Title: Call It What You Want
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.
Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.
When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…
I’ll just say it now if it wasn’t obvious from my rating..
I LOVED THIS BOOK!
I fell in love with Kemmerer’s fairytale re-telling, A Curse So Dark and Lonely earlier in the year and after having read Call It What You Want, I have a strong urge to get “her other books and see if they are just as good.
I didn’t know anything about it going into it, but I was quickly swept up in the story and all the drama surrounding the two main characters, Maegan and Rob. And I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that deals with the issues that Rob has going on. It’s pretty dark and depressing, but that makes it more realistic in a way and not your usual cliché teen problems.
The character of Rob has a complex storyline – he used to be the stereotypical popular guy, but now he’s nothing. He hit rock bottom because of his father’s mistakes and is paying for them big time. I instantly felt sorry for him and never doubted his innocence for a second because of how he carries himself throughout the story.
It really sucks how your parents’ mistakes can ruin your own life as well and people’s perception of you.
In a moment of weakness, Maegan did something she shouldn’t have and must deal with the consequences as well as dealing with her sister’s shocking bump of a surprise. As a character, Maegan tries to just keep a low profile, which is a little easier for her than for Rob to do. In a way, the two flawed characters balance each other out and fit well together.
It’s nice to read about flawed characters and how the characters try and deal with what has happened to them – be it their own fault or because of someone else.
By not being your typical high school drama the story was lifted to another level.
Kemmerer has mentioned that she wanted to put Robin Hood into a modern high school and I feel like she achieved it, though it is obviously not a direct retelling, but it has elements from the old tale, set in a modern day YA novel.
So, all in all, this book ticked the boxes that makes a great YA story and it did it with a storyline that hasn’t been seen that much, which was so nice and refreshing.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of YA contemporary romance, but not with the usual tropes.
Have you read this book? I’d love to discuss it with you in the comments.