The average person makes 35,000 decisions every single day. That’s about 34,999 too many for Paige Collins who lives in debilitating fear of making the wrong choice. The simple act of picking an art elective is enough to send her into a spiral of what ifs. What if she’s destined to be a famous ceramicist but wastes her talent in drama club? What if there’s a carbon monoxide leak in the ceramics studio and everyone drops dead? (Grim, but possible!)
That’s why when Paige is presented with two last-minute options for Christmas vacation, she’s paralyzed by indecision. Should she go with her best friend (and longtime crush) Fitz to his family’s romantic mountain cabin? Or should she accompany her mom to New York, a city Paige has spent her whole life dreaming about?
Just when it seems like Paige will crack from the pressure of choosing, fate steps in — in the form of a slippery grocery store floor — and Paige’s life splits into two very different parallel paths. One path leads to New York where Paige falls for the city… and the charms of her unexpected tour guide. The other leads to the mountains where Paige might finally get her chance with Fitz… until her anxiety threatens to ruin everything.
However, before Paige gets her happy ending in either destiny, she’ll have to face the truth about her struggle with anxiety — and learn that you don’t have to be “perfect” to deserve true love.
Paige has a hard time making decisions, even small ones that seem insignificant to other people. Why? Because every decision you make might determine what happens later on in life. Whether you end up with your true love or settle for someone else. Whether you live a life of happiness or regret. So yeah, she gets paralyzed when it comes to making choices because what if this is the decision she makes that ruins the rest of her life?
So you can imagine the turmoil she’s in when she has to choose between going on vacation with her best friend (and longtime crush), Fitz, or finally go to New York City with her mom for Christmas. But when she slips on a wet floor in a store and hits her head, her world is split into to alternate realities where she can live out either decision and find out if she’ll still get her happy ending with Fitz, or not.
What drew me into this book first was how Paige’s character was described because she’s basically me. I have a hard time with making decisions and sometimes feel that paralyzing fear of “what if this is the wrong choice and I screw my life up?” I obviously realized right away that Paige suffered an anxiety disorder because, oh yeah, so do I. So I found Paige to be a very relatable character throughout the entire length of the story… even the crushing on your guy best friend because, been there, done that (and never again).
The alternate reality aspect of the book told in alternating chapters was fantastic. I loved seeing how both realities would play out. It’s not the first time I’ve read something like this, I actually read a fantastic Recess fanfiction with parallel timelines showing how one thing can set some things off course and other things are inevitable. So that was something else that really drew me into this book. It makes you wonder how our lives would be different and the same if we made a different decision at one point in our lives.
Other than Paige, I loved both male characters in this, especially Harrison. He was aloof at first, but turns out to be this loveable dork underneath the snark. Meanwhile Fitz is that adorable puppy that everyone seems to love, though there were some times I was like, “ugh, Paige, get over him already.” So both males in this were great characters. I wasn’t so fond of Paige’s best friend, and I have no idea why, but I just felt “meh” about her.
A great takeaway from this book is that big decisions don’t have to be as scary as they seem. I mean, that definitely sounds easier than it is, but it’s good to remember. Some things that happen in life are going to happen no matter what you do or don’t do, and that’s what we need to embrace (I’m mostly talking to me here, but just in case anyone is in the same boat). I mean, we can’t get upset over things we can’t control, right?
Overall, this was a great book and it was a refreshing twist on YA romance!
Rating: 4/5 stars