The Resolutions by Mia Garcia
Publication: November 13th, 2018
Genre: YA Contemporary
New Years are for fresh starts, but Jess just wants everything to go back to the way it was. From hiking trips, to four-person birthday parties, to never-ending group texts, Jess, Lee, Ryan, and Nora have always been inseparable—and unstoppable. But now, with senior year on the horizon, they’ve been splintering off and growing apart. And so, as always, Jess makes a plan. Reinstating their usual tradition of making resolutions together on New Year’s Eve, Jess adds a new twist: instead of making their own resolutions, the four friends assign them for each other—dares like kiss someone you know is wrong for you, show your paintings, learn Spanish, say yes to everything. But not even the best-laid plans can take into account the uncertainties of life. As the year unfolds, Jess, Ryan, Nora, and Lee each test the bonds that hold them together. And amid first loves, heartbreaks, and life-changing decisions, beginning again is never as simple as it seems.
Add on: Goodreads
This book was so good that I was inspired to do what the characters did. Jess feels like her groups of friends are drifting apart with their busy lives. So, to bring the group back together and to have some fun she declares that their resolutions for the year will be done differently. Instead of everyone saying what they want to complete for the year the group will get together and give them two resolutions. Each person had a resolution that was specific to something the other friends felt was necessary to them and they needed the push to do. Ryan needs to kiss someone wrong for him and show off his artwork. Lee needs to learn Spanish and take a test that will tell her if she has the same disease that killed her mother. Nora needs to step her feet into the ocean and choose her own path. Jess needs to say yes to everything that is spontaneous. As the year goes on, the four friends work towards their resolutions but it is not easy for all of them. For some of them, the resolutions make life a little harder. They learn a lot themselves and each other along this year journey and I was so happy about the ending. I and my family have done this because I was influenced by the book and wanted to try it out. The initial moment of giving each other a resolution was a huge success and now we just see if we can complete them by the end of the year. I really loved how unique the plot was and it is not something I have ever read.
Ryan is a gay mixed Asian-Latino who has lost his touch after a breakup with a boy he swore was the one. He doesn’t know how to continue on, he’s lost his inspiration to continue his love of art, and he is confused on how you move on from a breakup. Nora is a lesbian Latina who struggles with balancing working at her mother’s restaurant, doing good in school, time with friends, time with her girlfriend Beth, and her love of baking. She is tired and wants to live out her dreams but she is not sure how to tell her mom that her dream is not her mothers. Lee is an Afro-Latina who is scared of knowing whether or not she has the same disease that killed her mother because every little trip up reminds her of what happened to her mom. She wants to learn Spanish and her tutor is Daniel, Jess’s brother, whom she is growing close to but is afraid of what that will mean with her friend. Lastly, we have Jess an overachieving Latina who is a people pleaser and has trouble saying yes to people in need even if it combats with her wellbeing. As the year goes on cracks in her demeanor start to happen until one final moment makes everything unravel. I love the depth in each character and how the author writes about their struggles. My favorite thing though was how they overcame each of their struggles.
The writing was easy to read and follow. I enjoyed how light it was but also how much depth it held. But, I LOVED the romance aspect. Let me tell you why. With Ryan, I enjoyed how the author didn’t give him a canon relationship by the end but more so the promise of one between him and Blake. Instead of dealing with his first breakup and throwing him into a new relationship we see him grow as a person. Then we get an already established relationship with Nora and Beth and all the cuteness that comes with. And lastly, we get a growing relationship between Lee and Daniel and all the newness that comes with. They are all so precious and executed nicely and sweetly.
Then Blake leaned in to whisper, “I’m saying you can kiss me if you want to.”
“You already know it, you know?” “Know what?” “What your adventure is”…”Doesn’t feel like it…” Still, Beth nodded. “It’s in here.” She touched Nora’s temple, brushing her fingers down her neck to her chest above her heart. “And here. Everything else is just too loud. Eventually, you’ll hear it, it’ll be the loudest thing in here.”
I want you to remember what I’m saying because it may not mean much right now, but eventually you’ll know. Relationships, love, they are extensions of you. They are not all of you. You do not cease to be when they are over.
Don’t hide, she thought, feel, want, need. You can have this. “Can I kiss you?” He exhaled. “F*** yes.” They reached for each other at the same time. His lips were soft and welcoming.
“You don’t need to find yourself, you are yourself,” she declared with a squeeze of his hand. What does that mean? “When something breaks what do you do?” she continued. “I throw it away?” “You put it back together.” “What if it’s too broken to ever be the same?” “Ah,” she said, her eyes catching the light. “It won’t be the same. You are not the same. Maybe that’s why you are having trouble. You keep trying to rebuild, to find that version of you somewhere whose heart never broke, but he no longer exists. And you don’t have to be the same to love the things you loved. To be loved again.”
“Give yourself room to breathe. To make mistakes. Eventually, you will see that you were always there, you just couldn’t recognize yourself yet.”
This is who you are. Scars and all.