Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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Imagination takes on new meaning for a uniquely talented teen in this debut novel that is a breathtaking blend of contemporary, fantasy, and romance.
Sometimes Jonathan Aubrey wishes he could just disappear. And as luck—or fate—would have it, he can. Ever since coming out of a coma as a kid, he has been able to create alternate worlds. Worlds where he is a superhero, or a ladies’ man, or simply a better version of himself. That’s the world he’s been escaping to most since sophomore year, a world where he has everything he doesn’t have in real life: friends, a place of honor on the track team, passing grades, and most importantly, Kylie Simms as his girlfriend.
But when Jonathan confuses his worlds senior year and tries to kiss the real Kylie Simms, everything unravels. The real Kylie actually notices Jonathan…and begins obsessing over him. The fantasy version of Kylie struggles to love Jonathan as she was created to do, and the consequences are disastrous. As his worlds collide, Jonathan must confront the truth of his power and figure out where he actually belongs—before he loses both Kylies forever.
Unfortunately I seem to be the black sheep for In a World Just Right. I had high hopes for this one after reading parallel universe stories such as Pivot Point by Kasie West and the Tempest series by Julie Cross. However, I had found myself having many issues with In a World Just Right that quite impacted my enjoyment of the novel.
I’m quite the logical and scientific girl. I like reasons and the explanations for things. Connecting the dots and providing evidence is one of my favorite things to do. However, I do understand that some things are best not left unsaid or that some things are truly can’t be explained given our knowledge on a subject. I also am aware that YA novels are typically fiction and therefore can be unrealistic. Nonetheless, there’s only so much I can suspend my disbelief. In a World Just Right is based around the fact that Jonathan, the main character, can create other worlds (parallel universes) by just blinking his eyes shut. He got this power from a tragic accident aaaaand….yeah. That’s literally all of the information we are given throughout this 432 page story regarding Jonathan’s abilities. I felt this lack of information led to me questioning a lot of the stories events and led to poor world building (hah) overall. I can understand this lack of information is due to Jonathan’s own ignorance but wouldn’t you, if in his position, want seek some form of an answer of why you suddenly have this magical ability?
Jonathon doesn’t seek answers. Nope. All due to the fact that basically his entire motivations are revolved around his one and only problem for the course of this novel: Kylie, the love interest (who should Jonathan date?! A girl he made up or that same girl in reality. Oh the humanity). Let it sink in for a moment that Jonathon has created a whole other world where he’s dating this one girl. In then in the “real” world he continues to pine for said girl and even tries to go after her. Quite frankly I found his relationship(s??? I don’t even know how to classify this as he’s basically in a love triangle with the same person) with Kylie to be disturbing and creepy.
I wonder why that intimate moment would be less creepy than the rest of the time instead of more. Does this mean she could really love me for real?
It’s always fun when Jonathon recognizes his own creepiness and than goes onto wondering if Kylie could love him for real. I couldn’t get on board with Jonathan and Kylie’s relationship let alone connect with it. I found it to promote an entirely obsessive form of love, which of course isn’t healthy in any way. Jonathan couldn’t seemingly couldn’t get the girl in the real world so why not just make this perfect fantasy world where she looveeeess him. Whenever Jonathan’s upset he just runs off to this alternate version of Kylie to hook up with. Time passes and wow, now there he is in the real world staring longingly at the real version of Kylie who HAS NO CLUE THAT JONATHAN WAS MAKING OUT WITH SOMEBODY WHO IS BASICALLY HER LAST NIGHT. It was honestly so uncomfortable to read but there was no escape from it since this novel is entirely romance. You also have real world Kylie beginning to develop feelings for Jonathan… which of course is
connected to the alternate version of her created true love. Yay for artificial feelings developed out of creepy manifestations!
Another thing that bothered me was how absent Jonathan’s uncle was in all of his worlds really. It was the most obvious display of “abandoned parent syndrome” in existence. It basically allowed for Jonathan to do whatever he wanted (like say ditching classes in the real world to be with the alternate Kylie) with no parental consequences. Furthermore it further exemplified the fact Jonathon had no friendships, family ties or really anything but his disturbing obsession with Kylie.
There was one saving grace in this novel and it was the ending. The ending was so explosive and contained a plot twist I didn’t see coming in the least. For me it made the story go from one star to two stars as I actually liked the twist. The ending was easily the most well executed part of the novel for me. To say it changed the previous course of the novel would be an understatement, so perhaps maybe that’s why I enjoyed it.
Unfortunately not even an impactful ending couldn’t change the rest of this 432 page novel for me. Overall, I found myself most disappointed in the world-building and the romance. However, many people are loving this one so perhaps you will too.
~Thank you Simon and Schuster for the review copy~
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