Big thanks to Scholastic Press Publishing and Kara McDowell for gifting me an advanced copy of this book!
The average person makes 35,000 decisions every single day. That’s about 34,999 too many for Paige Collins, who lives in debilitating fear of making the wrong choice. The simple act of picking an art elective is enough to send her into a spiral of what-ifs. What if she’s destined to be a famous ceramicist but wastes her talent in drama club? What if there’s a carbon monoxide leak in the ceramics studio and everyone drops dead? (Grim, but possible!)
That’s why when Paige is presented with two last-minute options for Christmas vacation, she’s paralyzed by indecision. Should she go with her best friend (and longtime crush) Fitz to his family’s romantic mountain cabin? Or should she accompany her mom to New York, a city Paige has spent her whole life dreaming about?
Just when it seems like Paige will crack from the pressure of choosing, fate steps in — in the form of a slippery grocery store floor — and Paige’s life splits into two very different parallel paths. One path leads to New York where Paige falls for the city . . . and the charms of her unexpected tour guide. The other leads to the mountains where Paige might finally get her chance with Fitz . . . until her anxiety threatens to ruin everything.
However, before Paige gets her happy ending in either destiny, she’ll have to face the truth about her struggle with anxiety — and learn that you don’t have to be “perfect” to deserve true love.
Title: One Way or Another
Author: Kara McDowell
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
First, WHAT A RIDE! Second, I am literally brimming over with happiness and hearts as we speak. It’s possible I’m going to permanently have heart eyes after reading this book.
I was a little thrown off at first by the fact that the book switches between the two possible fates each every other chapter, but I quickly adjusted to it. For some reason, I expected one fate to play out and then the next. I quickly found that I liked the way it was actually written better. McDowell ended each chapter on a cliffhanger and made me wait for the chapter after the next to see how the scene played out. It was maddening and I loved it. It definitely kept me excited to see what happened with each fate.
The love triangle aspect of the book was also well done. There was one part in the book where I was a little conflicted as to who I liked better, but then the end solidified my choice. Everything came together nicely and made me appreciate the two fates that much more.
As well, I loved being able to learn so much about so many different characters because of the two fates. For example, I never would have learned much about the main character, Paige’s, mother if she would have gone only on the vacation in Arizona without her mom. Also, I never would have learned so much about Fitz and his family if Paige only would have gone to NYC. The two fates allowed for more information for the reader and more swoony moments.
It was also interesting for me to read this book because of the anxiety representation. I don’t suffer from anxiety so it was nice for me to be able to get inside the head of Paige, who does have anxiety, so I could have a better understanding of what it’s like to suffer from this. Having many friends who have varying severities of anxiety, I felt like this book gave me a small insight into what they may feel. I hope I can use what I learned from this book to be more supportive and patient with my friends.
Overall, this is a book I’d highly recommend to anyone who enjoys holiday romances. And for anyone who needs a new, swoony man in their life.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Born in the mountains and raised in the desert, Kara McDowell spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. As the middle of five children, Kara entertained her family on long road trips by reading short mystery stories out loud and forcing everyone to guess the conclusion. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature, Kara worked as a freelance writer. Now she writes young adult novels from her home in Arizona, where she lives with her husband and three young sons.