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Where It All Lands

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Stevie Rosenstein has never made a true friend. Never fallen in love. Moved from city to city by her father’s unrelenting job, it’s too hard to care for someone. Trust in anything. The pain of leaving always hurts too much. But she’ll soon learn to trust, to love. Twice. Drew and Shane have been best friends through everything. The painful death of Shane's dad. The bitter se Stevie Rosenstein has never made a true friend. Never fallen in love. Moved from city to city by her father’s unrelenting job, it’s too hard to care for someone. Trust in anything. The pain of leaving always hurts too much. But she’ll soon learn to trust, to love. Twice. Drew and Shane have been best friends through everything. The painful death of Shane's dad. The bitter separation of Drew's parents. Through sleepaway camps and family heartache, basketball games and immeasurable loss, they've always been there for each other. When Stevie meets Drew and Shane, life should go on as normal. But a simple coin toss alters the course of their year in profound and unexpected ways. Told in dual timelines, debut author Jennie Wexler delivers a heartbreaking and hopeful novel about missed opportunities, second chances, and all the paths that lead us to where we are.


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Stevie Rosenstein has never made a true friend. Never fallen in love. Moved from city to city by her father’s unrelenting job, it’s too hard to care for someone. Trust in anything. The pain of leaving always hurts too much. But she’ll soon learn to trust, to love. Twice. Drew and Shane have been best friends through everything. The painful death of Shane's dad. The bitter se Stevie Rosenstein has never made a true friend. Never fallen in love. Moved from city to city by her father’s unrelenting job, it’s too hard to care for someone. Trust in anything. The pain of leaving always hurts too much. But she’ll soon learn to trust, to love. Twice. Drew and Shane have been best friends through everything. The painful death of Shane's dad. The bitter separation of Drew's parents. Through sleepaway camps and family heartache, basketball games and immeasurable loss, they've always been there for each other. When Stevie meets Drew and Shane, life should go on as normal. But a simple coin toss alters the course of their year in profound and unexpected ways. Told in dual timelines, debut author Jennie Wexler delivers a heartbreaking and hopeful novel about missed opportunities, second chances, and all the paths that lead us to where we are.

30 review for Where It All Lands

  1. 5 out of 5

    jessica

    this was an enjoyable read. i didnt have any expectations going into it, so i would consider this a pleasant surprise. generally, i dont care for stories with parallel timelines, as the plot tends to get repetitious and tedious, but thats not the case with this story. each timeline feels whole and has enough differences that it didnt feel like i was reading the same thing over again. i was also worried this would end up with a love triangle, so im glad that was semi avoided. my only minor critiqu this was an enjoyable read. i didnt have any expectations going into it, so i would consider this a pleasant surprise. generally, i dont care for stories with parallel timelines, as the plot tends to get repetitious and tedious, but thats not the case with this story. each timeline feels whole and has enough differences that it didnt feel like i was reading the same thing over again. i was also worried this would end up with a love triangle, so im glad that was semi avoided. my only minor critique would be the ending. (view spoiler)[its meant to be ambiguous and i think that fits the tone of the book, but i personally prefer a concrete conclusion. i would have loved to get confirmation regarding which timeline actually happened because the uncertain nature of it all just left me feeling a little underwhelmed. (hide spoiler)] but overall, this is quick, cute story that gets you thinking about all the little ‘what ifs’ in life. thanks wednesday books for the ARC. ↠ 3.5 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    The concept was deliciously intriguing: three musical prodigies who are suffering from daddy issues get stuck in a love triangle- sliding doors theme : two boys like the same girl but they are close friends so they don’t want the girl come between them. So they flip the coin just like every time they have a conflict for letting the fate decide for them. It’s childish but it always works and we see two different scenarios: by witnessing each boy’s winning and asking out for the girl. Of course ea The concept was deliciously intriguing: three musical prodigies who are suffering from daddy issues get stuck in a love triangle- sliding doors theme : two boys like the same girl but they are close friends so they don’t want the girl come between them. So they flip the coin just like every time they have a conflict for letting the fate decide for them. It’s childish but it always works and we see two different scenarios: by witnessing each boy’s winning and asking out for the girl. Of course each decision they made and each action they take results with different and unique consequences. Did I get your attention? Because this remarkable concept with well developed lovely three characters and lots of music totally picked my interest and pushed me flip the pages as fast as I could! I enjoyed this bittersweet, heartbreaking, moving story! Let’s learn more about the characters and their back stories: Drew is school’s popular boy, who is son of outstanding music manager. His father’s cheating and abandoning him with his mom who is mentally suffering after the sudden breakup affects his new life. His best friend Shane is always be there with him at each painful traumatic steps of his life. Shane is a unique musical prodigy who is being bullied by football players of the school. Drew tries to protect his friend but he also has complex feelings about Shane’s talented musical skills which are more appreciated by his own father. At some parts he felt like they had better relationship and he felt like third wheel when he spent time with them. Shane lost his father at young age so it might be normal for him to choose his best friend’s father as a role model which also makes Drew a little resentful. And Stevie involves into their lives who also suffers from moving to the different states because of his father’s demanding NFL coach job. She cannot live at permanent place, forming longtime friendship bounds, pursuing her musical dreams. She feels trapped, exhausted till she meets with these two boys who will change her life completely. I enjoyed both of the scenarios even though too many F bombs throughout the dialogues were a little disturbing and the love stories were a little haphazard, instant! But I loved three of the characters and it was fun to read their POVs , learning more about their inner worlds. So I’m giving four what if, heartfelt, interesting concept, original, musical, growing pains stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Wednesday Books for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Wexler

    Dear Readers, The ARC of WHERE IT ALL LANDS is out in the world! I’m just stopping by to say thank you for reading my words. I wrote WHERE IT ALL LANDS during a time when I deeply questioned how much control we have over the trajectory of our lives. While this book is very much a love story, it’s also an exploration of life’s twists and turns. Sometimes the smallest decisions lead to the greatest victory. Other times we struggle to make change. And then of course, there are the moments that happe Dear Readers, The ARC of WHERE IT ALL LANDS is out in the world! I’m just stopping by to say thank you for reading my words. I wrote WHERE IT ALL LANDS during a time when I deeply questioned how much control we have over the trajectory of our lives. While this book is very much a love story, it’s also an exploration of life’s twists and turns. Sometimes the smallest decisions lead to the greatest victory. Other times we struggle to make change. And then of course, there are the moments that happen to us – the good, bad, and everything in between. What if is a loaded question. Life doesn’t allow for do-overs, and decisions can only be deemed negative or positive in hindsight. In the moment, we make our best guess and choose whichever path we think is right. Sometimes we have no choice. I hope readers who have wished for a do-over in their own lives find solace in these pages. Even if, like me, you still don’t have the answers, I hope you can begin to find meaning and peace through this story. WHERE IT ALL LANDS is a love letter to our truest connections and to those we have lost, the ones who have impacted our lives and continue to exist in our hearts – always.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sofie |

    Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the eARC for review! _______ Some call it fortune, some call it fate. It’s neither. Every moment led to this, and this chance would lead to more moments, all stringing together a life. We chase every dream and reach for every imagined finish line. But it’s not about the end. On Stevie's first day at her new school, she meets a pair of best friends who both almost instantly fall for her. Rather than fighting, the pair toss a coin to see who will get Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the eARC for review! _______ Some call it fortune, some call it fate. It’s neither. Every moment led to this, and this chance would lead to more moments, all stringing together a life. We chase every dream and reach for every imagined finish line. But it’s not about the end. On Stevie's first day at her new school, she meets a pair of best friends who both almost instantly fall for her. Rather than fighting, the pair toss a coin to see who will get to ask her out. Where It All Lands follows both realities - one where the coin lands on heads for Drew, and one where it lands on tails for Shane. If you can't tell by my ~overly enthusiastic~ synopsis of the book, I was NOT a fan. We start the first chapter in a flash forward to some tragedy - we don't know which timeline it's from - and we basically get 2 novellas about Stevie and her two possible relationships. We barely get to know the characters, so when the books comes full circle to that opening tragedy, it was hard to care. The characters were bland and pretentious. Shane was the only decent one, honestly. All 3 of our MCs are music obsessed, and the author name drops a lot of older bands as if they have the monopoly on "good music". Wexler, you know you can write a book about music aficionados without insulting one of the most talented and respected female musicians in the world? I'm not here for the Taylor Swift slander. Also considering she was virtually the ONLY female musician other than Stevie Nicks that the author mentions in the book, it came across borderline misogynistic. Let's not forget the worst YA trope in existence IMO - insta-love. Drew and Shane know within, like, 20 seconds of meeting Stevie that she's ~not like other girls~. They each have 1 conversation with her before they both know they want to ask her out. At least in Shane's timeline, we get some build up, but in Drew's, the pair literally get together after 3 days. And anything that was good about Shane's timeline was soured by his constant "oh she could never like me, she likes Drew, I'm such a fool, I'll always be in the friend zone!!" Like, no. Why couldn't the pair have wanted to be Stevie's friend without anticipating a relationship coming out of it? And it's clear at least Drew wasn't interested in only being friends, since he completely ignores her in the timeline where Shane wins the coin toss. A girl's friendship is not a consolation prize. The melodrama of the last few chapters was laughable. It feels like the author was trying to say something about the importance of friendship, of choice, of fate, but she couldn't decide what. We barely see Drew and Shane's friendship since their parts are so fully about their respective relationships with Stevie. 1.75 stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    "the idea that something so small as a coin toss could change everything" Absolutely stunning. I'm blown away by how great this story is! Two best friends, Drew and Shane. They've been through so much together that they are like brothers - thick as thieves and so much loyalty. Stevie is the new girl, she's just arrived in town. She loves music and Pearl Jam and not really football (for reasons). And both boys find their eyes trailing Stevie. Not only is she adorable but she's their calm in the mid "the idea that something so small as a coin toss could change everything" Absolutely stunning. I'm blown away by how great this story is! Two best friends, Drew and Shane. They've been through so much together that they are like brothers - thick as thieves and so much loyalty. Stevie is the new girl, she's just arrived in town. She loves music and Pearl Jam and not really football (for reasons). And both boys find their eyes trailing Stevie. Not only is she adorable but she's their calm in the middle of the storm. So the boys do what they always do when they don't want to compete for something - Drew insists they flip a coin. No one knows how this will turn out. This story is told through 3 Parts - Part 1: Drew, Part 2: Shane - and then Part 3 - which is a mix of both. You get to see what would happen with both sides of the coin flip. Right or wrong, you get to see both boys get a chance with Stevie (and you get to see what she thinks about all of this). It's such a unique and creative way to tell the story - you get to love each character through each telling in a new way, because you get to see a new side to every character as both boys explore getting to know someone new, Stevie. It's a lovely story, but sad too. I loved the ups and downs and the struggles to understand. Absolutely wonderfully perfectly done. A new favorite. An e-ARC was provided to me by the author and publishing via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    book bruin

    4.5 stars I will admit that when I first read the blurb for Where It All Lands, I was very worried about a love triangle. I usually avoid those at all costs, but I'm so glad I took a chance on this story. Because of the dual timelines of the book, I'm hesitant to even call what unfolded a love triangle. There isn't overlap or wishy washy back and forth, but rather a series of what ifs and an exploration of how decisions (big or small) can impact our lives in unexpected and sometimes tragic ways. T 4.5 stars I will admit that when I first read the blurb for Where It All Lands, I was very worried about a love triangle. I usually avoid those at all costs, but I'm so glad I took a chance on this story. Because of the dual timelines of the book, I'm hesitant to even call what unfolded a love triangle. There isn't overlap or wishy washy back and forth, but rather a series of what ifs and an exploration of how decisions (big or small) can impact our lives in unexpected and sometimes tragic ways. The book is divided into 3 parts based on the result of the coin toss - heads, tails, and a final section made up of alternating heads and tails chapters. The sections were unique enough to not feel repetitive, even though they're all the same characters and some of the events occur in both timelines. It was fascinating seeing the relationships and events unfold in each timeline. How one choice would domino into another and lead to a similar outcome or something entirely different. It raised many philosophical questions for me about how much of life is really in our control/about choice and how some moments just happen and all we can do is hold on. All of the characters were so wonderfully and frustratingly human. They make mistakes and rash decisions, sometimes choosing to lie and say hurtful things, but there are beautiful moments too. Those butterflies and the hopefulness of first love. The joy of finding a friend that fully sees you and the rightness of belonging. Being scared or nervous while facing your fears, but standing tall and doing it anyway. All those moments, for better or for worse, make up a life. I know some readers will take issue with how the book concluded, but I thought it was the perfect way to bring everything full circle. We don't know what the future will hold or how our decisions today will shape what happens down the line. Where It All Lands is a good reminder that what's important in life is the actual living. CW: bullying, divorce/parental abandonment (due to infidelity), car accident, mentions of anti-Semitic experiences, death of parent, choking, grief, anxiety, insomnia *I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    READ THIS BOOK!!! To give an honest review I usually wait a few days after I read a book to process what I've read. With each day that passes after reading Jennie Wexler's debut novel, I've come to love it more and more! Music is a major part of the characters lives and the songs that they listen to, that I have been listening to for years, have new meaning to me. So much so that as I was driving to work a Pearl Jam song came on the radio and it reminded me of a specific part in the book (that I READ THIS BOOK!!! To give an honest review I usually wait a few days after I read a book to process what I've read. With each day that passes after reading Jennie Wexler's debut novel, I've come to love it more and more! Music is a major part of the characters lives and the songs that they listen to, that I have been listening to for years, have new meaning to me. So much so that as I was driving to work a Pearl Jam song came on the radio and it reminded me of a specific part in the book (that I will not spoil for you!) and moved it me to tears. Yes, I actually cried!!! Stevie and I would have been friends in HS, Drew was super cool in a different way, but omg Shane. Shane has worked his way to being one of my favorite literary characters of all time. I like a story that makes me think. Where It All Lands has me thinking about how much control we really have over our lives and how much is left to chance. How our decisions impact our lives and what effects those choices have on those who are close to us. Bravo Jennie!!! You hit this one out of the park!!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    CYIReadBooks (Claire)

    It’s been a while since I’ve read a novel that made me cry, laugh and reminisce about my high school years. Where It All Lands is just that novel that will evoke all of the emotions of the teen years and then some. Stevie Rosenstein has for the umpteenth time relocated to another state and a new high school. She barely has time to make any true friends and then she has to move to another state and start the acclimation process over again. Her dad is a renowned football coach so his occupation len It’s been a while since I’ve read a novel that made me cry, laugh and reminisce about my high school years. Where It All Lands is just that novel that will evoke all of the emotions of the teen years and then some. Stevie Rosenstein has for the umpteenth time relocated to another state and a new high school. She barely has time to make any true friends and then she has to move to another state and start the acclimation process over again. Her dad is a renowned football coach so his occupation lends itself to multiple relocations. Unsettling as it may be, Stevie has learned to shield herself in a cocoon, thereby eliminating any chance for close friendships that may cause herself hurt and emotional pain. That was until she is befriended by Drew Mason and Shane Murphy, both of whom are fellow classmates at the local high school. Unbeknownst to Stevie, Shane and Drew share a secret. A secret that they have kept since their grade school years. This secret has allowed Shane and Drew to avoid conflict and solidified their friendship. It is a simple coin toss of heads or tails. But, what starts out as a simple coin toss has lead to consequences beyond anything imaginable. Where It All Lands is a superbly crafted Young Adult | Teen novel. The plot follows a timeline of events and the story unfolds in several points of view — that of Stevie, Drew, and Shane. The characters are wholesome and developed in such as way that the reader will be able to draw a vivid picture of each player in his/her mind’s eye. The story is solid. However, I found the Epilogue disappointing. Others may disagree but to me it was a letdown to an almost perfect narrative. Four stars. I received a digital ARC from St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley. The review herein is completely my own and contains my honest thoughts and opinions.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    This book made me absolutely lose my mind. I will never look at a coin the same ever again. Where It All Lands follows three main characters: Stevie, Drew, and Shane. Stevie is the new girl in town, and Drew and Shane have been best friends for years. After Drew and Shane meet Stevie, both guys want to ask her out. So, the boys do what they've done for the past ten years when they've had a disagreement: flip a coin. If the coin lands on heads, Drew gets to ask Stevie out. If the coin lands on ta This book made me absolutely lose my mind. I will never look at a coin the same ever again. Where It All Lands follows three main characters: Stevie, Drew, and Shane. Stevie is the new girl in town, and Drew and Shane have been best friends for years. After Drew and Shane meet Stevie, both guys want to ask her out. So, the boys do what they've done for the past ten years when they've had a disagreement: flip a coin. If the coin lands on heads, Drew gets to ask Stevie out. If the coin lands on tails, Shane does. This book is told in dual timelines via three parts: part 1 is what would've happened if Drew won the coin toss, part 2 is what would've happened if Shane won, and part 3 alternates between the two timelines. As someone who loves a good dual timeline story, this form of storytelling absolutely fascinated me. Although the two timelines happened over the same period of time (August to December), the story wasn't repetitive at all. There were some events that occurred during both timelines, but there was a large degree of change between them. Seeing what changed and what stayed the same between each timeline was really interesting; this one coin toss changed so many things in the course of these people's lives, but there were also some things that stayed the same no matter what. This story absolutely wrecked me. I'm not going to say much because it's definitely best to go in unknowing, but this entire story threw me for a loop. It was a rollercoaster from beginning to end, and there was so much happening that I just needed to keep on reading to find out what was going to happen next. I think I experienced at least three existential crises while reading this book. Stevie, Drew, and Shane were all very complex characters, and I found it super interesting to see how their narratives changed based on that one single event that launched this story into existence. I loved the juxtaposition between Drew and Shane, and I also really liked how much their friendship bond was emphasized. Their stories were raw and messy and not at all perfect, but I genuinely loved all three main characters. All three characters are also in band (marching band romance heheh), so I enjoyed how big of a role music played in this story. I would like to add that even though there was a love triangle, I absolutely ate it up. Above all, this book plays into chance and the chain of cause and effect. Its message is three-fold: some things happen for a reason, other things happen without one and their happening couldn't have been changed, and the most important thing to cherish is the journey and living in the moment, not the destination (yeah yeah cheesy but it's true). Anyway, everyone go read this book when it comes out!! Thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Note: Stevie is Jewish, but it's not my place to evaluate how good the Jewish representation in this book is. If anyone is a Jewish reviewer and has an issue with the rep, please do let me know. TW: mentions of anti-Semitic experiences, death of loved one (off-page), grief, bullying, divorce/parental abandonment (due to infidelity), (view spoiler)[car accident (hide spoiler)] , vomit, choking, insomnia

  10. 4 out of 5

    booksandzoe

    Portions of this book were SUPER enjoyable to read, and I think this overall wasn't a waste of my time, but I think a lot of this novel is trying to accomplish something super deep and meaningful, which just does not translate at all. I love the concept of the book: two best friends do a coin toss to see who gets to ask the new girl out, and the book is split into 2 parts showing alternate realities in which either of them win. I really enjoyed reading about Stevie getting to know both of the bo Portions of this book were SUPER enjoyable to read, and I think this overall wasn't a waste of my time, but I think a lot of this novel is trying to accomplish something super deep and meaningful, which just does not translate at all. I love the concept of the book: two best friends do a coin toss to see who gets to ask the new girl out, and the book is split into 2 parts showing alternate realities in which either of them win. I really enjoyed reading about Stevie getting to know both of the boys in their prospective halves, and I loved both of the romances. However, the book tries to get ~meaningful and philosophical~ and it just didn't... work at all. It felt very cringy, and very cartoonish. I liked all three of the main characters, however there's just so much exaggerated teenage angst that gets super repetitive and over dramatic. Perhaps this is just how teenagers will be, but it was super annoying to read. We know all three main characters have daddy issues. We got it the first... 10 times it was mentioned😭 You seriously can't get through a single chapter in this book without the characters whining about how their dads are rich and famous. I get that it sucks to have absent parents... but that should not be a characters only personality trait. So much of that repetitive space could've gone to building the characters actual personalities. I thought the chemistry between all the characters was wonderfully written, and the relationships all had their moments of beauty mixed with the bad. Some lines were just *so* stand out beautiful, they made the repetitiveness of the plot worth it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)

    Once again, Stevie Rosenstein is the new girl in high school, forced to move yet again for her famous father’s football coaching job. On her first day of band practice, she meets Drew and Shane, who have been best friends for as long as they can remember. She’s immediately attracted to Drew and can easily relate to Shane’s quiet sweetness and love for music. What Stevie doesn’t know is that both boys like her too, and they settle the question of who gets to ask her out first with a coin toss. Wh Once again, Stevie Rosenstein is the new girl in high school, forced to move yet again for her famous father’s football coaching job. On her first day of band practice, she meets Drew and Shane, who have been best friends for as long as they can remember. She’s immediately attracted to Drew and can easily relate to Shane’s quiet sweetness and love for music. What Stevie doesn’t know is that both boys like her too, and they settle the question of who gets to ask her out first with a coin toss. Where it lands will change all their lives. I received a free e-ARC through NetGalley from the publishers at St. Martin’s Press. Trigger warnings: character death, car accident, hospitals, severe injury, divorce, infidelity. I read a YA book last year, Again Again by E. Lockhart, that plays with multiple timelines like this, and it wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped. I was eager to give it another try, and I’m glad I did because Where It All Lands does dual timelines a lot more effectively. It works better on a purely structural level, giving us Stevie’s relationship with Drew in the first half of the novel and her relationship with Shane in the second half. This gives us plenty of time to get invested in both stories, to get to know these characters, and to see how with just one change, all these little events play out differently. Despite going over the same timespan from a different angle, I was never bored because nothing goes in quite the same way the second time around. The end changes things up, moving back and forth between the two timelines from chapter to chapter, and this works really well too. Endings are naturally more suspenseful, and Wexler avoids the awkwardness of a climactic ending in the middle of a book by putting them both at the end where they belong. Masterfully done. Okay, now that I’m done nerding out about things I find interesting in books, let’s talk about things other readers actually care about! This is an absolutely delightful contemporary romance with strong characters and good writing. Yeah, there are going to be readers moaning about how much they hate love triangles who won’t pick up this book just because of that, but tropes–even the love triangle trope–aren’t inherently evil. Like all things, it’s what you do with them that counts, and this is a love triangle (I guess–I hate even calling it that, since there’s no crossover in one of the timelines and barely any in the other) put to good use. Drew and Shane bring out different aspects of Stevie’s personality and force her character growth in slightly different directions. Both are valuable learning experiences, and both are good people; there’s no obvious better choice for Stevie to make. (I’ve dated both these guys. They weren’t friends and it wasn’t one after another like Stevie, but it was still a bit uncanny. Team Shane, btw.) I love the characters. This might even be a 5-star book for me after a reread. (I was in too much turmoil over the ending to pay as much attention as I should, so I’m staying at 4 for now.) Stevie feels like a realistic teenager, privileged and slightly sheltered, and just looking for a place where she actually fits. She and Drew have similar issues with the way their very successful, famous fathers don’t pay attention to them, and the way that they never quite know people’s motivations for befriending them, and I like the way they’re able to bond over it. It’s rare to find someone whose experiences so closely match your own, and Drew helps Stevie be a braver, more carefree version of herself. But I love Shane so much more. I love that he’s not the skinny, smirking, conventionally attractive male love interest like Drew, but he’s the kindest, most talented character on the page. He doesn’t make Stevie braver, but he does seem to bring out a more authentic version of herself, one who’s more comfortable in her own skin. Since there’s more time spent establishing their friendship, their romance also seems stronger, with more to base it on than plain attraction. I did wish there were more scenes of all three of them hanging out, or even more of Shane and Drew together (they’re best friends, but we almost never see them together), but I don’t know. Maybe it would have slowed down the pace. All quibbles aside, the concept really works, and it brings together what’s probably going to be one of my favorite YA contemporaries this year. I review regularly at brightbeautifulthings.tumblr.com.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lori Kaufmann

    I received this book from Netgalley. As soon as I started reading Where it All Lands, I suspected that this wasn’t going to be the typical new-girl-in-school story. And was I right! The twisty, thought-provoking plot kept me spellbound until the very last page. A word of advice though: have a box of tissues nearby. The characters are so real that you feel what they do- I shared their frustration and tears when the world let them down and their joy when they discovered true friendship and love. A s I received this book from Netgalley. As soon as I started reading Where it All Lands, I suspected that this wasn’t going to be the typical new-girl-in-school story. And was I right! The twisty, thought-provoking plot kept me spellbound until the very last page. A word of advice though: have a box of tissues nearby. The characters are so real that you feel what they do- I shared their frustration and tears when the world let them down and their joy when they discovered true friendship and love. A simple coin toss between two best friends, Drew and Shane, change not only the new girl’s (Stevie’s) life, but also theirs. They learn that they have to stand up for themselves and go all out for what they want - be it a different relationship with their parents and friends, a place in the State band or even love. Told in alternating points of view, Wexler gets us not only into the heads of each of her characters, but into their hearts as well. Then, she plays around with the events and timeline to show us all the myriad ways this story could have played out. At one point, Drew (the dream boy athlete/musician) says, “Maybe one random thing leads to another and then another and sometimes it works out how you picture, but other times…..” It really makes you think about how each thing that happens leads to the next in ways we can never really predict nor control. And yet, the message of the book is anything but depressing. You close the book smiling through your tears. We are reminded - yet again - that the present is all we have. We need to live every moment. Because you never know what’s around the bend. It’s a definite 5-star. I wish I could give it 6. It’s that good. (by the way, it's better with Pearl Jam on in the background! Read it and you'll understand....) Merged review: As soon as I started reading Where it All Lands, I suspected that this wasn’t going to be the typical new-girl-in-school story. And was I right! The twisty, thought-provoking plot kept me spellbound until the very last page. A word of advice though: have a box of tissues nearby. The characters are so real that you feel what they do- I shared their frustration and tears when the world let them down and their joy when they discovered true friendship and love. A simple coin toss between two best friends, Drew and Shane, change not only the new girl’s (Stevie’s) life, but also theirs. They learn that they have to stand up for themselves and go all out for what they want - be it a different relationship with their parents and friends, a place in the State band or even love. Told in alternating points of view, Wexler gets us not only into the heads of each of her characters, but into their hearts as well. Then, she plays around with the events and timeline to show us all the myriad ways this story could have played out. At one point, Drew (the dream boy athlete/musician) says, “Maybe one random thing leads to another and then another and sometimes it works out how you picture, but other times…..” It really makes you think about how each thing that happens leads to the next in ways we can never really predict nor control. And yet, the message of the book is anything but depressing. You close the book smiling through your tears. When we see how it all plays out, we are reminded - yet again - that the present is all we have. We need to give it all we’ve got. Because you never know what’s around the bend. It’s a definite 5-star. I wish I could give it 6. It’s that good. (Oh, and by the way, it's better with Pearl Jam playing in the background!)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Pole

    Where It All Lands by Jennie Wexler is a YA novel that explores how a simple flip of a coin can alter our destinies in unforseeable ways. This is a story about first love, friendship, and second chances, and it is heartfelt, bittersweet, and compulsively readable. When Stevie Rosenstein arrives in town, she immediately draws the interest of fellow musical prodigies Shane and Drew, two best friends who have been at each other's side through the best and the worst of times. The pair decide that a c Where It All Lands by Jennie Wexler is a YA novel that explores how a simple flip of a coin can alter our destinies in unforseeable ways. This is a story about first love, friendship, and second chances, and it is heartfelt, bittersweet, and compulsively readable. When Stevie Rosenstein arrives in town, she immediately draws the interest of fellow musical prodigies Shane and Drew, two best friends who have been at each other's side through the best and the worst of times. The pair decide that a coin toss is the best way to determine who will pursue Stevie romantically, and who will be resigned to remain in the friend zone. But this seemingly simple act will determine the course of the next year in ways that the three friends could never have imagined. Told from the alternating perspectives of Stevie, Shane, and Drew, a common thread of absentee fathers emerges as a central theme, and serves to weave together this angst-fuelled and emotional read. Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC of this title.

  14. 4 out of 5

    eda

    Where It All Lands follows Stevie, Drew, and Shane and how a flip of a coin can change everything. I enjoyed seeing the book from both sides, it was really interesting to see how Stevie's life was affected differently but also the similarly in many ways. I found that the book was focused primarily on the romance between characters. I wish we got to read more about the characters themselves. This is more of a personal gripe though as I don't read much romance as a central theme books. Thank you to Where It All Lands follows Stevie, Drew, and Shane and how a flip of a coin can change everything. I enjoyed seeing the book from both sides, it was really interesting to see how Stevie's life was affected differently but also the similarly in many ways. I found that the book was focused primarily on the romance between characters. I wish we got to read more about the characters themselves. This is more of a personal gripe though as I don't read much romance as a central theme books. Thank you to Netgalley for an eARC copy of Where It All Lands!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    This book is so good! Add it to your summer reading list! I really enjoyed this flip-a-coin dual timeline, multiple POV book that explores the idea of “what if you’d taken another path?” It’s a bittersweet story about 3 musical high schoolers finding their way to love and purpose despite what life throws at them. The characters are open and honest, their back stories are varied and complex. You’ll root for each one! Bring tissues for the end, too! Thanks to Wednesday Books for the advanced read!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    August 21, 2020: music obsessed teens coming of age? yeah that sounds good!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    This story starts with best friends meeting the new girl at band practice. Drew and Shane have been friends since childhood and don't want a girl to come between them, so they decide to flip a coin and whoever wins gets to ask the girl out. There are obvious issues with this method, but the two possible outcomes create two timelines, one heads and one tails. The book explores both outcomes and the idea of fate and letting things play out as they're meant to. I liked the juxtaposition of the time This story starts with best friends meeting the new girl at band practice. Drew and Shane have been friends since childhood and don't want a girl to come between them, so they decide to flip a coin and whoever wins gets to ask the girl out. There are obvious issues with this method, but the two possible outcomes create two timelines, one heads and one tails. The book explores both outcomes and the idea of fate and letting things play out as they're meant to. I liked the juxtaposition of the timelines and that we learned more about the characters as we see both play out. Drew is struggling after his dad left his mom and him for a younger woman. Drew feels like he never comes first to anyone and is excited when he and Stevie have an instant connection. They have good chemistry, but is that enough to last? Shane is always in Drew's shadow, he's not popular and is bullied. He loves music though and he and Stevie seem to connect on a deeper level. There is some tragedy in both timelines and I hate that it was unavoidable. I just wanted Stevie to be with Shane and Drew with Ray. The ending is a bit open to interpretation, but I like that we had hope for everyone to be happy. I have voluntarily chosen to read and review an advance copy of this book. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chaitanya Srivastava

    When I came across this book on Bookstagram, I was really interested to pick this up thanks to the promising premise. I received this ARC from the publishers, Wednesday Books and was pretty excited to get into this. However, it pains to say that it was such a big disappointment as the story had too many problematic aspects that I couldn't overlook even if I wanted to. I had to DNF this at 34% and thus my review is based on what I read. Shane and Drew have been best friends since childhood and the When I came across this book on Bookstagram, I was really interested to pick this up thanks to the promising premise. I received this ARC from the publishers, Wednesday Books and was pretty excited to get into this. However, it pains to say that it was such a big disappointment as the story had too many problematic aspects that I couldn't overlook even if I wanted to. I had to DNF this at 34% and thus my review is based on what I read. Shane and Drew have been best friends since childhood and they both have respective daddy issues and they are struggling with it to date. They both fall for the same girl, Stevie, who is new to the school and also happens to have daddy issues as well! The best friends don't want to be at odds at one another just for the sake of 'girl' as they put it, so they decide to toss a coin that would ultimately seal their faith. Now, as I mentioned above, I did not finish this book. However, I did get a chance to look at the chapters and from what I could make out of it, there were two stories, with two possible outcomes, which may or may not be the same. I have read books with similar structuring, so I sort of was keen to see where it headed. But alas, it never saw the light of the day. So, first things first, this book has a MAJOR INSTA-LOVE trope, a trope that I particularly do not enjoy as much as others because it often feels very unreal if not forced. In here, both these guys fall for the girl literally a minute after they met her! Oh! I know all about love at first sights but this was anything but that. It felt very odd, forced and somewhat extremely silly to have both boys want literally the exact same girl at the exact same time without even making an effort to get to know her. And Stevie, mind you, is no different. She has also sort of fallen for one of the two based on which version you are reading. Coming to the daddy issues. I am not surprised to see that the thread that connected all these characters were their dads because honestly, in today's world, having a dad who is compassionate, understanding, kind, respectful and sensitive whilst being protective is RARE TO FIND in most homes. So, I genuinely appreciated that aspect and I wish I read the full story to figure out what happened but Nah, I'd pass. Shane and Drew are really close and I am in for a good bromance, something that is again, hard to find in the YA genre. And much like all bromances, the bros can have certain unsaid issues with one another. The case here is also similar. The problem here is that these two people who apparently knew each other all their lives would simply choose to look past their bond for a girl was not at all appreciated. I mean, I know such things happen. I know what jealousy or resentments from the past can do, however, the build-up was so so so quickly that it all felt so flat. And that's pretty much it, the build-up was just too fast. The pacing was too fast. The characters were behaving as if they were operating at 2X speed. I wish the author genuinely spent time exploring these characters in depth. I feel that this was, like so many books that I have read recently, a book that had a lot of potentials but it all went in vain.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Callie

    **I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.** I didn't expect to be so completely flummoxed by the time I finished this book. Nor did I think I would love it as much as I did, but here we are! I was floored by the storytelling of this book, how it surrounded 3 people—Stevie, Shane, and Drew—2 best friends, and one coin toss that would alter their futures. The description reads that this book was told in dual timelines, so as I was reading the first half of the book, I was **I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.** I didn't expect to be so completely flummoxed by the time I finished this book. Nor did I think I would love it as much as I did, but here we are! I was floored by the storytelling of this book, how it surrounded 3 people—Stevie, Shane, and Drew—2 best friends, and one coin toss that would alter their futures. The description reads that this book was told in dual timelines, so as I was reading the first half of the book, I was wondering when the second timeline would take place and then WHAM! it he me like a sack of bricks and I think I about lost my mind. Part of me wondered what was real and what wasn't, and by the time I got to the end I was flipping through the pages hoping and praying that one timeline was real and the other wasn't. I just couldn't take it. But wound up between those two timelines was a story of two best friends who had gone through hell and back together and how one coin toss could completely alter the fabric of their friendship—and directly effect the girl caught up in the middle of it all. One choice, one mistake, but very different outcomes based upon who won the coin toss. The beauty of this book was found in analyzing the choices we all make. Sure, maybe some things are destined to happen, fixed points in time if you will—but a single choice, made one way or another, can take us down completely different paths, introduce new conflicts, new beautiful relationships, or tear down old ones. By the end of the book, you're so desperate for hoping that the coin toss went differently and quite honestly, the reader is left wondering how it *really* happened. But that's the point, encapsulated in the epilogue. At the end, you're left with a beautiful, philosophical idea that I'm sure I'll carry with me for the rest of my life—and many others too. The idea that your choices matter—so make smart ones. I definitely feel like this should be required reading in high school. Kids these days could use some entertaining, philosophical story about how our choices affect others. If it left such a big impact on myself, I'm sure it will leave an even bigger impact on you. I'll definitely be buying this one and sharing it with everyone I know.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Heart-wrenching in a good way, 'Where It All Lands' follows Drew, Shane, and Stevie through both potential results of the coin toss used to determine who would get to ask out the new girl. Thankfully, the majority of this book follows one of the boys' coin toss win, and then the other boy's coin toss win; it is only in the ending chapters where the 2 alternative time lines are spliced together, revealing a little at a time and switching back and forth quite often. Recommended to anyone who enjoy Heart-wrenching in a good way, 'Where It All Lands' follows Drew, Shane, and Stevie through both potential results of the coin toss used to determine who would get to ask out the new girl. Thankfully, the majority of this book follows one of the boys' coin toss win, and then the other boy's coin toss win; it is only in the ending chapters where the 2 alternative time lines are spliced together, revealing a little at a time and switching back and forth quite often. Recommended to anyone who enjoys exploring what-if's and alternative time lines. #NetGalley - I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Whitney Levine

    WHERE IT ALL LANDS had me reaching for the tissue box and wishing for more! It is uniquely told in dual timelines, leading the reader through two different outcomes based on if a coin toss had turned out differently. This book is Sliding Doors meets the Butterfly Effect. It examines how even the most simple decisions can have such a drastically different outcome on not just one, but many, lives. I can't recommend this book enough, you will not be disappointed. I can't wait to see what else Jenni WHERE IT ALL LANDS had me reaching for the tissue box and wishing for more! It is uniquely told in dual timelines, leading the reader through two different outcomes based on if a coin toss had turned out differently. This book is Sliding Doors meets the Butterfly Effect. It examines how even the most simple decisions can have such a drastically different outcome on not just one, but many, lives. I can't recommend this book enough, you will not be disappointed. I can't wait to see what else Jennie Wexler has up her sleeve!

  22. 4 out of 5

    G.F. Miller

    This book’s love triangle had me in knots—in the best way! I loved them all and wanted everyone to get that HEA. If you liked Sliding Doors or Kara McDowell’s “One Way or Another”, you’re sure to enjoy this alternative timeline romance.

  23. 4 out of 5

    l a u r a

    that cover makes me kinda… sad that cover makes me kinda… sad

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Stevie is the new girl in school, which is nothing new since her family moves towns at the drop of the hat since her dad is a famous NFL football coach, so she's learned not to make friends when she gets to a new place because putting down roots just isn't in the cards no matter how much she wants it. One thing that's gotten Stevie through all the moves and changes is her love of music and dreams of a future music career. She's a sax player and when she joins the band at her new high school, she Stevie is the new girl in school, which is nothing new since her family moves towns at the drop of the hat since her dad is a famous NFL football coach, so she's learned not to make friends when she gets to a new place because putting down roots just isn't in the cards no matter how much she wants it. One thing that's gotten Stevie through all the moves and changes is her love of music and dreams of a future music career. She's a sax player and when she joins the band at her new high school, she is inexplicably drawn to both Drew and Shane, two inseparable best friends since they were little. The two guys are just as drawn to Stevie as she is to them, but they aren't the type of friends who would let a girl get in the way of their friendship; after all, Drew was there for Shane when his dad died (he felt the loss as acutely since he was like a father to him too), and Shane's been there 100% for Drew since his dad, a mega-famous music producer, walked out on him and his mom for another woman a few months ago. They've always had each other's backs. So, what do they do to decide who should ask out Stevie? They flip a coin because that's how they've settled their decisions since the beginning of their friendship. Shane isn't so sure it's the right thing in this case--this is a person, not a movie or video game pick, but Drew insists they let fate decide with the flip of a coin, and the winner gets to ask Stevie out. She can always say no... Jennie Wexler explores both courses the coin toss could have taken with Drew winning the toss in Part 1 and Shane winning in Part 2 of the book, and the stories mirror themselves with timelines, events, etc, but they change in important plot events, which shows how one minor change in a person's actions has a ripple effect that can lead to much larger events. Where It All Lands is an emotional book at times that had me crying but it also had me smiling with joy. It's a thought-provoking read that really makes you think about whether the role of fate is inevitable in our lives no matter our choices or does our every choice determines our destiny? Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Wednesday Books for a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    WHERE IT ALL LANDS by Jennie Wexler is an enjoyable young adult novel! It’s about Stevie, who moves to a new city and meets best friends, Drew and Shane. Told in dual timelines (think Sliding Doors) we discover what would happen if Stevie dated each of the guys. . I really liked how the book was formatted for each of the timelines. At first I thought the dual timelines might be weird but it really worked. I found the last part to have great momentum. Majority of the book felt clichéd but it was al WHERE IT ALL LANDS by Jennie Wexler is an enjoyable young adult novel! It’s about Stevie, who moves to a new city and meets best friends, Drew and Shane. Told in dual timelines (think Sliding Doors) we discover what would happen if Stevie dated each of the guys. . I really liked how the book was formatted for each of the timelines. At first I thought the dual timelines might be weird but it really worked. I found the last part to have great momentum. Majority of the book felt clichéd but it was all cute. I enjoyed the love triangle aspect and the addition of some heavier topics such as loss. . Overall this was a great debut and I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a YA read this summer! I’d definitely be interested to read more from this author in the future. . Thank you to Wednesday Books for my advance reader copy!

  26. 4 out of 5

    BookBagDC

    This is a story of chance and how much it shapes our lives.  Drew and Shane, although a somewhat unlikely match, have been best friends since they were little.  In that time, they have each seen the other through tragedies -- Shane's dad, who was like a second father to Drew, dying and Drew's father leaving Drew and his mother for another woman.  When Stevie Rosenstein moves to town, both Drew and Shane are captivated by her and want to ask her out.  Given the impasse, they decide to do what the This is a story of chance and how much it shapes our lives.  Drew and Shane, although a somewhat unlikely match, have been best friends since they were little.  In that time, they have each seen the other through tragedies -- Shane's dad, who was like a second father to Drew, dying and Drew's father leaving Drew and his mother for another woman.  When Stevie Rosenstein moves to town, both Drew and Shane are captivated by her and want to ask her out.  Given the impasse, they decide to do what they always do when they can't agree -- they flip a coin.  The novel then tells the stories of two alternative timelines, one in which Drew wins the coin flip and the other where Shane wins.  Through the two timelines, we see the degree to which chance dictates the trajectories of each main character's life and what is inevitable. Multiple timeline stories are a favorite of mine, so I was excited to read this book.  The author uses this device to great effect, providing the reader with interesting takes on family relationships, the intersections between passions and careers, and loss and grief.  It also allows the reader to get a much deeper sense of the perspectives of the different characters and what motivates their choices and actions.  Most importantly, it is an engaging story -- I tore through the book in a day and a half. Highly Recommended!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    3.5 stars The parallel stories complimented each other perfectly without feeling repetitive. I loved Drew and Shane's friendship, but the romance didn't do much for me honestly. But I did really enjoy seeing Drew, Shane, and Stevie grow closer together over the course of the story. And I like the ambiguous ending too - it, like the trio, was filled with possibility. I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review 3.5 stars The parallel stories complimented each other perfectly without feeling repetitive. I loved Drew and Shane's friendship, but the romance didn't do much for me honestly. But I did really enjoy seeing Drew, Shane, and Stevie grow closer together over the course of the story. And I like the ambiguous ending too - it, like the trio, was filled with possibility. I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  28. 4 out of 5

    Susan Burlew

    This story is about choices and different ways of looking at things. Drew and Shane both want to ask the new girl Stevie out. Drew suggests flipping a coin like they usually do when they both want the same thing. The book is split into heads and tails. Things are different but in some ways the same. It shows that some things are beyond our control but we still have choices. Highly recommend!!!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emiley M.

    Sometimes it's the roads that you don't choose that define you. Or perhaps it is easier to say that sometimes it's the road that someone else chooses that could determine your entire future. Whichever way you look at it, Jennie Wexler's new novel Where It All Lands, leads her readers down a winding path littered with "what if's". When best friends Shane and Drew meet new girl Stevie, what was once a sweet tradition surrounding a coin toss is now the beginning of a life altering decision. With th Sometimes it's the roads that you don't choose that define you. Or perhaps it is easier to say that sometimes it's the road that someone else chooses that could determine your entire future. Whichever way you look at it, Jennie Wexler's new novel Where It All Lands, leads her readers down a winding path littered with "what if's". When best friends Shane and Drew meet new girl Stevie, what was once a sweet tradition surrounding a coin toss is now the beginning of a life altering decision. With the flip of a coin, the boys agree to let fate decide who approaches Stevie for a date. What follows is an emotional ride through family, love and the decisions that define a lifetime. Told in alternate timelines, this is a book with sympathetic characters, believable situations and an interesting look at the power of choice.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily Hill

    A beautiful story about first love, second chances, and the choices that define our lives. I was first drawn to this book because of the concept - dual timelines showing the impact of a single moment, a coin toss. Oftentimes, a concept like this is easy to market, but hard to pull off. That was not the case with this novel. The author does a remarkable job of telling two stories, that feel like a single narrative - showing the ways small choices can change lives. While the stakes are incredibly hi A beautiful story about first love, second chances, and the choices that define our lives. I was first drawn to this book because of the concept - dual timelines showing the impact of a single moment, a coin toss. Oftentimes, a concept like this is easy to market, but hard to pull off. That was not the case with this novel. The author does a remarkable job of telling two stories, that feel like a single narrative - showing the ways small choices can change lives. While the stakes are incredibly high, and definitely a sense of which way the reader will hope it all lands, the themes are nuanced and not prescriptive. Additionally, the characters are unique, compelling, and relatable, and the author does a great job of dismantling stereotypes. Overall a thought provoking debut that makes me eager for more from this author!

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