Book Name: All Our Worst Ideas
Author: Vicky Skinner
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 11th, 2020
Book Acquired: ARC, Xpresso Book Tours
Two teens who have nothing in common work together at a record store in All Our Worst Ideas, a powerful and voice-driven YA novel from Vicky Skinner.
When Amy, on her way to becoming valedictorian of her graduating class and getting accepted to her dream school, gets dumped by her long-term boyfriend, she takes a job at a record store to ease the pain. She needs a distraction, badly.
Oliver, Amy’s record store co-worker, isn’t so sure about Amy—his complete opposite—but what he is sure of is his decision not to go to college. He just can’t figure out how to tell his mother.
As they work late-night shifts at the record store, Amy and Oliver become friends and then confidantes and then something more, but when Amy has a hard time letting go of what she thought was her perfect future with her ex, she risks losing the future she didn’t even know she wanted with Oliver.
I absolutely enjoyed this book. The fantastic music compilation is something that makes a person read more. A unique way to introduce characters and a perfect way to help the reader understand the character’s feelings.
When I first picked up the book, I thought it would be a simple YA coming of age story. But this book was that and so much more. The book’s narration is from two point-of-views, Amy and Oliver.
In Amy’s side of the story, you see a shy nerd who’s only dream is to go to California. Amy’s life depends on it. Living in a family, with 4 other children, having financial hardships with big dreams to fulfill isn’t easy for any teenager. But Amy knows what she wants and she’ll do anything to get valedictorian, the Kellar scholarship and finally her ticket out of Kansas City to Stanford. But it doesn’t come without drama. Seeing as Amy is managing her studies, her student activities and on her mother’s request, now she has to manage a job.
On the other side we see a very quiet and brooding young man who is already working at Spirits, the record shop Amy starts working at. One thing that Oliver wants is to not go to college. Which his mum doesn’t know and he has put up this facade for all to see. Having lived in a broken house, an alcoholic father, Oliver’s mum insists that education is the key to not become like his father. But Oliver has different plans. He just wants to live freely and on his own without any restraints and responsibilities.
What I didn’t expect is for Oliver to fall so quickly and drastically for a super confused Amy. Amy, having just been dumped by her popular boyfriend, again becomes a nobody at school which she doesn’t mind. But at Spirits, Oliver notices her. A music competition brings these two closer and finally Oliver manages to make the first move. But Amy rejects and at that point in the story, I truly felt for Amy and Oliver.
Amy has built up a perfect life she had and kept it functioning to a T. But when things start falling, Amy can’t manage to fix anything up until Petra, Jackson helps her see things right. The anxiety that comes with changed plans and is not easy to overcome. Amy’s character is written perfectly to give us a sense of how anxious and confused she feels. Oliver’s character too is written beautifully.
A perfect musical love story that is too adorable to not love. I was captivated by this book and loved reading every conversation between the characters. This one is perfect for the dreamers and the ones who are scared to dream or wish. This book shows us that everything works out in the end. Although, I did find the book to be draggy and bit repetitive but overall worth the 4 stars!