Reviewed by Randstostipher "tallnlankyrn" Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com
Everything changed when Susie Shannon's mother passed away. Susie's once attentive father is now oblivious toward her, finding solace in his writing. Susie used to trust everyone, opening up to them, cracking a smile here and there, but now she doesn't trust her best friend or even herself. She used to love her life and everything in it, but once her mother passed away, keeping to herself was the way to go.
No boyfriend, one true friend, never smiling, trying to adapt to her changing father -- this is how Susie lives. It seemed like everyone around her had moved on, but Susie and her father just couldn't.
What Susie doesn't know, though, is that the new school year, her sophomore year, will be life-altering, in both good and bad ways.
Her boy troubles begin when her favorite teacher, Mr. Murphy, decides that it would be best for Susie if she tutored Danny Diaz, the very cute and very popular athlete, to shape him up a little. Of course, Susie doesn't think this is the best idea and the first few study sessions prove this. But as time progresses, not only do the study arrangements work out, Susie begins to see Danny in a whole new light -- especially the side of him that she wouldn't mind having as her boyfriend. Yet, Susie isn't so sure that a boyfriend is a good idea.
Aside from her Danny troubles, Susie's best friend, Marisol, begins to drift away, her next-door neighbor is trying to become friends with her again, and her father is showing interest in her best friend's mom.
Now that she sees her dad moving on, Susie wonders if it's her time to do so too, since the perfect boy is right in front of her and moving on would be the only way to reconnect with her old friends. But will this prove to be the worst decision she makes or will it be the beginning of something good?
With her debut novel, Carmen Rodrigues crafts a successful story of a girl lost in a world she thought she knew, only to figure out that she needed a little push, a little strength, to overcome her obstacles. While making decisions, both worthwhile and regretful, Susie discovers a new part of herself that she never knew she had.
Beautifully written, NOT ANYTHING is just the beginning of something special.