DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
PUBLICATION: Scribner, March 7th, 2017
Oftentimes the premise of a novel can be misleading. In some instances, this can be a bad thing. If a reader picks up a novel thinking it is about one thing when in reality it is about something completely different, the reader will feel disappointed and believe his/her time to be wasted. Other times, the premise is nothing more than a shallow brief synopsis that is designed to hook a reader into picking up the novel when in fact the book is about something so much deeper that the back of the book is just not enough real estate to delve into what the author is really trying to convey. I have found in these instances, a misleading synopsis is a good thing because I go into the book thinking it will shallow and vapid and leave the book feeling something wholeheartedly more than I felt prior to picking it up.This was the case with "Next Year, for Sure".
Chris and Kathryn decide to have an open relationship in which they are free to date other people without any recourse from their mate. Essentially, this is all I knew going into this book. Open relationship? Lots of drama? Sure, sign me up. How bad can it be?
But in fact it wasn't bad. At all. I actually enjoyed most everything about this book because it took a topic that I had never read about and turned it into a deeper, richer, discussion of the feelings people have when they are in an open relationship. The reader finds out fairly early on that this whole idea was mostly Chris' because he became interested in Emily, a free-spirited, beautiful girl who is okay with the fact that he has a serious girlfriend. Kathryn agrees to let him go on a date with Emily without being jealous. But jealousy is a fickle thing.
Kathryn cannot really complain about Chris though as he is basically the perfect boyfriend. Attractive, attentive, and caring, Chris really has it all so why should she stand in his way over this?
What Peterson slowly unravels in the next 300 pages is beautiful, sad, and beautifully sad. She does an incredible job at letting the reader see the hearts of these two individuals shift into something different than they were on page one. By the time the book is over, I put it down and felt genuine emotions from a book that I haven't felt in quite a while.
I read many reviews about this book prior to picking it up and a lot of them weren't good. In fact, I began to question whether or not I even wanted to read this book but having read it (devoured it), I understand why those people weren't happy with this book. If you pick this novel up thinking it will be a light-hearted book about open relationships, put it down. You will be disappointed. Instead, Peterson gives the reader a realistic look into this type of courtship accompanied by true feelings of anger, jealousy, complacency, love, regret, and a whole bag of others. In short, Peterson pours on the feels with this one.
Next Year, for Sure has a great ending as well, one that is perfectly suitable for this style of book. I won't ruin it for you, but suffice to say, if you are looking for a book that wraps everything up neatly and cleanly, keep looking. For me, this was the best part of the book. I've said it before, this book is real.
Over all the book was great. Peterson keeps the pacing steady and doesn't drag on with boring and unnecessary details. I constantly found myself wanting to finish the book simply because of the investment in the characters. They felt like real people facing real problems.
If you're looking for a great book on something you probably haven't read before, pick this up. Personally, it was wonderful. But it hasn't come out yet. So you can't buy it.
But next year, for sure.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.