For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Review: All Our Worst Ideas by Vicky Skinner


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. ~ Goodreads

Source: arc provided by Swoon Reads in exchange for an honest review

Review: Amy is driven to her single minded goal of becoming valedictorian of her class and winning a scholarship to her dream school, Stanford.

Unfortunately, her drive comes at a cost. Her boyfriend feels ignored and dumps her and her arch nemesis and main competition for valedictorian, Petra, is pulling ahead of her. To add to her stress, she needs to get a job because her family has hit a rough financial patch. She decides to apply to Spirits, a local record store even if it proves to be distracting to her studies.

Oliver is in charge of training Amy and is not thrilled about it. She’s uptight, smart & driven – things that Oliver can’t relate to. He’s taking a gap year while telling his mom that he’s applying to colleges but isn’t sure if that’s the right path for him. 

Oliver’s mom is dead set on him going to college to avoid the fate of his alcoholic father – a man that Oliver is still taking care of and picking up after. On the flip side, Amy’s mom wants her to aim lower, thinking she might not be able to get into Stanford. This hurts Amy terribly.

Amy & Oliver’s growing friendship, the record store, the playlist (& the entire awesome crew there) were a lot of fun but that was tempered by the very real issues both had to confront.

I really loved watching them break down each others walls – Oliver is SO grumpy at first lol and Amy so hyper focused on school and winning her ex back – but more importantly, how they stand up for each other when it counts.

There are definitely mistakes and drama going on but they were both such good kids struggling to do the right thing that it didn’t bother me.

One thing that sort of set off my red flag warnings is how much Oliver relied on Amy to make his life worthwhile. That’s never healthy in a relationship but it was, thankfully, addressed.

And added points for making Petra more than Amy’s cliché nemesis!

All Our Worst Ideas was fun, yet heartfelt, with real life issues YA in the vein of You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson – another book I really loved this year.

18 comments:

  1. Sorry you didn't like this. I loved this book! It gave all sorts of great feels.

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  2. Sounds like a good read! I'm glad the issue of Amy giving Oliver's life meaning was addressed, because yeah, we don't want that. lol

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

    p.s. Love the new header!

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    1. I was worried about that at first but it was addressed so yay!

      Thank you :-)

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  3. Sounds good. the record store setting and playlist got my attention- I feel like music and relationship drama go so well together lol. But it sounds like this works even beyond that- glad it was a good one. I'm curious now about Petra too :)

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    1. I love music in books but it doesn't always combine well but it did here.

      And I was really happy with how that rivalry turned out.

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  4. Real life issues is what I want from YA

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    1. They made a lot of mistakes but they really worked through it and were good kids.

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  5. This sounds like YA that lots of teens will relate to. I've been curious about it, so it's good to see your review!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I think it did a great job navigating parental issues and your own hopes for the future, and teen relationships.

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  6. I don't read much YA but you make this book sound appealing. Thanks!

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  7. I love the new look on your blog. This sounds like a good read.

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  8. Loving the skeletons! I weirdly haven't heard of this one, but definitely adding it to my TBR. 😁

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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    1. I've had the arc forever but was a little late reading it - story of my life lol

      But it was good!

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  9. Glad you enjoyed it. I'm struggling to read anything except non fiction at the moment as my brain is a bit fried!

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    1. I read this a while ago - I have also hit the fried stage lol

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