If Only

Jennifer Gilmore. HarperTeen, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-239363-0
Gilmore (We Were Never Here) explores how one decision can change the course of multiple lives in this lyrical, heartfelt novel that alternates between the perspectives of a pregnant teen and her child 16 years later. In 2000, Bridget is faced with the impossible mission of picking the perfect adoptive parents for her unborn daughter. But how can she know if she’s making the right choice when she wants so badly to keep her baby? In 2017, her daughter Ivy knows little about her birth mother and is eager to meet her face-to-face, but although the adoption was supposed to be open, no one has heard a word from Bridget in years. Sandwiched between Ivy’s quest to find Bridget and Bridget’s ordeal interviewing prospective parents, chapters show what might have happened if Ivy had been adopted by different couples or raised by her biological mother. Although the alternate possibilities may initially cause some confusion, ideas regarding the butterfly effect (“My life exists because of a swish of that butterfly’s wing,” Ivy speculates. “I could be anywhere. I could be anyone. Am I the best me possible?”) will likely inspire readers to stretch their imaginations. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM Partners. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/14/2018
Release date: 07/01/2018
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-239365-4
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