Monday, May 4, 2015

Review: Most Likely to Succeed By Jennifer Echols

Title: Most Likely to Succeed (Superlatives #3)
Author: Jennifer Echols
Published Date: August 4th 2015

In this sexy conclusion to The Superlatives trilogy from Endless Summer author Jennifer Echols, Sawyer and Kaye might just be perfect for each other—if only they could admit it.

As vice president of Student Council, Kaye knows the importance of keeping order. Not only in school, but in her personal life. Which is why she and her boyfriend, Aidan, already have their lives mapped out: attend Columbia University together, pursue banking careers, and eventually get married. Everything Kaye has accomplished in high school—student government, cheerleading, stellar grades—has been in preparation for that future.

To his entire class, Sawyer is an irreverent bad boy. His antics on the field as school mascot and his love of partying have earned him total slacker status. But while he and Kaye appear to be opposites on every level, fate—and their friends—keep conspiring to throw them together. Perhaps the seniors see the simmering attraction Kaye and Sawyer are unwilling to acknowledge to themselves…

As the year unfolds, Kaye begins to realize her ideal life is not what she thought. And Sawyer decides it’s finally time to let down the facade and show everyone who he really is. Is a relationship between them most likely to succeed—or will it be their favorite mistake?
(Synopsis Provided by Goodreads)

Kaye is the vice president of her high school who's also dating the president. She's also head cheerleader and the only student council rep who knows how to get things done. It seems like her life is on the right track - and even if it wasn't her mother would make sure she was back on track before she could even blink. The future is where Kaye needs to keep her head. Her focus is to get into Columbia and become a business tycoon just like her mother. However, when she gets voted Perfect Couple That Never Was with all around flirt Sawyer - she can't help but put her plans on hold to wonder why Sawyer? Plagued by a curiosity she can't seem to get rid of, Kaye begins to take action on these thoughts and feelings about Sawyer. Leading her to realize the plan she's been following is no longer leading her towards to goals she once wanted.

Most Likely to Succeed was cute story. Sawyer was a great guy and Kaye was a refreshing female character who did things and acted out in ways I haven't really seen before. The plot was hard to follow at some points in the story but the characters Kaye and Sawyer pulled through in the end.


Initial reaction after first chapter – the main character Kaye is a strong girl. We get a great sense of her ambition and a hint of a girl who knows what she wants. Sawyer is a confident, smooth talking ‘bad boy’ – what comes out of his mouth is both hilarious and fiery. The sparks are instant when we get our first glance at the interaction between these two. I knew I was going to like them together.

As the story progressed, Kaye’s confidence and what she assumes of those around her become a problem to me (her idea of Tia’s life or Sawyers lifestyle). She began to come off a little judgemental. Assuming how things will be and are with Sawyer, the cheerleaders, Aidan. Definitely left room for her character to grow as this was still early on in the book. Sawyer is so fun and flirty – I love it! Aidan, Kaye’s actual boyfriend in the beginning of the story is just as ambitious and demanding of himself as Kaye is but Aidan seems to dictate everything and everyone around him. He teeters between stuck-up jerk and ‘strive-for-success’ type of guy to me.

Sawyer's character I felt throughout the book didn't get enough exploration into his past. It would have been great to learn about what exactly happened when he lived with his mother then his father. Would have made his get together with Kaye more worthwhile and amazing! He's got so much stacked against him at school with this facade he let's people believe. When Kaye and him begin falling for each other it was so sweet and we can't help but root for them!

Kaye’s parents are intense – well mainly her mom. It is no question that Kaye is driven hard by her mother to succeed in all things high school so that her entry to Columbia is more than just ‘in the bag’. As a parent with a harsh upbringing, I could sympathize with how her mother acts to get her children to be the best. It was so they can have a good future but it’s hard to see and understand that long term goal when it effects Kaye so much in the present – also the fact that the story is told from Kaye’s POV not her mothers. Her mother knowingly displays her dislike of Sawyer in front of Kaye and it’s cringe worthy to see how devoid of sympathy she is towards Sawyer. After learning about Sawyer’s hard life through a friend and finally hearing her daughter stand up for him, Kaye’s mother seems to have a revelation about letting Kaye date Sawyer. I would have preferred a better conclusion to Kaye and her mother’s storyline; this one didn’t feel genuine to me.

Something I really loved about this novel is its exploration of the high school life and time. It hit home for me because I tried to plan everything I could during my years in high school till I realized it’s impossible to prepare yourself for something like the future. High school seemed to exist in a different world than the one Kaye painted of her future. Kaye’s locked in on the idea of her future with Aidan at the start of this book but as the story unravels, so do those plans which showed that no matter what we think is going to happen, no matter how much we plan for something, we will never know what will happen till it does happen. It was a beautiful plot line that really made Most Likely to Succeed so enjoyable for me! Great plot to ground all the characters and their growth through the book! Kaye seems to find balance between joy in what you're doing in the now of high school and also making sure to do what you need for the future.

The ending half of this book gets a little choppy. Some of the stolen moments between Kaye and Sawyer seemed too rushed, not enough time to process and feel for the characters. Along with the timeline of what’s going on with school seemed to progress quickly - one scene would be happening and in the next paragraph is a new scene entirely. I couldn’t really understand what was happening and had to do some double read-throughs. Everything that went wrong for Kaye draws to a resolution rather hastily. 

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

The road to being together was never easy for Sawyer and Kaye but despite everyone and everything that stood in their way – they make it. Their relationship seemed to stall a little towards the middle half of the book – them constantly struggling to be together around her parent’s approval – but it reaches a good enough ending.

QUESTION FOR YOU ALL - Did you have pressure from a parent/guardian during high school? And if so, how did YOU deal with it?


No comments:

Post a Comment