I have been itching to indulge in some YA for a while now as it's a genre I usually don't reach for. I attended an incredible talk featuring prominent YA authors Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan last year, and in that moment decided that I had to try YA — what better place to start than Australian YA?
The book opens with Milo, who is in Canberra visiting his girlfriend in Canberra. Whilst his girlfriend and all his mates are now basking in their newfound freedom now that they've finished high school, Milo hasn't worked out what he wants to do yet. Though the people around him think it's a disaster that he has no purpose yet, he's 17/18, and that's totally okay (I didn't either!). The book follows Milo as he decides what he wants out of life — whether it's to go to university, travel the world or remain working in the family bookstore.
Enter Layla. Milo hasn't seen his childhood neighbour and best friend for over 5 years, and suddenly she's back in town. Things feel different this time. Both begin to feel sparks that move beyond their playful friendship. Since the death of her mum, Layla has been unsettled, moving to different towns and is in a dysfunctional relationship with a drug dealer. The reemergence of Milo in her life has a calming effect on her and is a reminder of what he life felt like before things went off-track.
The romantic sub-plot will see you turning the pages quickly, but it's not the driving force of the book. What keeps you interested is watching two lost individuals work through their uncertainties of the future and what they truly want. The coming-of-age aspect of the book reigns supreme over the romance. Whilst I love a happily-ever-after ending, I also want an ending that feels real and I believe Remind Me How This Ends achieves this.
Remind Me How This Ends will take you on a journey through a range of emotions, but ultimately, it shows us that it's okay to not know what you want. You'll work it out in your own time.
Release date: March 27th 2017 by HarperCollins