anticipated, and the fact her best friend is moving away and they spend half the summer fighting over a boy, things aren’t going as planned. On the surface, The Best Possible Answer is a fun, light summer read, but it balances out the lightness with some serious issues like mental illness, lies, cheating, bullying, and school/parent pressures. While I appreciated that this book tackled so many big, real-life problems, at times it felt like there was too much going on. For such a short book, I think it was ambitious to address such huge issues but do it quickly and with a healthy dose of fluff in between. If it had focused more on a few of the issues instead of so many different things, it wouldn’t have felt like such a hodge podge of ‘big issue’ elements thrown together. That being said, I liked Vivi a lot and found her easy to relate to and sympathize with. She wanted to make everyone happy - her parents, her little sister, her best friend, her teachers - and it left her anxiety-ridden and struggling to cope. I think a lot of people, especially teens, will be able to relate to this. I liked that the story featured a strong female friendship. Vivi and Sammie fought and had disagreements and misunderstandings, but they loved each other unconditionally. If one needed the other, even during a fight, they were there for each other without question. This is the type of female friendship I’d love to see more of in YA. I do wish we’d learned a bit more about Sammie since she was such an important part of Vivi’s life, and it would have been nice to see more from them other than just talking about Evan, but it really was great to see such a strong friendship. The Best Possible Answer was a fun, thought-provoking read. It was different from anything I’ve read, and I appreciated the overall message of not letting your past or your mistakes define you or hold you back. Vivi had plenty of growing pains through the course of the story, but she came out stronger and smarter, and with the knowledge that it’s okay not to be perfect - what matters is that you remain true to yourself.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Healthy Dose of Reality 3.5 Stars The Best Possible Answer was quite a surprising read. I was not expecting this book to be so heavy with touchy subjects. It's an incredibly emotional story about (making) mistakes but not letting them define you. Each chapter of the story starts off with either an exam question or an advice on test-taking or college admission. I love the way they were incorporated into the story. They're very relevant to the plot and essential to learning about the characters. It was also a fun way to get a glimpse of what's ahead. Viviana's life is pretty messed up. Her family's not exactly together and her personal life is not in a good place. Her overachieving personality gave way to panic attacks whenever she screws up. To minimize that along with some of the other awful things going on in her life, she kept to herself and denied her true feelings. It was unhealthy and I didn't like it one bit. I wanted her to just be honest. After discovering a big secret her emotions further spirals downward. I hated watching how depressed and resentful she became. That emotional hole she was in, I felt it too. It took some time but I applaud her for her eventual bravery. Those confrontations were not easy but she kept herself together enough to think for herself and finally be her own person. Sammie, Vivi's best friend, is the best. She can be a bit over-the-top sometimes but she takes better care of Vivi than Vivi herself does. The two girls have their differences but they stood by each other during their toughest times. They are the definition of friends for life. There is a major driving point in The Best Possible Answer that I literally cannot take. I was and still am, so mad! It is not okay for anyone to do that. There wasn't much of a romance in the story besides there being a love interest for Vivi. Evan is an all-around nice guy who's patient and kind. He served as a gentle remainder that there are nice people in the world. People who won't judge you and just genuinely like you for who you are. I couldn't stop thinking about Vivi and her story after finishing this book. The Best Possible Answer really turns the wheels in your head. It's a humble and heartfelt look at how to be yourself without letting other people and mistakes affect you. Just be you.
Date published: 2016-11-07

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Editorial Reviews

"A complicated family drama about living with betrayal and learning how to open oneself again to love." -Publishers Weekly"Kottaras' creative use of "College Admission Tips" and tongue-in-cheek SAT questions at the start of each chapter adds a terrific satiric touch to the angst around all things college, and will speak to teens looking for a life amid the pressures and expectations of their high-school journey. A warmhearted and sensitive coming-of-age romance." - Booklist"Will speak to many readers...A sensitive novel about accepting imperfection." -- Kirkus Reviews"A narrative about coming to terms with one's mistakes, starting a new chapter and living with anxiety for all teen collections." -School Library Journal"Once again, Kottaras has written beautifully about bravery, strength, and resilience in the face of devastating loss. An uplifting commentary on the beauty and necessity of accepting life's gifts even as it stands on your chest, refusing to let you breathe. Viviana fights through setbacks and heartbreak, showing us all what it means to be resilient. A tough but extraordinary read!" -Charlotte Huang, author of For the Record"The Best Possible Answer is a beautiful exploration of the power that lies in the secrets we keep from ourselves and others, as well as the transformative nature of the truth." - Jessica Love, author of In Real Life"Authentic, gripping, and emotional, The Best Possible Answer is a study in mistakes-how they define us, and how they don't. Readers will identify with Viviana as she grapples with family, friendship, and love, and learns the ultimate lesson-that her future doesn't have to be determined by her past. The false veneer of perfection collides with trust and identity in a book that is both honest and brave." - Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, author of Firsts"How to Be Brave is a celebration of life, from the captivating open page to the emotional ending. Kottaras acutely and poetically depicts the painful struggle of re-finding yourself after a defining loss-and the stark effects of both success and failure along the way-in a lovely, heartfelt debut." -Dahlia Adler, author of Behind the Scenes"Just enough sass, just enough heart, and a narrator to root for. How to be Brave ushered me into another yet familiar world. Come along for the ride. You'll be glad you did." -Ron Koertge, award winning author of Coaltown Jesus"Powerful and rare, How to Be Brave is a wonderfully told story with gleams of humor and wit that will inspire readers to live their lives for real." -Robyn Schneider, bestselling author of The Beginning of Everything"Georgia's realistically profane voice aptly captures her personality, carrying the novel; her traverse through grief and experimentation make for a believable and satisfying character arc. A thoughtful exploration of grief and life." -Kirkus Reviews"How To Be Brave does a cartwheel in your heart. It artfully reminds us that bravery forges a path through fear and grief." -Courtney C. Stevens, author of Faking Normal"Kottaras's debut traces Georgia's struggles and triumphs as she reluctantly sets out to fulfill her mother's final wish for her to try new things and be fearless. Georgia's Greek-American heritage offers a distinctive backdrop for the novel's themes of emotional healing and self-discovery, while Georgia herself emerges as a realistically flawed and genuine protagonist." -Publishers Weekly"A perfect book for anyone trying to figure out what they want their life to look like, and how to be brave enough to make that life a reality." --Booklist