ARC Review: Where It All Lands

Stevie Rosenstein has never made a true friend. Never fallen in love. Moved from city to city by her father’s unrelenting job, it’s too hard to care for someone. Trust in anything. The pain of leaving always hurts too much. But she’ll soon learn to trust, to love.

Drew and Shane have been best friends through everything. The painful death of Shane’s dad. The bitter separation of Drew’s parents. Through sleepaway camps and family heartache, basketball games and immeasurable loss, they’ve always been there for each other.

Twice.

When Stevie meets Drew and Shane, life should go on as normal.

But a simple coin toss alters the course of their year in profound and unexpected ways
.

Recently I’ve been loving books with dual timelines, where two possibilities of a choice can be explored, because if we look at our own lives, don’t we sometimes wonder what the other outcome would’ve been if we had made a choice differently? Would things still end up the same or would our lives be on an entirely different track? So in this book, the author takes us on both possibilities and shows us what happens when the coin lands on heads as well as tails.

For the first half of the story, where Drew wins the toss and gets to ask Stevie out, I felt like their insta-love was too instant. I mean, I get attraction right away, but to feel deep feelings for someone right off the bat the way these two do is kind of like, “whoa, what?” Maybe that’s just me though. And since the book fits in two timelines, I get that there were some time jumps to move things a little faster. Drew was a hardened character due to his dad’s absence and habit of breaking promises to Drew, but sometimes Drew doesn’t appreciate what he has in his life. There was just something about him that made me not care for him as much as I did Stevie and Shane.

Stevie, the girl coming between these two boys, has moved around her whole life because of her dad’s job. She’s understanding to how Drew feels about his own dad, but is also tired of not feeling like she has a true home or true friends. However, she does have walls that she puts up to prevent hurt when she eventually has to leave again, along with the fact that her dad is an NFL coach, so she never knows if people are friends with her because they want to be or just to get something out of it. It’s interesting to see how her life is affected by the result of the coin toss, not only with her relationships with Drew and Shane, but even her family and old and new friends. 

Shane, on the other hand, was my favorite character in this book. In both universes, where he loses and wins the toss, he falls for Stevie slowly and he’s just so sweet about it. He always wants to do the right thing, and in both cases that means telling Stevie about the coin toss because he doesn’t believe that it’s fair to her. He never wanted to do it in the first place. I loved his hesitancy in the alternate of him winning the toss because he doesn’t ask her out right away and just gets to know Stevie before the romance happens between them. 

Both universes have a similar event that leaves a bit of a tragedy in the midst of this romantic book that makes the characters really reflect on themselves and their actions. It was interesting to see that even by making different choices, this event still happened either way, though the ultimate ending of that event had its differences. I don’t want to spoil it so I won’t. There was also a great ending that again, I won’t spoil, that was both satisfying and frustrating at the same time. 

Overall, a great book and even though it was a little “ehh” at the beginning, it turned out to be a great read!

Rating: 4 stars

*I received a free e-galley from NetGalley of this in exchange for an honest review*

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