Final Draft by Riley Redgate
Amulet Books | June 12, 2018
Laila likes to write stories, especially sci-fi stories, but she only lets her creative writing teacher, Mr. Madison, read them. He thinks she has a real talent. When something happens to Mr. Madison, Laila’s creative writing class gets Dr. Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize winning-author, as a substitute teacher. Nazarenko is unimpressed with the class’s work and grades incredibly hard. For a while, Laila thinks the way Nazarenko grades is ridiculous, but soon she is obsessed with getting her approval. Nazarenko suggests Laila reach outside her comfort zone in order to write better. This leads Laila to believe she must choose between perfection or sanity, or is ignoring Nazarenko completely the best thing for Laila?
I loved this book so much. This book is definitely one of my favorites so far this year. It’s relatable in so many ways. It embodies the life of a teenager growing up and learning how to branch out from the things you’re used to before graduation when you don’t really know what is going to happen next. I feel like this was the main point of this story, but I also enjoyed Laila’s determination in making her story perfect. Although Nazarenko kept giving her bad grades, Laila wrote and re-wrote her story multiple times.
Laila struggles with friendship, her passion for writing, and her tendency to be introverted. Things we all struggle with at some point in life. I love stories like this with relatable characters and a plausible storyline. The author does a wonderful job of explaining everything Laila is thinking and feeling throughout the book by highlighting her comfort levels with the new things she’s experiencing and the way she is feeling about them perfectly.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that I enjoyed this much. This book is definitely on my top favorites list and will be re-read multiple times. If you are looking for a relatable, YA contemporary novel, you should check this one out.
Thank you NetGalley and Amulet Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.