I just finished reading a really amazing book that I got in the mail for this blog tour– and I’m so, so thankful to FFBC tours and the publisher for this chance!
I’m going to be sharing my review of this book as well as some of my favorite quotes- and boy was it hard to find them! (also, I forgot that I needed quotes until I was done. how smart.)
I had to find a way to glimpse a future where I could tell the story I wanted, instead of starring in the never-ending nightmare my parents had cast me in.
Every Other Weekend is a laugh-out-loud and shed-a-few-tears sort of story. And yes, I did both of them, and yes, they both happened multiple times.
It tells the story of Jolene and Adam, two broken teenagers from broken families. Jolene is fiery and fierce but wary of trust- after her parents divorced, she was shuttled between her mother’s toxic hate/love + abuse and her dad’s complete non-existence, forced to live with his new girlfriend that she hates who’s barely a few years older than Jolene.
Adam once had the best family ever- two loving parents and two brothers who were everything to him. Then when his oldest brother died, his family fell apart. His mom is a crying mess and she can’t seem to let go of Greg, his dead brother. His dad moved out of the house after the death, making Adam hate him and despise that he needed to stay at his house and leave his mother every other weekend.
Both of them stay in their dads’ apartment every other weekend, and when they meet, they click immediately. (I mean, obviously. What’s a love story without the love?)
It wasn’t that she forgot anything that had happened, it was that she couldn’t forget it. I imagined it as if all the most painful moments of her life were playing on a continyous loop in her head, and when something raw was brought up, it jolted the volume up louder.
a d a m a n d j o l e n e
Adam and Jolene ARE THE CUTEST THING. Adam’s a sweetheart, mommy’s boy, and proof that toxic masculinity can go die in a hole (sorry, couldn’t resist xD). Jolene, on the other hand, has a tough facade that just reveals an innate need to be loved.
Spoiler alert, her family doesn’t give her that love.
But more on her family later. Adam and Jolene’s relationship was honestly so so cute and all the little things they shared, the moments they experienced, and the tidbits they shared with each other were the best part of the whole book.
They started off as ‘just friends’, but IT WAS OH-SO ADORABLE ALREADY. Adam and Jolene complement each other well: the burning fire and the cooling water (Jolene and Adam).
“But you don’t want to know why I wasn’t outside waiting, do you? You don’t want to know that my mom got drunk and tackled me to the ground when the doorbell rang, or that, before that, she tried to poison me just enough to keep me in bed for the weekend. You don’t want to know any of that, because you can’t tell anyone without risking the courts deciding that I’m better off living here full-time.”
t h e f a m i l i e s
It’s easiest to start with Adam. Adam’s family seems so pretty and perfect on the outside- but in reality, it’s crumbling (along with Adam himself). After Greg died, his mother just couldn’t enjoy anything anymore. And his dad, whom Adam despises for ‘abandoning them’, has his own reasons for leaving the house. Which, of course, Adam is too stubborn and distraught to realize. His older brother, Jeremy, is quite ‘prickly’ and the two don’t really get along (understatement of the year) since their brother, the mediator died.
And as bad as you think Adam has it, Jolene probably has it worse.
Her mother is really bad. I mean it, because like the above quote shows, Jolene’s mom doesn’t care about her daughter. She cares that her daughter won’t be with her ex-husband. She wants ‘to keep Jolene for herself’, but really, she just wants to win at the little game she and her ex have going over Jolene.
She even goes as far as to poison her daughter to keep her from going to her dad’s house. This woman is crazy and horrible, and I felt so bad for Jolene throughout.
Jolene’s dad, on the other hand, is the opposite of that. He’s completely absentee throughout the book and leaves Jolene with his new girlfriend who’s half his age (first of all, ew. second of all, EW). Spoiler alert: maybe Jolene doesn’t hate the girlfriend as much as she did originally?
Jolene just needs a good family, y’all.
It was a love story. Not romantic exactly, but the kind of love that maybe lasts beyond passion and heartache. It was a story of friendship, with all its possibilities laid out in front of it.
t h e m o v i e a s p e c t
One thing I really loved about this book was the focus on filmmaking. Jolene is an aspiring director and filmmaker which is SO COOL, by the way- but the way Abigail Johnson wove in her movie-making process (no, I shall not tell you how. read the book mwahaha) was really interesting and cool.
“I was supposed to get to hate you forever.”
One side of her mouth lifted. “You still can.”
I shook my head. And I hugged her.
d e a l i n g w i t h h a r a s s m e n t
Every Other Weekend also covers the very, very sensitive topic of sexual harassment that should be carefully handled. I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty details for spoilers and trigger warnings, but I do believe that it is handled well enough in the book.
One thing that I’d say is that it’s realistic. Not all cases end up happily (which makes me so frustrated), but this case does a good job of making the reader relieved while showing the truth of what normally happens.
Overall, I really loved this book! It was a definite five-star book (I was sitting at the temple with my family and crying. FREAKING CRYING. Also, I had to sing there a few minutes later and my voice was all crackly urgh I blame it on this book!) and I encourage all of you to support and read this book!
Have you heard of this book or author? What are your favorite books in this genre? When was the last time you read a book that tackled bad family dynamics and/or sexual harassment?