Against All Odds
Author: Patricia Vanasse
Publication Date: September 25th, 2015
Publisher: Pants on Fire Press
Summary from Goodreads: Sometimes boy meets girl, and the stars align, and their future is laid out neatly before them. Together forever. Meant to be. But Max and Loren are not one of those couples.
Seventeen-year-old Max DuPont is on the verge of becoming a ward of the state and foster kid. Contrary to expectations, Max is not from the “wrong” side of town. He’s from a good home in a nice neighborhood, but his mother left after his father lost his job and turned to drinking. Max has been struggling to keep his head above water ever since. All he wants is to survive his senior year, play hockey, and move on to college. When his dad lands himself in jail, Max has no choice but to accept an offer to live with his father’s do-gooder attorney, Mr. Larssi. The only contingency is that Max must stay far away from Larssi’s beautiful teenage daughter Loren.
Loren is aware that she’s had every opportunity in her young adult life—at least, that is, every opportunity her parents designed for her. She excels in academics at a competitive prep school, she never parties, she never dates, and she’s a budding ballerina and major hopeful for a Juilliard scholarship. But since her best friend Lily died tragically three months ago, Loren is lost. She knows just how precious life is. But she has no idea how to make the best of it. How can she live—really live—with obsessive parents breathing down her neck…and inviting the only guy who never noticed her to live right under their roof?
Loren’s first step in living her own life might be to get Max to notice her. Max’s only chance at a solid future without foster care is to keep his distance from Loren. But their chemistry is undeniable. And they can’t fight the odds forever…
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You know how when you really enjoy a book, you have a difficult time writing a review for it? Well, here’s the bottom line – This book is amazing. It’s adorable. It’s sweet. It’s everything that a great YA romance should be.
This book has two main characters – Max and Loren. Max has a rough life – his mother left him and his father two years ago because Max’s father had an alcohol problem. So Max has been fending for himself for the most part, and taking care of his father on a daily basis when he has had too much to drink. One day, his father gets in trouble with the law, and is sent to rehab, creating a problem for Max – where was he going to be living? They couldn’t get in contact with his mother, so his father’s lawyer decided to take Max in and let him live in the family’s pool house – reminding him that he needs to continue following the house rules, and that he must stay away from his two teenage daughters (Loren and her sister) romantically. Max decides that this sounds too good to be true, and agrees.
When he first meets Loren (who goes to a different school than Max), he doesn’t ever remember seeing her before. But Loren remembers him – she had a crush on him for a long time. Eventually he remembers who she is, and Loren starts to fall in love with Max all over again (and while Max tries his hardest not to fall in love with Loren, he pretty much can’t help himself). Although they have to keep their relationship secret, so that Loren’s parents don’t find out, the two of them realize how much they love each other and want to be together. Meanwhile, Max is dealing with his dad being in rehab, work, hockey, and someone coming back into his life.
This book is one of those feel-good romances that make you want to keep reading to the very last page.
Okay, the story is somewhat predictable, and I pretty much could tell how it was going to play out, but wow, was it good. The author, Patricia Vanasse, did such a wonderful job with this book, creating a very believable and beautifully written love story that I couldn’t put down. The characters in this book are so amazing and they actually develop and grow – especially Loren (I loved watching the changes her character went through from the first time we meet her until the end of the novel).
If you like young adult romance, this is a really great book to pick up, and I finished it pretty quickly because I just couldn’t stop reading.
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
♥ Interview with Patricia Vanasse ♥
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
A. I’m from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I moved to the U.S. when I was 23 and have lived in seven different states so far. I grew up in a big city, but love the countryside. So, my goal in life is to find that perfect place where both the city and the country come together. Aside from writing and reading, I love hiking, camping, and traveling. I also enjoy exploring the local cuisine everywhere I go. My dream is to replace Anthony Bourdain on his show “No Reservations” so I can travel all over the world eating all those amazing foods.
Q. Which character in Against All Odds is your favorite?
A. Oh that’s not a fair question! I love all of them. However, if I have to pick one, I’d say Loren, and I’ll tell you why. She grows so much throughout the book. We get to see her at her worst, and we get to watch her pulling herself together. I love the woman she becomes by the end of the book.
Q. Max and Loren have very different upbringings, and their circumstances are pretty much opposites, yet they still fall for each other. Do you think they would have still gotten together if the situations had been different?
A. Before they fall for each other, they are physically attracted to one another. So, I would say that regardless of the circumstances, they would’ve eventually had a relationship. In Against All Odds, the fact that they understood each other’s pain and found comfort in that, brought them together.
Q. Are any of the characters based on anyone you know from your real life?
A. I have a large protective family, and I believe that some of Loren’s personality and struggles may reflect some of my young cousins and even myself when I was a teen.
Q. Max is really trying to keep it together so he can graduate and go to college, but he has so many things working against him. What kind of person do you think Max would have been like if he had both his parents to support him?
A. I believe that Max became the mature boy he is because of his circumstances. Maybe if he hadn’t gone through this unfortunate situation with his parents, he wouldn’t know what truly matters in life. We often take things for granted, until we are forced to appreciate what we have.
Q. If Max and Loren’s situations were switched, do you still think they would have been attracted to each other?
A. Yes, they totally would.
Q. Were there any unexpected plot twists while you were writing the book?
A. I started this book wanting to end it in a more realist way, where things don’t always end happily for everyone. However, the more I wrote, the more I thought they deserved to be happy. So, for me that was a twist that kept me not knowing the end until I wrote it.
Q. What are some of your favorite books?
A. I’ll name my favorite 3 books I read this year.
-Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot.
-And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard.
-Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard.
About the Author
Patricia Vanasse was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now she lives on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest. She has been through Culinary Arts, Psychology, Law School, and now has finally found her passion in creative writing. She also loves traveling, cooking, and is an avid reader. Her strength- believes that everything is possible. Her weakness- an obsessive relationship with caffeine.
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