Publishing Date: February 25th, 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 272 pgs
Source: Received for honest review from Edelweiss/Simon & Schuster
Summary from Goodreads:
Friendship is a bond stronger than secrets in this novel from the author of The Almost Truth and Unraveling Isobel.
As first graders, Avery and Nora bonded over a special trait they shared;they were both adopted.
Years later, Avery is smart, popular, and on the cheerleading squad, while Nora spends her time on the fringes of school society, wearing black, reading esoteric poetry, and listening to obscure music. They never interact...until the night Nora approaches Avery at a party, saying it's urgent. She tells Avery that she thought she found her birth mom; but it turned out to be a cruel lie. Avery feels for Nora, but returns to her friends at the party.
Then Avery learns that Nora overdosed on pills. Left to cope with Nora's loss and questioning her own actions, Avery decides to honor her friend by launching a search for her own birth mother. Aided by Brody, a friend of Nora's who is also looking for a way to respect Nora's legacy, Avery embarks on an emotional quest. But what she's really seeking might go far deeper than just genetics.
My first Cook novel was The Almost Truth and I quite enjoyed it. I was happy to receive Year of Mistaken Discoveries for review. I started it almost immediately but it has taken me a bit of time to write my review. I was conflicted with this novel. There were lots of parts that I quite enjoyed and then other parts that I had a hard time connecting to.
To begin this story is about friendship and family. Avery and Nora had a great friendship and they bonded over being adopted. When the book commences the two are already on the outs. They have grown apart because of high school dynamics. Avery is the more popular one and I would probably describe Nora as someone who stands out. She may even be described by some as emo. It was hard to really get a handle on how close the two used to be because while we are reading the two are so awkward around each other and really more acquaintances than friends. We see a bit of their friendship through memories and through Avery's quest after Nora has passed away. That being said, I wanted to see more of this friendship. I wish the novel had a few more flashbacks so that we could really see the relationship between the two girls. I also would have liked to see more between Nora and Brody. We know that Nora was close to Brody but there isn't too much depth to that explanation.
I will say that I enjoyed watching Avery on her quest to find the birth mother. It seems like quite a difficult task and I am glad that I don't have to go through that. I can't really understand what it would be like to know you have pretty amazing parents but not knowing about your genetics and who gave birth to you. I think that I would always be wondering why.
I like Cook's writing and her storytelling. This book is interesting and keeps you engaged but as I said before I just wanted a little bit more. It's a fairly quick read and at times it is pretty emotional. I would say if you are looking for a quick read then this is your bet.