The Libby Garrett Intervention (Science Squad #2) by Kelly Oram
Published: 24.10.2015 by Bluefields
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Rating: 4/5 stars – ★★★★
Synopsis: Libby Garrett is addicted to Owen Jackson’s hot lovin’. But the sexy, popular college basketball player doesn’t appreciate all of Libby’s awesomeness. He refuses to be exclusive or even admit to people that they’re dating. The relationship is ruining Libby and she’s the only one who can’t see it.
When Libby’s behavior spirals completely out of control, her best friend Avery Shaw and the rest of the Science Squad stage an intervention hoping to cure Libby of her harmful Owen addiction. They put her through her very own Twelve Step program–Owen’s Anonymous–and recruit the help of a sexy, broody, hard as nails coffee man to be her official sponsor.
Adam Koepp has watched Libby Garrett for years. How could he not notice the sassy girl with the purple skateboard and helmet plastered with cat stickers? But in all the years he’s crushed on her, Libby has failed to take notice of him. Why would she when he was just a nobody high school drop out who served her apple cider several times a week? Especially when she was hooking up with a guy like Owen Jackson–a guy with a college scholarship and more abs than Kyle Hamilton.
I’m writing this review on the train in my attempt to actually review the books I read as soon as possible. I know my blog centers mostly around speculative fiction. But that’s not all I read. Especially this year, I want to make a conscious effort to read more genres -and spread my reading wings. This book made me so glad I made that resolution.
I’d read a few Kelly Oram books before, and really quite enjoyed them. I read V is for Virgin, which is about a girl who wants to stay a virgin until she’s in a really committed relationship (or married, I think), and Cinder & Ella, which is about a girl named Ella who meets a guy online and their romance after she’s had a serious accident. Of course, I also read The Avery Shaw Experiment, which is the first book in this duology. This duology is about two girls who are in the Science Squad at their local high school. They’re smart girls with a passion for science. Each also has their own passion. For example, Libby who is the main character in this book is incredibly good at math.
I have found that Kelly Oram’s books are a rare blend of the cutest romances on Earth and darker, heavier undertones. Her books are always adorable, yet she blends in these meaningful messages without it ever feeling preachy or too dark. It’s truly wonderful. That’s partly why I’m so excited to review this book for you. I feel like I haven’t seen her mentioned very often in the bookish communities, which is such a shame. Anyway, on to the book!
I can hear you yelling at me to get to the point. So I will. This book is about Libby and Adam.
Libby is part of the Science Squad, and as you can see from the cover, she’s a plus-size girl. She’s always been really smart, witty and ready with a comeback, and has an explosive and strong personality. But she’s been in this unhealthy relationship for a year now. She’s been dating this guy, Owen, for a year now. He comes back from university to visit her, they have sex, and that’s about it. He doesn’t really want to go out with her in public, or introduce her to his friends.
Adam is a guy who at 19 years old, is the legal guardian of his little sister. He dropped out of high school to take care of himself and her, and is now manager at the local coffee shop where Libby often comes. His mother is an addict, and he’s been through a lot of recovery programs through her. He’s also an incredibly talented skater.
This book really starts when Libby’s friends, the Science Squad, hold an intervention for her. She’s completely changed her appearance and personality for this unhealthy relationship, and they can’t deal with it anymore. They want their friend back. It then gets worked out that Libby should follow the famous 12-step program, to get out of this abusive relationship (emotionally, not physically abusive). Adam will help her.
This story is just incredible. It’s been my intention to be more body positive this year, and surround myself with body positive messages. This book is definitely that. It’s not just a romance, but it’s a way for Libby to recover and get back on the path of self-love (that sounded so preachy?). I absolutely loved this book. I loved the idea, and the way it was executed.
First of all, I can appreciate the friendships and family relationships in this book. There are wonderful sibling relationships, mentor relationships, family bonds and strong friendships. It’s beautiful. It also shows that relationships can be healed after you’ve hurt a person or disappointed them. It shows that if you put in work to show them you are trying to change, and apologize, then a good friendship can be saved.
Not only did I love the friendships, but I loved the romance too. At first, I was hesitant. I didn’t want this to be a story in which the girl finds love and is healed. Or in which she gets over one guy immediately when confronted with another guy. It’s neither. I liked how Adam put in boundaries as her mentor in the 12 step program. How he wanted her to change for HER, and never for him.
It also wasn’t a story of immediate success. Libby doesn’t get over Owen in a day. That’s impossible. It’s a long process, and it takes time. And I adore how Kelly Oram didn’t skip over those aspects.
I honestly can’t tell you how much I adored this story. You need to read it. And read The Avery Shaw Experiment too (the first book) because that one is so adorable too.
Like I said, I absolutely loved Libby. I loved her spunk and sass. How smart she was. How stubborn -although at times that can be frustrating too. How she truly loves her friends and family. How she tries to make things right, and not disappoint them. Of course, I hated it when she let Owen treat her awfully. But I also recognize that these situations happen often in real life. And there’s a way to handle them, that needs to be talked about. All in all, Libby was a great character to read about.
Then there is Adam. Honestly, if there was ever a book boyfriend for me, it would be Adam. He’s responsible. He loves his sister so much. He works hard. He’s smart, even though he didn’t get a continued education. He’s respectful and kind. He has tattoos, and is a wonderful skater. He’s a guy with dreams, but he put those to the side for his family. He’s basically an incredible guy.
There was one moment in which I thought “hell no” because I thought he slut-shamed Libby. But he immediately followed that by recognizing that he was hurt and angry, and that he lashed out. And then he apologized. I mean, hello? That doesn’t happen often in (YA) romances, even though that’s basically the only healthy way to deal with an outburst or hurtful action.
I just want you to pick up this book. I want you to read about these wonderful characters. I also want to talk to you about how we would best attack Owen if we ever came across him in real life. That guy needs a serious slap in the face -and other parts too. I want to talk about the body positivity in this book, and how it deals with addiction, people who don’t have a degree (which doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t intelligent) and how the romance was written. I want to talk about these characters with you, and how I think more romances and YA relationships should be this respectful and healthy. So read it. And talk to me about it.