ARC Review: Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

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Rob had it all – friends, a near-guaranteed lacrosse scholarship to college and an amazing family – but all that changed when his dad was caught embezzling funds from half the town. Now he’s a social pariah. 
Maegan always does the right thing. But when her sister comes home from college pregnant, she’s caught between telling their parents the truth about the father and keeping her sister’s trust. 
When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a project, they form an unexpectedly deep connection. But Rob’s plan to fix his father’s damage could ruin more than their new friendship …

Disclaimer: Thank you to Bloomsbury and Netgalley for providing me with an Advanced Reading Copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This was my first Brigid Kemmerer book, and I absolutely fell in love with it. I spotted this one on Netgalley and the synopsis intrigued me straight away – and the book didn’t let me down!

I love a good contemporary with a twist, and this one had everything. It had great romance, friendships, complicated emotional families, some lovely LGBTQIA+ rep in side characters, and a dark, twisted element that really made the story for me.

The metaphor this book left me with will stay with me for a long time – we all make mistakes. No one is perfect, but it’s how we deal with these mistakes that make us who we are. The character arcs of Maegan and Rob were so interesting, both trying to be happy again after big events in their lives changed them forever. In Maegan’s case, she had made a mistake herself, and in Rob’s, he was trying to survive after his parents made mistakes that ruined his reputation. Throughout the story, he is trying to find himself and become his own person, without making the same mistakes his parents did.

Seeing two different scenarios and both characters worked really well. Each character was flawed, but real and lovable. I really enjoyed reading both of their POV. The romance was tasteful and believable – not too ‘insta’ but the natural reaction of two struggling teens finding each other in the chaos.

I have to also include how much I loved the cast of side characters, including the parents and friends. Everyone had their own story, their own quirks and struggles, and we even saw the flaws of the characters parents and I sympathised with them, too.

The plot left me feeling like I’d just come off a rollercoaster. It threw me, and the added drama made this book fly by. I constantly wanted to learn the next twist or turn, and couldn’t put this book down after around 40%. My only small criticism is I would have liked more of an insight into the actions of Rob’s dad, and I wish the exact workings of his crimes would have helped.

I’m definitely now looking forward to A Curse So Dark and Lonely and I’d love to read more of Kemmerer’s books!

★★★★

4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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5 thoughts on “ARC Review: Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

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