Title: Call It What You Want
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: June 25, 2019
When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.
Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.
When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…
This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?
In this story, Maegan and Rob are suddenly outcasts at school. Maegan was caught cheating on the SATs, even though she was a straight-A student. Then, her “perfect” sister came back from college, pregnant with her professor’s baby. Rob’s father was caught embezzling money from his financial company, and everyone thinks that Rob knew what was happening. They are brought together in their calculus class, where they form an unlikely friendship.
Morality was a big theme in this book. The main characters and their peers have to ask if Maegan and Rob deserve to be punished for what they did, or what their family members did. Maegan cheated on her test, but it affected everyone else in the testing room whose papers had to be scrapped. Rob’s father stole money from many of his classmate’s families, so they take it out on Rob by ignoring him. They both end up suffering for these actions, until they can open people’s eyes up to the truth.
This book was very touching. Both Maegan and Rob had to look after their family members. Maegan helps her sister deal with her unplanned pregnancy. She ends up stepping up to look after her. Rob’s father attempted suicide, but now he can’t do anything on his own. Rob and his mother have to look after him, including feeding and bathing him. It was heartbreaking to read about his father, and the way that the people he hurt the most had to look after him. This made me sympathetic to Maegan and Rob, even though they had both made mistakes.
This is a great story!
Thank you Bloomsbury YA for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
We Are the Perfect Girl by Ariel Kaplan
Have you read Call It What You Want? What did you think of it?