the impossible vastness of us by samantha young
release date – june 27th, 2017
genre – ya contemporary romance
publisher / imprint – harlequin teen
source – received arc from yallwest
summary (from goodreads) –
india maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. it’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. now she’s living in one of boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, eloise. thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend finn, india feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.
but india’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. eloise and finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. in fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. and as india grows closer to finn and befriends eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful, and big enough to change them forever…
*thank you harlequin teen for giving out these copies at yallwest. receiving this book does not influence my review whatsoever. i only review that mostly consists of my thoughts and opinions on that book. *
i have never read anything by samantha young. for all i know, she has written new adult novels, which is not the kind of books that i typically read. so when i heard some buzz that she is writing a ya novel (ie. this book i’m reviewing), now was a good chance that i can read something from her that could determine how i might feel about reading her books in the near future.
the impossible vastness of us was very enjoyable in general. this book definitely breaks the stereotype and misconception about wealthy people about how they live a life full of happiness and comfort. while they do, it’s definitely not like they enjoy every single second of it. some of these characters, like finn and eloise, face very strenous and personal situations where money can’t solve their issues. they had to learn over the story that they control themselves and it’s up to them to face anything that comes up to them and having to accept whatever happens. young captures how no matter where our background originates, we all face a tough personal challenge that it’s only up to ourselves to persevere.
i don’t focus on themes that much on reviews because they aren’t my focus when it comes to writing reviews. however, i love how there is a recurring theme on love and acceptance. there was india and hayley’s (her mother) broken relationship that needed some serious mending; eloise trying to embrace her true self to everybody, even her own father who might not be willing to acknowledge this; and india adjusting her new life with her new family and her accepting this drastic change with having to move the other side of the country and moving to a new school where she’s basically at the bottom on this “social hierarchy.” the impossible vastness of us brings out a strong message about love and acceptance and how it can surpasses everything there is.
for one thing certain, do not judge the book by this cover based on what kind of story will be about. the summary and the cover altogether can misjudged this whole book as light-hearted and romantic. it’s not exactly what you think. while it had its moments where the characters brought a light and lovey-dovey atmosphere, it can be pretty dark at times. india’s childhood was very rough and harsh, especially when she didn’t had her mom alongside her. her dad was beating her around and he didn’t fed her that she ended up being underweight. this had lead up to a traumatic experience with her father that mortified her for the remainder of her life. india’s relationship with her mother was broken because of the fact she couldn’t forgive her mother leaving her. and she end up having a minor mental disorder when it comes to food. this has, in fact, correlate to her experience as being underweight and malnourished. i wish her so-called “eating disorder” come to the spotlight more often as another topic that could be tackled in the book. the way this was executed was poorly done. this could be one factor where her life became so twisted and conflicting. it can correlate with how her relationship with her mother, her new family, and with finn came to be, but unfortunately, young doesn’t seem to take that as a factor.