Title: You Can Go Your Own Way
Author: Eric Smith
Publication: November 2, 2021
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: YA Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
Adam Stillwater is in over his head. At least, that’s what his best friend would say. And his mom. And the guy who runs the hardware store down the street. But this pinball arcade is the only piece of his dad that Adam has left, and he’s determined to protect it from Philadelphia’s newest tech mogul, who wants to turn it into another one of his cold, lifeless gaming cafés.
Whitney Mitchell doesn’t know how she got here. Her parents split up. She lost all her friends. Her boyfriend dumped her. And now she’s spending her senior year running social media for her dad’s chain of super successful gaming cafés—which mostly consists of trading insults with that decrepit old pinball arcade across town.
But when a huge snowstorm hits, Adam and Whitney suddenly find themselves trapped inside the arcade. Cut off from their families, their worlds, and their responsibilities, the tension between them seems to melt away, leaving something else in its place. But what happens when the storm stops?
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
After reading a lot of mystery/thrillers and historical fiction novels, I was in the mood for a feel good, growth based book. I came across You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith and knew this was what I was looking for.
The story follows Adam as he tries to keep his family’s arcade afloat with just his mom and a lot of broken machines. Having separated from his friends after the death of his father a year before, he really only has a handful of friends he still talks to. His major enemy is old friend Whitney and her father who wants to buy the arcade. Of course, enemies who use to be friends is obviously going to bring up old feelings.
Eric Smith did a great job of breaking down these characters. Adam is definitely suffering from the grief of the loss of his dad and his life literally revolves around that. He seems obsessed with doing everything his dad wanted and even wearing his dad’s clothes only. Then you have Whitney who is so obsessed with getting her dad’s approval and attention that she lets herself be sucked into friendships and relationships that don’t benefit her. I love how these two were kind of going through the same thing wanting to connect with their fathers and how both journey’s have happened separate. The characters have so many layers and Smith did a great job of slowly letting us discover them.
I love the story too. We see these two struggles happening and how honestly the two could help each other, but because they are basically enemies they can’t help each other. This story is very much about growth and self-awareness. I loved getting to watch the characters come to realizations and make decisions that is better for them and their futures. I loved watching them mend their relationship and the relationships with others around them.
I feel like this book gives a great depiction of how young adults are more than capable of working through hard times on their own with the help of a good support system. This message is one a lot of teens and young adults could use help with. I think this kind of story is important for people to read, as well as this one is just a great, easy read for a cold fall day. I encourage everyone to take time to read this phenomenal story of friendship, personal growths and grief and share with your friends. You will not regret it.
STAR RATING: 5/5
Pick up your copy of You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith on November 2, 2021 on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out more from author Eric Smith on his website HERE.