The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone
An ARC was provided by Little, Brown BFYR via their Novl ARC request program in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Rising high school senior Sadie is bracing herself for a long, lonely, and boring summer. But things take an unexpected turn when she steps in to help rescue a baby in distress and a video of her good deed goes viral.
Suddenly internet-famous, Sadie's summer changes for the better when she's introduced to other "hometown heroes." These five very different teens form an unlikely alliance to secretly right local wrongs, but when they try to help a heroin-using friend, they get in over their heads and discover that there might be truth in the saying "no good deed goes unpunished." Can Sadie and her new friends make it through the summer with their friendships--and anonymity--intact?
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Well. This book was a total surprise.
Last year, I tried to read Carrie Firestone's The Loose-Ends List, which, despite a lovely cover, was disappointing. I tentatively added The Unlikelies to my TBR list and then managed to snag an ARC, so I was really hoping I would like it more. And I did.
Sadie was such a great main character. She's earnest and eager to help, and yeah, she makes mistakes, but she wants to be a good person, and I appreciated that so much. I liked how her friendships worked out; she didn't dump her old best friend, but they went through growing pains and then held on. The new friends were such a dynamic bunch, and their personalities were formed pretty well so they were distinguishable from each other. I really liked Gordie; he surprised me, and he was such a good guy. All of Sadie's new friends were good kids. It was so refreshing to read a book where teenagers try to give more to the world than they take. I also liked how important Sadie's dad was, and how well he and Sadie got along. Sadie's parents eventually make her go to therapy because of the trauma she experienced, and she stereotypically complains about it for a bit and I worried about the direction that was going, but in the end, she admitted much it helped her and I appreciated that.
I didn't love Alice's voodoo thing, and I was also really concerned about how much the kids weren't telling their parents. They did involve the authorities in good ways when it came to Izzy, but the New York trip made me very anxious.
There's a smattering of foul language, drug use (never portrayed positively, though), some underage drinking, and talk of hooking up.
The Verdict: Such a fun summer read. I definitely recommend it if you like contemporary YA.
Will I be adding this book to my library?: Maybe.