Where it All Lands by Jennie Wexler centers around the lives of three teens: Drew, Shane, and Stevie.
Drew and Shane have been best friends since childhood, bonded by the loss of their fathers (Shane’s due to death, Drew’s from divorce). They also share a deep passion for music.
Enter Stevie Rosenstein. Stevie has moved to yet another new town, as her father’s career as a sports coach, has uprooted them on almost a yearly basis most of her life.
Both boys are instantly drawn to Stevie, who is determined to simply get through the year without forming any deep emotional attachments. With a flip of a coin the boys decide which one of them gets to ask Stevie out first. In the first half of the book, the coin lands on heads, with Drew winning the toss. In the second half of the book, the coin lands on tails, with Shane as the winner. What follows is a retelling of how that toss has a sort of butterfly effect on their lives.
Each of the characters is well developed with relatable flaws and issues. Drew is consumed with anger towards his father for breaking up their family, while Shane would give anything to have his own father alive again.
Chapters alternate by character, each told from their perspective. The voices are well established and distinct enough that it is easy to tell which character you are reading simply by the tone of the narrative.
Wexler weaves music throughout the story, deeply impacting the way Drew, Shane, and Stevie view and process the world around them.
The book is divided into two distinct tellings of the same events, each one unfolding in a different way, but Wexler intersects them in such away that they read as a single narrative.
Readers who liked All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nivens, or Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, might also enjoy Where It All Lands.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.