All Our Worst Ideas
Two teens who have nothing in common work together at a record store in All Our Worst Ideas, a powerful and voice-driven YA novel from Vicky Skinner.When Amy, on her way to becoming valedictorian of her graduating class and getting accepted to her dream school, gets dumped by her long-term boyfriend, she takes a job at a record store to ease the pain. She needs a distraction, badly. Oliver, Amy’s record store co-worker, isn’t so sure about Amy—his complete opposite—but what he is sure of is his decision not to go to college. He just can’t figure out how to tell his mother. As they work late-night shifts at the record store, Amy and Oliver become friends and then confidantes and then something more, but when Amy has a hard time letting go of what she thought was her perfect future with her ex, she risks losing the future she didn’t even know she wanted with Oliver.

All Our Worst Ideas Details

TitleAll Our Worst Ideas
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 11th, 2020
PublisherSwoon Reads
ISBN-139781250195425
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Young Adult Contemporary, Romance, Music, Fiction, Contemporary Romance

All Our Worst Ideas Review

  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    So I may have teared up a few times while reading this, I'm not going to lie. Amy is a senior in high school, who is working her butt off to be valedictorian. Because she has a goal, get in to Stanford on a full scholarship and do to that she needs to make val. But things don't always go as planed and she is told she needs to work to help support her family, so getting at the record store is the best thing for Amy to do, but it will take up even more of her time. Something her boyfriend doesn't So I may have teared up a few times while reading this, I'm not going to lie. Amy is a senior in high school, who is working her butt off to be valedictorian. Because she has a goal, get in to Stanford on a full scholarship and do to that she needs to make val. But things don't always go as planed and she is told she needs to work to help support her family, so getting at the record store is the best thing for Amy to do, but it will take up even more of her time. Something her boyfriend doesn't seem to like. So he breaks up with her. And then is just the worst....you have to read to see, no spoilers here.Oliver lives at home with his single mom is taking a "gap" year, or at least that is what his mother is lead to believe. He works a Spirits a record shop, where he feels the most at home and in is element, with music. His mother keeps on setting up campus tours and asking him if he has applied to schools. He doesn't know how to tell her he doesn't want to go to collage. One top of that his father is a drunk, that he has to deal with. Getting calls from bars or himself to come up pick him up. Oliver feels like he's the parent, not the other way around.The Story is told from both Amy and Oliver point of views, each chapter a new month, the count down to the end of high school is nearing, will Amy succeed? All Of Our Worst Ideas is a playful, heart shattering and warming story of two young people figuring out life and what they want from it. Even if the figuring out is still a process because hey let's face it you are always figuring it out even the ones that think they have it figured out. It is full of serious issues and the pressures on young people be it in school, family life or life in general and love. Sometimes it's not fairy tale sometimes your heart breaks sometimes you fly. The side cast is a playful one and I love Brooke, Spirit's manager, I'd like to see another story with her. I love LOVE the fact that this is a story full of music, I saw Parklife by Blur and I was like no one ever talks about Blur. That was the first song by them that I ever hear and it hooked me. I can't wait to listen to the list of songs in the back of the book.I do how ever have an issue, I don't if it was over looked but I caught it. We have a scene in which Amy is said to be in a red dress, then not long later we are told it's black. Nothing major but I am reading an ARC copy there for it could have been address before printing.But should you mark this as want to read? Yes please do. If not you'll miss a great story and who wants to miss out on a good story?
    more
  • Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!
    January 1, 1970
    "Things change over time. The way you appreciate things changes.” Let it be known that I am a SUCKER for books with lots of music reference. And ALL OUR WORST IDEAS just hit all the right spot. I finished reading this book in 24 hours and it really left me wanting for more. This is the first one I've read from Vicky Skinner and I can't wait to get my hands on her previous and upcoming books!I'll put it out there already that I am not the biggest fan of the title of this book because i "Things change over time. The way you appreciate things changes.” Let it be known that I am a SUCKER for books with lots of music reference. And ALL OUR WORST IDEAS just hit all the right spot. I finished reading this book in 24 hours and it really left me wanting for more. This is the first one I've read from Vicky Skinner and I can't wait to get my hands on her previous and upcoming books!I'll put it out there already that I am not the biggest fan of the title of this book because it makes it sound like its just a cutesy enemy to lovers trope when actually, it's SO much more than that. In All Our Worst Ideas, we follow the story of two young adult that, in the beginning, are taking different paths in life. We have goody goody (her words) Amy and laidback Oliver. So its true, they are the complete opposite. And the readers will be witnessing a story about two different characters that will be connected through music and MORE. Let it also be known, The Lumineers is my FAVORITE band in the world which happens to be Amy's favorite too and I will not even deny that from the first page, I instantly knew that I will like this character. And I was not wrong. Amy is not your stereotypical over achiever and I love how this character was written. She was not being pretentious when it comes to her music taste. It was such a big deal for me because instead of being music shamed just because some of her favorite songs are not classic, Amy instead explained and highlighted why she likes the particular songs. Amy not being stereotypical also goes for Oliver. I honestly cant remember closing a book and asking myself "Where is my OWN Oliver?" Being a 24 year old Adult, I thought I was already done with that phase but Oliver really sneaks into your heart and just stays there. Don't get me wrong, these characters are flawed and can get you frustrated at times but these imperfections really just showed how incredibly well-written they are. This applies to secondary characters of this book as well. The author even inserted a heavy topic such as alcoholism and I can say that it was handled with sensitivity and in a realistic manner. I really have nothing to say about the book plot-wise. Yes, it IS a love story but it's also not JUST a love story. Amy struggled a lot by being part of a huge mexican family and being the first family member to go to college. She had to make choices, smart ones, if she wants to make her dreams happen. Oliver also dealt with some pretty heavy issues and went through self discovery. I really have nothing but praise by how this story was weaved together. The relationships between the main characters and their parents are done in such an authentic way. And kudos to the author for also executing the journey of Amy moving on, it was real and well thought.I will miss hanging out with Oliver and Amy at the record store and will surely be yearning for more story about this two. Overall, I really can't recommend All Our Worst Ideas enough. This dual POV book is written in a simple way but will make you smile and believe in the power of love. Everything about this book is just wonderful and pure and striking. All Our Worst Ideas is not a book to be overlooked, make a time for it!
    more
  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Amy had been on the road to Stanford for years now. She just needed to lock up the valedictorian spot and win a generous scholarship. Oliver was taking a gap year, because he didn't feel college was in his future. Though they had very different goals and were on divergent paths, they are brought together by their love of music, and may find they are actually a perfect match. I have enjoyed Skinner's other two novels, but this one, this was my FAVORITE! It's a full-blown love story, where two peo Amy had been on the road to Stanford for years now. She just needed to lock up the valedictorian spot and win a generous scholarship. Oliver was taking a gap year, because he didn't feel college was in his future. Though they had very different goals and were on divergent paths, they are brought together by their love of music, and may find they are actually a perfect match. I have enjoyed Skinner's other two novels, but this one, this was my FAVORITE! It's a full-blown love story, where two people find that "someone". The person who accepts them, supports them, and offers them unconditional love. I was expecting to be swept away by the romance, but didn't expect the beauty and the depth of this union to touch my heart the way it did. I feel like I was supposed to see this as an opposite-attracts situation, but in reality, Amy and Oli had quite a few things in common. Both came from families that were complicated though loving. They were also surrounded by people, who expected them to be something or someone they couldn't be. Their situations just reinforced how wonderful it was that they were able to find their "person", the one who welcomed them as-is. They didn't want to change them or make them into something else, they simply wanted them. It's easy to lose sight of how important that is sometimes, and I was so happy with the way Skinner explored this side of a relationship. Obviously, I was a super fan of Amy+Oliver, but I loved many other things about this story. I am going to be upfront with you -- I was all about those Empire Records vibes. Though the record store staff in the book was much smaller, it still had that quality of family and "my people" that made me want to get a job there. It was the combination of music, friendship, drama, and romance which endeared this book to my heart. It was being able to accompany Amy and Oliver on their personal journeys, as well as getting the opportunity to see them slowly fall in love. And as if that wasn't enough, Skinner gave me everything I needed with that ending. Thank you! Thank you, Vicky Skinner! All Our Worst Ideas filled my head with music and my heart with joy. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
    more
  • Samantha Hastings
    January 1, 1970
    The perfect bridge of YA and New Adult.Amy is a senior in high school who is desperate to become valedictorian so she can get a scholarship to Stanford. But first, she has to juggle a new part-time job, first love, and getting dumped. Oliver told his mom he’s taking a gap year before starting college, but what if he’s not? What if college isn’t for him? And should he stop rescuing his drunk dad? He meets Amy at the music store and they seem to be on the same album, except she’s still in love wit The perfect bridge of YA and New Adult.Amy is a senior in high school who is desperate to become valedictorian so she can get a scholarship to Stanford. But first, she has to juggle a new part-time job, first love, and getting dumped. Oliver told his mom he’s taking a gap year before starting college, but what if he’s not? What if college isn’t for him? And should he stop rescuing his drunk dad? He meets Amy at the music store and they seem to be on the same album, except she’s still in love with her ex. Both Amy and Oliver make realistic mistakes and big decisions as they come of age. Through their journey they learn the importance of listening to their own music and finding their own song.
    more
  • Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger
    January 1, 1970
    Adding this to my Want To Read based on the cover aloneI mean, look at it.
  • Lisa Mandina
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really cute book. I didn’t even realize it was set in my own hometown of Kansas City. It was fun to hear about places that are real, and places I’ve been. Overall the story was really cute and I enjoyed it. The title is perfect because both Oliver and Amy made some bad decisions, but I like how they learned from them and both were able to realize at some point what they’d done and why it was wrong and then do what they could to fix it. I liked how it showed that maybe college isn’t th This was a really cute book. I didn’t even realize it was set in my own hometown of Kansas City. It was fun to hear about places that are real, and places I’ve been. Overall the story was really cute and I enjoyed it. The title is perfect because both Oliver and Amy made some bad decisions, but I like how they learned from them and both were able to realize at some point what they’d done and why it was wrong and then do what they could to fix it. I liked how it showed that maybe college isn’t the perfect solution for everyone, that you might be more successful or have a happier life without the debt of college by just doing something you know you enjoy and are good at. Not that I’m not a big believer in going to college. I work with students who are definitely on the path to college. But I also have worked with students in the past that either trade school or even just going into the career they want was what would be best for them. Review first appeared on Lisa Loves Literature.
    more
  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    I loved it and wanted more!! So well written. The heartache and drama were realistic and relatable. The sarcasm and witt made me smile. The loneliness and love were each captured beautifully. Then it was all tied up in a bow and sealed with a kiss, like my heart.
    more
  • B.R. Myers
    January 1, 1970
    Told in alternating voices, this contemporary coming of age novel navigates the landscape of first love with all its confusing and whirlwind moments coupled with the struggle of finding true independence. With relatable characters and a slick soundtrack, ALL OUR WORST IDEAS by Vicky Skinner is a swoon worthy tale readers will fall for head over heels.
    more
  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    If you are looking for a teenage true love story about finding the one, you’ll love All Our Worst Ideas. Touching on topics about following your dreams and dealing with family issues, All Our Worst Ideas is a sweet mature YA contemporary romance. Amy is ready to finish her high schooling as valedictorian, get into Stanford with a full ride scholarship. Then every Friday night spent studying, every sacrifice will be worth it. Until her mother asks her to get a job while her stepdad is out of work If you are looking for a teenage true love story about finding the one, you’ll love All Our Worst Ideas. Touching on topics about following your dreams and dealing with family issues, All Our Worst Ideas is a sweet mature YA contemporary romance. Amy is ready to finish her high schooling as valedictorian, get into Stanford with a full ride scholarship. Then every Friday night spent studying, every sacrifice will be worth it. Until her mother asks her to get a job while her stepdad is out of work. Until her boyfriend dumps her for not spending enough time with him. Until she starts to like hanging out with her new, if slightly grumpy co-worker. But Amy doesn’t have time for distractions and she will have to decide what is most important to her and what she is willing to risk to achieve her dreams.Amy is your typical YA heroine who is excellent at school and spends her time studying. Oliver is a year older, finished with high school and working full time at the record store. Amy starts the novel in a very serious, long-term relationship. Fortunately, she isn’t quick to fall out of love after her boyfriend ends their relationship nor quick to move straight onto a new relationship.Oliver and Amy start as co-workers who are vaguely wary of each other. Amy is a bright and bubbly and Oliver is unsure who she is really about and if she is going to take her work seriously. Oliver has a harsh exterior and Amy assesses him pretty quickly as grumpy. As they work together they learn they don’t have much in common except their love of music. As they war over who has the best taste, they also find that they can talk to each other about serious things they don’t usually share with others - Oliver’s dad’s battle with alcoholism, Amy’s feelings of not being supported by her family and why she wants so badly to succeed at school. Oliver has a much different goal, he is avoiding his mother’s pushing for him to attend college and wants only to keep working in the music store. Despite him have very different goals for his future, he is supportive of Amy, as she is for him. It is this understanding and support for each other that makes their relationship work. While Amy wrestles with her feelings for her ex, Oliver is there for her and extremely sweet and protective. All Our Worst Ideas is all about the power of love, finding the “one” and being in a supportive relationship that extends past the end of high school. Due to the age of the characters this feels a little like a crossover between YA and new adult, so will appeal to older teen readers.The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library
    more
  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    Cute; not a knock out or unique story by any means but a good YA book with well built and interesting characters. I think the plot is also one that a lot of graduating teens nowadays can relate to.
  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    So I may have teared up a few times while reading this, I'm not going to lie.Amy is a senior in high school, who is working her butt off to be valedictorian. Because she has a goal, get in to Stanford on a full scholarship and do to that she needs to make val. But things don't always go as planed and she is told she needs to work to help support her family, so getting at the record store is the best thing for Amy to do, but it will take up even more of her time. Something her boyfriend doesn't s So I may have teared up a few times while reading this, I'm not going to lie.Amy is a senior in high school, who is working her butt off to be valedictorian. Because she has a goal, get in to Stanford on a full scholarship and do to that she needs to make val. But things don't always go as planed and she is told she needs to work to help support her family, so getting at the record store is the best thing for Amy to do, but it will take up even more of her time. Something her boyfriend doesn't seem to like. So he breaks up with her. And then is just the worst....you have to read to see, no spoilers here.Oliver lives at home with his single mom is taking a "gap" year, or at least that is what his mother is lead to believe. He works a Spirits a record shop, where he feels the most at home and in is element, with music. His mother keeps on setting up campus tours and asking him if he has applied to schools. He doesn't know how to tell her he doesn't want to go to collage. One top of that his father is a drunk, that he has to deal with. Getting calls from bars or himself to come up pick him up. Oliver feels like he's the parent, not the other way around.The Story is told from both Amy and Oliver point of views, each chapter a new month, the count down to the end of high school is nearing, will Amy succeed?All Of Our Worst Ideas is a playful, heart shattering and warming story of two young people figuring out life and what they want from it. Even if the figuring out is still a process because hey let's face it you are always figuring it out even the ones that think they have it figured out. It is full of serious issues and the pressures on young people be it in school, family life or life in general and love. Sometimes it's not fairy tale sometimes your heart breaks sometimes you fly. The side cast is a playful one and I love Brooke, Spirit's manager, I'd like to see another story with her. I love LOVE the fact that this is a story full of music, I saw Parklife by Blur and I was like no one ever talks about Blur. That was the first song by them that I ever hear and it hooked me. I can't wait to listen to the list of songs in the back of the book.I do how ever have an issue, I don't if it was over looked but I caught it. We have a scene in which Amy is said to be in a red dress, then not long later we are told it's black. Nothing major but I am reading an ARC copy there for it could have been address before printing.But should you mark this as want to read? Yes please do. If not you'll miss a great story and who wants to miss out on a good story?
    more
  • Willow
    January 1, 1970
    Since eighth grade, Amy has had a dream of going to Stanford for college. In order to afford it, she needs to get the biggest scholarship, which is dependent on her being valedictorian. As a result, she's always busy competing with her classmate Petra for the spot, which leaves her with little time for a social life. When she is forced to get a job after her step dad loses his, Amy decides to get one at the local record store, Spirits, and for the first time, she feels like she fits in somewhere Since eighth grade, Amy has had a dream of going to Stanford for college. In order to afford it, she needs to get the biggest scholarship, which is dependent on her being valedictorian. As a result, she's always busy competing with her classmate Petra for the spot, which leaves her with little time for a social life. When she is forced to get a job after her step dad loses his, Amy decides to get one at the local record store, Spirits, and for the first time, she feels like she fits in somewhere. I liked the characters a lot, and how they interacted with one another. Despite their differences, they understood each other, and it made their connection stronger. I really liked how Vicky Skinner included both sides of the spectrum in her characters, Amy a girl who wants to be valedictorian more than anything else, and Oliver who doesn't want to go to college, despite his mom's insistence. I appreciated how real and flawed these characters were and how they both had things they struggled with in their life, but it wasn't all-encompassing, dramatic, and depressing. it was well written. I think my favorite aspect of this book was Spirits, and how so much of Amy and Oliver's friendship/relationship centered around music. One of the greatest things is when you discover someone has the same music taste in you, and considering how seriously Oliver and Amy both take music, I was surprised to find that they discussed a lot of my favorite artists. One unfortunate thing I am realizing after reading this book is how removed I feel from high school characters. It's weird and I hate it, but maybe it's just because I'm done, so I don't care as much anymore, but I found myself feeling less connected to Amy than normal.**i received an arc of this book from Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review**
    more
  • Tonja Drecker
    January 1, 1970
    Heartfelt and realistic, this is a tale of figuring out how to find oneself and dance to ones' own tune.Amy knows how to be successful in school and is on her way to finish high school perfectly and slide right into college. But when the love-of-her-life boyfriend dumps her, it's more than a sour turn. Needing a distraction, she takes a part-time job at the record store. There she meets Oliver, a grumpy-ish co-worker, who is finishing off his 'break-year' before heading to college. But he's pret Heartfelt and realistic, this is a tale of figuring out how to find oneself and dance to ones' own tune.Amy knows how to be successful in school and is on her way to finish high school perfectly and slide right into college. But when the love-of-her-life boyfriend dumps her, it's more than a sour turn. Needing a distraction, she takes a part-time job at the record store. There she meets Oliver, a grumpy-ish co-worker, who is finishing off his 'break-year' before heading to college. But he's pretty sure that's not the path he wants to take. Add the problem of his alcoholic dad, and he's everything but put together like Amy. And yet, the two might just find a way toward their own form of harmony.This is a read, which touches the heart. The decisions, disappointments and mistakes are understandable and realistic. Told from two points-of-view, the story dives deep into both Amy and Oliver. Each character gains wonderful depth, and although very different, it's easy to see life from both stand points. Teen readers will see some of themselves in these characters and easily connect with them.Shortly after the tale starts, Amy finds herself with a broken heart thanks to the break-up with her boyfriend. It was refreshing to see that she didn't get over this relationship quickly but needed time to heal. The romance with Oliver is well-paced, allowing the friendship to form first. But here, before relationships can form, it's important to discover what each one really wants and learn to believe in themselves.In other words, it's a lovely romance which takes on a coming-of-age twist. Not only young adult readers will enjoy this one, but older readers as well.I received an ARC from the publisher and enjoyed accompanying these two characters during their story.
    more
  • Ângela
    January 1, 1970
    Amy, a straight A student, and Oliver, a still-try-to-figure-it-out-my-life guy, have nothing in common. As they work late-night shifts at a record store, they become friends and then confidantes and then something more. But when Amy has a hard time letting go of what she thought was her perfect future with her ex, she risks losing the future she didn’t even know she wanted with Oliver.Oli is such an awesome guy! This is a very sweet and fast paced story."This is my favorite way to take in music Amy, a straight A student, and Oliver, a still-try-to-figure-it-out-my-life guy, have nothing in common. As they work late-night shifts at a record store, they become friends and then confidantes and then something more. But when Amy has a hard time letting go of what she thought was her perfect future with her ex, she risks losing the future she didn’t even know she wanted with Oliver.Oli is such an awesome guy! This is a very sweet and fast paced story."This is my favorite way to take in music, new or old or something I’ve listened to so many times I know every word. Music is meant to be heard without distractions. As much as I love listening to an album while I do the laundry or while I drive through town or while I do homework, this is my ideal way of soaking in music: uninterrupted, undistracted, unblemished by reality. And I do soak it in.""I’ve always been disappointed by the thought that, in the event of a neardeath experience, my brain is supposed to supply some spiritual kind of montage of powerful life moments. I never really thought I had any of those.Now I know, if I’m seconds from death, I’ll think of Amy and her mouth, and I’ll die happy."
    more
  • Melinda Daniel
    January 1, 1970
    It gave me sooo many feelings & I loved that they worked in a record store because Im a huge music lover!! This story made me want more of Amy & Oliver like I need to know where they go from the ending. Book 2 needs to happen ASAP!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ It gave me sooo many feelings & I loved that they worked in a record store because Im a huge music lover!! This story made me want more of Amy & Oliver like I need to know where they go from the ending. Book 2 needs to happen ASAP!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
    more
  • Kat Bee
    January 1, 1970
    Vicky Skinner is a talented writer who writes with great heart and much soul. I've read all her books and was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of All Our Worst Ideas. Told from alternating points of view, Amy and Oliver lead us through the progression of their relationship from co-workers to friends and beyond. I don't want to spoil anything but it's heartwarming and gratifying to embark on this journey with those two very different people who are able to bring out the best in each other Vicky Skinner is a talented writer who writes with great heart and much soul. I've read all her books and was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of All Our Worst Ideas. Told from alternating points of view, Amy and Oliver lead us through the progression of their relationship from co-workers to friends and beyond. I don't want to spoil anything but it's heartwarming and gratifying to embark on this journey with those two very different people who are able to bring out the best in each other through total acceptance and respect. I also love that there's a relationship between Amy and a classmate that passes the Bechdel test.Oh, and the song references...it's a running theme that ties everything together perfectly in the end. I won't say more except just, read it!
    more
  • Natasha
    January 1, 1970
    A short and sweet coming of age tale about two very different individuals who ended up working together in a record store and falling in love. Amaria Richardson or Amy is driven and so obsessed with trying to be the valedictorian so that she can get a full scholarship to attend Stanford while Oliver is a troubled, sarcastic guy who lost hope in life.
    more
  • Em
    January 1, 1970
    (I ship Amy and Petra, sorry not sorry.)
  • P.A. Pursley
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so good! I am not a romance novel person but this book has one of the things I love the most in the world...MUSIC! Lots of music! And the wonderful author gave the reader an index at the back of all the music she mentions in the book! So looking forward to YouTubing all of them and finding my favorites! This is the story of Amy who is beautiful and intelligent and driven. She is so driven to make valedictorian that she is driving everyone out of her life. But life gets in the way a This book was so good! I am not a romance novel person but this book has one of the things I love the most in the world...MUSIC! Lots of music! And the wonderful author gave the reader an index at the back of all the music she mentions in the book! So looking forward to YouTubing all of them and finding my favorites! This is the story of Amy who is beautiful and intelligent and driven. She is so driven to make valedictorian that she is driving everyone out of her life. But life gets in the way and the vying for valedictorian has to take a back seat which turns Amy's world upside down, but not as much as her co-worker Oliver is going to flip it! Finding out that her world extends broader than she imagined, will have Amy seeing beyond what she knows and into the unknown. If you like romance, stories about overcoming your fears, and stepping out of your bubble...this book is for you!
    more
  • Arden Belrose
    January 1, 1970
    You guys already know I'm a huge fan of science fiction, but did you know that my other favorite genre's YA contemporary romance? Come to think of it, romance makes any book I read just that more enjoyable, apart from a few exceptions(I'm looking at you Scythe). Particularly the slow-burn kind! I think it's 'cause they seem more realistic.Now, All Our Worst Ideas by Vicky Skinner isn't 100% slow-burn because one of the character falls for the other quite fast. But! This did not detract me from e You guys already know I'm a huge fan of science fiction, but did you know that my other favorite genre's YA contemporary romance? Come to think of it, romance makes any book I read just that more enjoyable, apart from a few exceptions(I'm looking at you Scythe). Particularly the slow-burn kind! I think it's 'cause they seem more realistic.Now, All Our Worst Ideas by Vicky Skinner isn't 100% slow-burn because one of the character falls for the other quite fast. But! This did not detract me from enjoying this book, because boy, oh boy, did I love it! Told in dual POVs, we watch as two seemingly polar opposites gravitate closer together as they discover mutual interests and principles within each other. Music is an integral part of both Amy and Oliver's characters, and it is this that causes their paths to cross.This is not the fluffy kind of contemporary romance as we see both characters grapple with their own challenges in life. Amy is running on fumes trying to get a perfect score so that she can get into an Ivy League school, but her efforts are starting to take a toll on her mental state and relationships. While Oliver finds himself adrift in life, unsure about his future, keeping a secret from his mother, and picking up after his alcoholic father.What I love about this book is how realistic the everything unfolds. Sometimes things go well but then you get a setback, where do you go from there? The characters aren't completely sure of themselves, they make mistakes, or take risks that pull through in the end. No character is completely good or bad.There's a love triangle but everyone's clear where the other's feelings are at. It was nice to see the ex not being painted as a total jerk, realistically portraying how you can still be hung up over your past lover, because they still possess the qualities you fell for and you remember all those lovely times the two of you had. Although Amy sometimes made me want to conk her on the head for not letting go after all that had happened!The romance between Amy and Oliver was raw and sweet. The whole dance between them of not knowing each other's feelings was exquisite torture. And that first kiss? OMG, I practically s-wooned! Hottest kiss ever. And it was just a kiss! I also loved seeing how Oliver was unknowingly jealous over Amy's ex(not in a controlling way or anything).However, I thought the plot turn 3/4th of the way into the story was a disappointing move on the author's part. After all the realistic parts she had to go and do something just as a plot device that could've been avoided had one party talked things out with the other. It was hella frustrating. But I'll concede that perhaps it was for the better because both of them needed to re-evaluate their views, and hey, better get that straight earlier than later, right?As for the other characters, we didn't get to know them well enough but whatever we do get to see I liked. Especially Brooke, who was the hip older friend of Oliver's. I simply adored her! I loved her sense of humor and directness. I also liked and appreciated the direction in which things went between Petra and Amy.All Our Worst Ideas balanced the cute moments that readers look for in a teenage romance novel and realistic troubles to give it more gravity, turning this into more than just a light summer read.(Thank you to Swoon Reads(Macmillan) and Edelweiss for giving a free digital advance copy in exchange for my review. My opinion remains unbiased.)
    more
  • Tina
    January 1, 1970
    It’s always nice when I jump back into reading and start with a great book. It feels like a nice reward to get lost in a story. This one in particular is full of those end of senior year stresses and motivations, with added hardships. The character growth and music recommendations were my favorite parts.Amy is an overachieving high school senior that learns that some things in life aren’t worth sacrificing. Valedictorian is the only thing that Amy has time for during her last semester of high sc It’s always nice when I jump back into reading and start with a great book. It feels like a nice reward to get lost in a story. This one in particular is full of those end of senior year stresses and motivations, with added hardships. The character growth and music recommendations were my favorite parts.Amy is an overachieving high school senior that learns that some things in life aren’t worth sacrificing. Valedictorian is the only thing that Amy has time for during her last semester of high school. When her competition for the prestigious title ties her for the honor, Amy spirals into an anxious mess. Her only dream of getting into Harvard with a full scholarship relies on being Valedictorian. When she is asked to get a job to help her family through a financial hardship, Amy tries to juggle all of it, inevitably dropping the ball on several things. The first casualty is her boyfriend, who feels neglected by Amy when all her free time is spent studying.As things spiral, Amy struggles to cope. The only reprieve seems to be this new job at the record store. Music has been a source of comfort for her so she naturally finds solace in her new job. Enter Oliver, the quiet, brooding type. He is tasked with training the new girl (Amy) and finds himself intrigued with this overachiever.Oliver is a deep character. His home life is complicated and he’s hiding a pretty big secret from his mom: he doesn’t want to go to college. This is an especially sensitive topic in their family because his father is an alcoholic who did not go to college. Oliver finds the idea of running a record store more appealing than any college class and prefers the school of learning on the job. I really enjoyed his character growth in this story. Finding your way at age 19 is hard, disappointing your parents is even harder. The relationship between Oliver and his dad is a hard, honest view of what addiction can do to a child psychologically. As we learn more about his life and his parents it evokes a deep sense of sympathy for Oliver.Amy is so focused on school, work. and getting her ex back that she ignores the budding friendship that is forming with her coworker Oliver. When he helps her with the homework she’s doing on her breaks, she starts to warm up to him. Their mutual love of music sparks a competition of introducing new music to each other, which I absolutely adore as a way to connect with people. Being from the mixed cd generation, I think it’s a great way to get to know someone and a fun way to flirt over a “competition” that isn’t really one.The supporting cast to our two leads provide some poignant revelations. Important life lessons, like how sometimes your perceived enemy is actually a friend who may understand you better than you do. Or how sometimes the person you thought you loved is actually just a selfish prick. There is a lot of love and support for our leads, and some tough love as well.All in all this was a lovely story with great character depth and stellar music references. My only qualm with this is the ending. It felt a little too perfect for my tastes, but didn’t ruin it for me. I recommend this book to lovers of YA lit who enjoy music and may have been overachievers themselves (like me).
    more
  • Rukaiya Mustafa
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely enjoyed this book. The fantastic music compilation is something that makes a person read more. A unique way to introduce characters and a perfect way to help the reader understand the character’s feelings. When I first picked up the book, I thought it would be a simple YA coming of age story. But this book was that and so much more. The book’s narration is from two point-of-views, Amy and Oliver. In Amy’s side of the story, you see a shy nerd who’s only dream is to go to California. I absolutely enjoyed this book. The fantastic music compilation is something that makes a person read more. A unique way to introduce characters and a perfect way to help the reader understand the character’s feelings. When I first picked up the book, I thought it would be a simple YA coming of age story. But this book was that and so much more. The book’s narration is from two point-of-views, Amy and Oliver. In Amy’s side of the story, you see a shy nerd who’s only dream is to go to California. Amy’s life depends on it. Living in a family, with 4 other children, having financial hardships with big dreams to fulfill isn’t easy for any teenager. But Amy knows what she wants and she’ll do anything to get valedictorian, the Kellar scholarship and finally her ticket out of Kansas City to Stanford. But it doesn’t come without drama. Seeing as Amy is managing her studies, her student activities and on her mother’s request, now she has to manage a job. On the other side we see a very quiet and brooding young man who is already working at Spirits, the record shop Amy starts working at. One thing that Oliver wants is to not go to college. Which his mum doesn’t know and he has put up this facade for all to see. Having lived in a broken house, an alcoholic father, Oliver’s mum insists that education is the key to not become like his father. But Oliver has different plans. He just wants to live freely and on his own without any restraints and responsibilities.What I didn’t expect is for Oliver to fall so quickly and drastically for a super confused Amy. Amy, having just been dumped by her popular boyfriend, again becomes a nobody at school which she doesn’t mind. But at Spirits, Oliver notices her. A music competition brings these two closer and finally Oliver manages to make the first move. But Amy rejects and at that point in the story, I truly felt for Amy and Oliver. Amy has built up a perfect life she had and kept it functioning to a T. But when things start falling, Amy can’t manage to fix anything up until Petra, Jackson helps her see things right. The anxiety that comes with changed plans and is not easy to overcome. Amy’s character is written perfectly to give us a sense of how anxious and confused she feels. Oliver’s character too is written beautifully. A perfect musical love story that is too adorable to not love. I was captivated by this book and loved reading every conversation between the characters. This one is perfect for the dreamers and the ones who are scared to dream or wish. This book shows us that everything works out in the end. Although, I did find the book to be draggy and bit repetitive but overall worth the 4 stars!
    more
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    A fun and engaging YA novel, Vicky Skinner’s All Our Worst Ideas is an enjoyable and touching read sprinkled with pathos, humor and romance readers are going to love.The stars have truly aligned for Amy and she can look forward to a happy and rosy future: she is about to graduate as valedictorian, she’s been accepted at her dream school and she has a gorgeous boyfriend with whom she is head over heels in love with. Everything seems to be going Amy’s way and nothing and nobody is going to rain on A fun and engaging YA novel, Vicky Skinner’s All Our Worst Ideas is an enjoyable and touching read sprinkled with pathos, humor and romance readers are going to love.The stars have truly aligned for Amy and she can look forward to a happy and rosy future: she is about to graduate as valedictorian, she’s been accepted at her dream school and she has a gorgeous boyfriend with whom she is head over heels in love with. Everything seems to be going Amy’s way and nothing and nobody is going to rain on her parade: until reality intervenes and she comes down to earth with a resounding thud. Her boyfriend dumps her and leaves her crushed, heartbroken and totally and utterly devastated. Amy feels as if her whole world has ended and in desperate need of distraction, she decides to take on a job working at a record store. Amy thinks that life is just going to get so much worse for her, but could her new job end up widening her horizons and make her realise that the rather than the depressing end she had envisaged for herself, this is only just the beginning for her?Amy’s colleague, Oliver, isn’t so sure about his new co-worker. Not only are the two polar opposites, but they want different things out of life and do not seem to have a lot of common ground. If they cannot find a single thing to agree on, how on earth are they going to stand working in close proximity together for hours on end? Besides, Oliver has got bigger problems to worry about – like telling his mom he isn’t sure whether college is for him. How is he going to tell her? Will he find the guts to chase after his dream? Or will his fears and insecurities hold him back from forging his own path in the world?As Amy and Oliver begin working together, they soon realize that they’ve got a lot more in common than they previously thought. As a tentative friendship is born between the two of them, nobody is more surprised than they are when their feelings for one another develop into something more. But with Amy still stuck in the past, is she about to let the bright future that is right in front of her slip through her fingers?Vicky Skinner’s All Our Worst Ideas is a charming read that grabbed my attention from the very first page. Full of wonderfully believable characters, witty banter, poignant drama and touching romance, All Our Worst is a heart-warming and uplifting YA novel that is immensely enjoyable and one which readers should not miss.
    more
  • Abby Hargreaves
    January 1, 1970
    All Our Worst Ideas brings Amy and Oli together over music and an abundance of self-doubt. While Oli has no plans to go to college, he struggles to tell his overbearing mom the truth while having trouble committing to even the most appealing path -- record store ownership. Meanwhile, Amy has her heart and her grades set on Stanford, but she'll need a scholarship to make it happen and that scholarship is dependent upon her winning the spot of valedictorian over some fierce competition. Neither ca All Our Worst Ideas brings Amy and Oli together over music and an abundance of self-doubt. While Oli has no plans to go to college, he struggles to tell his overbearing mom the truth while having trouble committing to even the most appealing path -- record store ownership. Meanwhile, Amy has her heart and her grades set on Stanford, but she'll need a scholarship to make it happen and that scholarship is dependent upon her winning the spot of valedictorian over some fierce competition. Neither can afford distractions right now, but even fresh out of a relationship, Amy can't deny there's something special about Oli and Oli can't quite get over the new girl at his job, especially when she identifies the obscure lyrics he has tattooed on his arm.This short contemporary young adult romance is full of subplots that are, frankly, more interesting than the main plot. While Amy goes up against her classmate, Petra, for valedictorian, she fails to recognize that Petra may actually be an ally instead of an enemy. At the same time, Oli is also navigating leaving his dad to fail and rise on his own as his father deals with alcoholism, rather than run to his rescue at every fall. These subplots seem to push character development in order to resolve the main plot, which somehow makes the main plot less satisfying.Amy and Oli have plenty of opportunities to build chemistry, but that chemistry ultimately falls flat as Amy pines for her ex through a good amount of the novel. It's difficult to really root for their relationship when, despite what Amy says to the contrary, it seems her heart isn't fully in it. With a first person, alternating-perspective narration, readers get insight to both characters' lines of thinking and both voices are sufficiently distinct that it's easy enough to tell one from the other . While I generally don't prefer alternating perspectives, All Our Worst Ideas handled it well enough that I didn't dislike it. That was my overall feel for All Our Worst Ideas -- I didn't dislike it. It was just okay, your average YA contemporary romance that isn't particularly outstanding or special. If you've read High Fidelity, despite having pretty much nothing in common plot-wise, you may be reminded of it reading through AOWI with the record store setting and heavy musical influence on the characters' lives. If you're looking for something extra swoony, this isn't really it, but if you prefer grounded and realistic YA romance (well, details of the end aside), All Our Worst Ideas might just be your jam.
    more
  • ila ✨
    January 1, 1970
    [3 stars] three stars, but this is very much a “it’s not you, it’s me” review: All Our Worst Ideas was a quick read, really cute and sweet, albeit pretty “standard” as far as young-adult contemporaries go. it’s well-plotted and well-written, and the two main characters (Oliver and Amy) are likeable and easy to relate to. it doesn’t necessarily do anything new, but that’s fine. the blurb mentions that Oliver and Amy are ‘opposites’. so i, a fool, automatically assumed that this would be an enemie [3 stars] three stars, but this is very much a “it’s not you, it’s me” review: All Our Worst Ideas was a quick read, really cute and sweet, albeit pretty “standard” as far as young-adult contemporaries go. it’s well-plotted and well-written, and the two main characters (Oliver and Amy) are likeable and easy to relate to. it doesn’t necessarily do anything new, but that’s fine. the blurb mentions that Oliver and Amy are ‘opposites’. so i, a fool, automatically assumed that this would be an enemies-to-friends-to-lovers kind of romance. it was not – it’s a “grumpy boy falls for sunshine girl” kind of romance (i know that a lot of people love this trope. i like it too, but it’s not my favourite or anything). to be fair, the synopsis doesn’t actually say anything about ‘enemies’ or ‘rivals’; i just assumed that, because they’re ‘opposites’, there would be more conflict between the two main characters, especially at the beginning of the book. again, i was wrong. it was almost “insta-lovey”.the first problem i had with AOWI was that i struggled to get into it at first and almost DNF’d it. after the first 2-3 chapters, which were really great, the story started to slow down a bit and i got bored, so i skimmed some pages (which is not something i usually do). thankfully, a few chapters later i got invested in the story again.but my biggest problem with AOWI was the love triangle. i hated it. i didn’t like the way it was handled at all. i’m not going to “analyse” it or anything, but, for example, i hate things like “Character A kisses Character B at the end of the book/film and realises that they’re actually in love with Character C”. (also, as this tweet says: “love triangles would be cooler if you couldn’t tell which love interest the author preferred”).someone a bit younger than me would probably enjoy it more; i have probably read too many similar books in the past couple of years, and this one doesn’t really stand out from the crowd.✧trigger warnings: one character (Oliver’s dad) is dealing with alcohol addiction
    more
  • Ramona Mead
    January 1, 1970
    This book captures everything that explains why I read Young Adult fiction at forty. Stories of youth are universal. Everyone has experienced first love and lust, and the first time you really screw up and hurt someone you love without meaning to. That's what this story is about. The characters, their emotions and relationships, are all realistic, believable, and relatable. Amy and Oliver are dealing with real world issues. They are trying to figure out who they are and what they want out of lif This book captures everything that explains why I read Young Adult fiction at forty. Stories of youth are universal. Everyone has experienced first love and lust, and the first time you really screw up and hurt someone you love without meaning to. That's what this story is about. The characters, their emotions and relationships, are all realistic, believable, and relatable. Amy and Oliver are dealing with real world issues. They are trying to figure out who they are and what they want out of life, all while managing the expectations of the other important people in their lives. Amy has to get a job because her step-dad is laid off. Oliver is care-taking his alcoholic father. These are heavy issues. I do think both could have been given a bit more depth, I felt they were eventually glossed over a bit. That's the only "complaint" I have about the book. The writing is emotional and realistic. I highly recommend this one for readers of YA fiction. It's technically a romance, and there is a lot more going on here. Many thanks to NetGalley for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
    more
  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    ACTUAL: 4.35 starsThank you FierceReads for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!Amy has key plans for senior year: getting accepted to her dream school, becoming valedictorian, and earning a prestigious scholarship in order to afford tuition. Being dumped by her boyfriend and taking a part-time job at a local record store were not in the plans, but sometimes you cannot plan for everything. Her co-worker, Oliver, is quiet, not interested in attending college - despite his mother's ACTUAL: 4.35 starsThank you FierceReads for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!Amy has key plans for senior year: getting accepted to her dream school, becoming valedictorian, and earning a prestigious scholarship in order to afford tuition. Being dumped by her boyfriend and taking a part-time job at a local record store were not in the plans, but sometimes you cannot plan for everything. Her co-worker, Oliver, is quiet, not interested in attending college - despite his mother's full enthusiasm on post-secondary. But he has been enjoying getting to know Amy during their shifts. As Amy's perfect plan starts to fall apart, she needs to decide what and who is worth fighting for, or she will risk losing it all.This novel was a pleasant surprise for me! I loved Amy's dedication on her dream school, she knows its her ticket out of Kansas City. It was enjoyable to see her priorities shift as she met someone who appreciated the real Amy. I loved Oliver's character, he opened himself to love, and stood up for what he believed in. Petra was a great side character, and the scenes with her supporting Amy despite their competition for valedictorian were some of my favourites. Overall, I definitely recommend this one for YA contemporary fans, its a perfect summer read.
    more
  • Abby Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the evolution of Oliver and Amy’s relationship, but I wish we saw more of them together. That was a brief period of the book, and I always enjoy the moments where the characters just exist. I have to admit that I was lowkey stressed throughout the book because of Amy’s quest to be valedictorian. It brought back all the stressful high school memories.They work in a record store, so of course, there are music references galore. I’d always stop and queue up whatever song they were listening I loved the evolution of Oliver and Amy’s relationship, but I wish we saw more of them together. That was a brief period of the book, and I always enjoy the moments where the characters just exist. I have to admit that I was lowkey stressed throughout the book because of Amy’s quest to be valedictorian. It brought back all the stressful high school memories.They work in a record store, so of course, there are music references galore. I’d always stop and queue up whatever song they were listening to/talking about, which makes me feel more connected. I may have gotten a bit frustrated when they talked about a song, but didn’t say the name of the song. (There is a playlist in the back of the book, but I may have spent 10 minutes trying to find a two and a half minute Nothing But Thieves song).All Our Worst Ideas is a great teen read – the stress of high school and figuring out your future, balancing parents’ expectations, and love. I’d absolutely recommend it!Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Pallavi
    January 1, 1970
    RATING: 4/5 STARSALL OUR WORST IDEAS was a fun contemporary novel with a lot of heart. I liked reading about Amy and Oliver's friendship, which slowly evolved into a romance. Music is an important theme in this novel, and I thought the author did an excellent job weaving songs throughout the story. There is somewhat of a love triangle in the plot, but it gets resolved nicely. This book touches on identifiable struggles of academic pressures and doubts about the future, which is very applicable t RATING: 4/5 STARSALL OUR WORST IDEAS was a fun contemporary novel with a lot of heart. I liked reading about Amy and Oliver's friendship, which slowly evolved into a romance. Music is an important theme in this novel, and I thought the author did an excellent job weaving songs throughout the story. There is somewhat of a love triangle in the plot, but it gets resolved nicely. This book touches on identifiable struggles of academic pressures and doubts about the future, which is very applicable to a YA audience. Overall, I enjoyed reading this gentle and sweet story. It didn't hit me in the feels like some other books I've read in this genre, but it was a nice afternoon read nonetheless.A sincere thanks to Macmillan for providing an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Social: @_shelf.awareness on Instagram
    more
  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    Amy is focused. She's going to get into Stanford and she's going to pay for it by making valedictorian and getting that scholarship. But when her stepfather loses his job, Amy has to help out by getting a job at the local music store. She loves the store and working there, but it's taken time away from her nonstop studying and her boyfriend. But there's also that cute coworker, but she's pretty sure he hates her.Amy and Oliver were both well thought out, complex characters and it was a joy to re Amy is focused. She's going to get into Stanford and she's going to pay for it by making valedictorian and getting that scholarship. But when her stepfather loses his job, Amy has to help out by getting a job at the local music store. She loves the store and working there, but it's taken time away from her nonstop studying and her boyfriend. But there's also that cute coworker, but she's pretty sure he hates her.Amy and Oliver were both well thought out, complex characters and it was a joy to read about them. The setting of the record store also added a lot of character to the story. What I didn't understand was why everyone at Amy's school (except Petra) was such a raging asshole. Okay, so she's focused on her studies a bit obsessively, but why is that an excuse for them to be so awful to her. And it's not just the students. We only really get interactions with two teachers and one of them really doesn't like her either. 🤷
    more
Write a review