barely missing everythingAnd, I think I’m going to pass on Barely Missing Everything by Matt Mendez. There’s just nothing really popping out in this book for me to want to read it. A novel centered around the dreams and setbacks of three teens as they navigate their lives and what they hope for them alongside the difficulties of their every day lives. Juan wants to be a basketball star, JD has dreams of being a filmmaker, and whatever dream Fabi once had has been put on indefinite hold now that she’s found out she is pregnant. As Juan has a run-in with the police and JD deals with difficulties at home, it soon becomes apparent that their dreams might be even more difficult to achieve than they realized. When the two boys decide to embark on a somewhat soul-searching journey to meet the man on death row who may be the father that JD’s mom has told him was dead all his life, Fabi grows determined to stop them. Thus the three teens set out on quite a journey.

I feel like there’s a lot of potential for this book to be great, it just doesn’t really grab me. Though I love how the title definitely seems to fit the story, I don’t find myself thoroughly invested. I was never one for road trip type stories, nor am I really all that interested in most contemporaries. If it ever happens that someone recommends this book to me for being phenomenal, then chances are I will give it a try, but I don’t want to risk reading a book that I wont like when I’m not really too interested to begin with.

Juan has plans. He’s going to get out of El Paso, Texas, on a basketball scholarship and make something of himself—or at least find something better than his mom Fabi’s cruddy apartment, her string of loser boyfriends, and a dead dad. Basketball is going to be his ticket out, his ticket up. He just needs to make it happen.
His best friend JD has plans, too. He’s going to be a filmmaker one day, like Quinten Tarantino or Guillermo del Toro (NOT Steven Spielberg). He’s got a camera and he’s got passion—what else could he need?
Fabi doesn’t have a plan anymore. When you get pregnant at sixteen and have been stuck bartending to make ends meet for the past seventeen years, you realize plans don’t always pan out, and that there some things you just can’t plan for…
Like Juan’s run-in with the police, like a sprained ankle, and a tanking math grade that will likely ruin his chance at a scholarship. Like JD causing the implosion of his family. Like letters from a man named Mando on death row. Like finding out this man could be the father your mother said was dead.
Soon Juan and JD are embarking on a Thelma and Louise­–like road trip to visit Mando. Juan will finally meet his dad, JD has a perfect subject for his documentary, and Fabi is desperate to stop them. But, as we already know, there are some things you just can’t plan for…

What are your feelings about this book? Do you think you’ll be adding it to your TBR or passing it up? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments! Happy reading, everyone!

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