Arc Review: Exactly Where You Need to Be by Amelia Diane Coombs

Title: Exactly Where You Need to Be
Author: Amelia Diane Coombs
Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance / Mental Health
Publication Date: June 7th, 2022
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“Florie’s OCD and her mother’s worrying have kept her from a lot of things, like having an after-school job and getting her driver’s license. And now that she’s graduated high school, while her best friend Kacey is headed off to Portland in the fall, Florie’s taking a parent-sanctioned gap year off before starting college. When the decision was made, Florie was on board, but now she can’t ignore the growing itch to become the person she wants to be and venture outside the quaint, boring Washington town she grew up in.

Winning tickets to see her favorite true crime podcast’s live show in California gives her the opportunity to do just that, if only for a few days. So—unbeknownst to their parents—Kacey and Florie set off on a road trip to San Francisco. The only downside in Florie’s opinion? Sam, Kacey’s older brother and Florie’s forever crush, is their ride. The Samson Hodge, who Florie hasn’t seen since winter break, and who she’d prefer to never see again, if possible. But Florie is willing to put up with Sam if it means one last adventure with her best friend.

Making it to San Francisco and back to Washington without their parents catching on isn’t a given, but one thing is for sure: this trip will change everything.” (Goodreads)

Can I just say that I still love this cover? It’s adorable and the perfect scene for a summer read, especially because the book involves a road trip as well.

The book is told from one perspective and it comes from Florie. She has OCD and a mother who is very protective and sometimes takes it too far. I understood both sides of this argument because it’s great to have your independence but as a mother myself, I also want to protect my child and its hard to not be overbearing. At least my child is five, haha.

Florie may not do anything outside of the normal but this is the summer for the possibilities to be endless. Florie and her friend win tickets to see their favorite true crime podcast hosts live and they take the chance for a fun road trip. Her friend Kacey always has her back and nudges her out of her comfort zone. Everyone needs a friend like that. I liked seeing them interact with each other throughout their trip and read about all of the fun things they did. It made me ready for my own trip. If only I was actually going anywhere, haha.

There is a surprise twist with romance involved but I liked the setup to it. It’s not a instant thing and the love interest has been a crush for awhile. They had to talk through a previous instant where they kissed and you could feel the awkwardness they were feeling! Definitely reminded me of being a teen.

The only thing I struggled with was the writing. I’m not sure why but it was hard to mesh with until I got farther into the book.

Overall, this was a cute read. Florie is a great character that goes through growth and finds her own voice. I liked seeing her talk about OCD as well as finding romance along the way.