As Many Nows As I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl (432 pages)
“As Many Nows As I Can Get” Is More Than Just A Summer Romance
Scarlett’s always been logical, yet that doesn’t stop her from falling for David, one of her best friends, the summer before they leave for college on opposite coasts. David’s more than just a boy she’s always known—he’s spontaneous and alluring. So when he comes knocking, Scarlett goes with him, whether it’s on midnight drives, a road trip across state lines, or even if it’s jumping off a bridge into the water far below. But she doesn’t want a long-distance relationship, and that’s all it could be when she’s going to school in Maine and David will be at Stanford on the west coast. So she lets him go, yet their summer together sticks with her for months after.
A Crisp and Contemplative Character Study
Scarlett is a physics major who got into MIT but is attending Colwyn College in Maine because they offered her a sizable scholarship. (See? Logical.) She’s sharp and forward, yet holds so many of her feelings—the important ones—inside. Able to spout off science facts reminiscent of John Green characters, Scarlett seems wise beyond her years. Yet, she’s a human being, so she’s capable of making intelligent decisions while also making impulsive ones, especially when it comes to David. David’s a character I wanted more of, even while I was reading a scene with him in it! He’s frustrating yet captivating. While he could be a jerk, he’s more often a good friend and, no matter what, he’s unpredictable. Scarlett and David’s spark was like a match dropping in a dry field, and I loved reading every moment they were together.
While the characters make this novel, it’s also an organizational triumph. There are multiple storylines that jump across the overall timeline, yet it works perfectly. It took me a dozen or so pages to grasp the format, but once I did, I read on effortlessly. This method was great for reveals and there were some gasp-worthy ones throughout. (None of which I have or will spoil!) Those reveals kept me reading so fast that I finished this novel the same day I started.
The Bottom Line: 5/5 Brookie Stars
Heartbreaking and timeless, As Many Nows As I Can Get is a reminder that while we can’t alter the past, we’re still able to shape our future. This is an intense story for the pragmatic, those who love nature, and for anyone who feels like time has gotten away from them.
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Jamie Mitchell is a writer, library assistant, former bookseller, and all-around lover of the written word. She’s currently working on her fifth novel, and if you’re wondering where the other four are, they’re safe on her laptop and in need of rewriting. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband, and enjoys traveling, bookstagramming and experimenting with gluten-free flours.
Favourite book: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Favourite brunch spot: 1823 Bakehouse