Wrong in All the Right Ways. Tiffany Brownlee. Young adult/Contemporary. 2018. 336 pages. 2 stars.
Love sucks at this age. You’re either too much this or not enough of that.
I received an Advanced Readers Copy in exchange for an honest review.
Everything in Emma’s life has always gone according to her very careful plans. But things take a turn toward the unexpected when she falls in love for the first time with the one person in the world who’s off-limits–her new foster brother, the gorgeous and tormented Dylan McAndrews.
Meanwhile, Emma’s AP English class is reading Wuthering Heights, and she’s been assigned to mimic Bronte’s style in an epistolary format. With no one to confide in, she’s got a lot to write about. Emma and Dylan try to constrain their romance to the page–for fear of threatening Dylan’s chances of being adopted into another home. But the strength of first love is all-consuming, and they soon get enveloped in a passionate, secretive relationship with a very uncertain outcome.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who live to make others happy, and those who live to make themselves happy.
Please bear with me as I painfully write this honest review wherein I had a horrible reading experience.
I’ll start this review by saying that this did not fit my preferred genres. I’m more of a fantasy reader but I was curious with the concept of the story so I decided to give it a go. I wanted to be proven wrong because I am slowly inching away from contemporaries. I’m super picky with them nowadays. Before I even consider reading a contemporary, I read ~10 reviews and decide from there. Foregoing my usual protocol, I wanted to see what Wrong in All the Right Ways was about.
Unfortunately, it was everything I disliked about contemporaries. The writing was a bit off and read unnaturally. My first thought was that it sounded like it was written by a 13-year-old girl. I thought of DNF-ing it on the spot. I was able to overcome the writing style in hopes of redemption in the story.
Again, I was left disappointed because the main characters were so annoying. Emma was a stuck up I-know-I’m-beautiful-but-I’ll-pretend-I-don’t-know-it girl who secretly thinks it’s a quirky personality trait. It’s not. It’s just annoying. We have Dylan, her foster brother, who is sweet but also shows his own side of crazy. He has sudden emotional outbursts that we don’t see coming. I was tired of him after the first three encounters.
The only saving grace of this book were the twins Karmin and Keegan and yet they were done so dirty by Emma. I won’t go into detail to avoid spoilers but that is honestly what turned me off of this book. I barely tolerated a semi-incestuous relationship but doing that to your friends? Absolutely not.
I wanted to see a modern retelling of Wuthering Heights, not a drama-filled high school story. I think this is more of a wake-up call to myself when it comes to contemporaries. I’ll definitely be more picky next time. 2 stars.
Tiffany Brownlee is a graduate from Xavier University of Louisiana working as a middle school English teacher in the New Orleans area. She has been writing stories since childhood and won her first creative writing award in second grade. Wrong in All the Right Ways, a YA retelling of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, mark’s her debut.