Publisher : Amulet Books
Genre : Young Adult |Contemporary
Page Count: 272
Synopsis: The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.
At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive. (From Goodreads)
CW: masturbation, sudden death of a loved one, grief, underage drinking, drug use, depression.
After reading Riley Redgate’s Noteworthy and loving that one, I knew I absolutely had to read eveything else she puts out (do not mention the fact that I’ve had Seven Ways we Lie for over a year now and haven’t touched it yet) and I had really really REALLY high expectations for Final Draft and although the first half felt like it was setting me up for disappointement, the second half tore my emotions to shreds, which…I was not expecting at all. It was a right book right time type situation and I ended up loving it.
The writing is gorgeous, it fits the main character’s voice perfectly, she’s a writer and it shows in the way her thoughts are strung together and expressed, all the metaphors and imagery. Although, I’d have to say that it got a tad too much at times, like at one point we get a whole page of description to just convey that Spring is here and that…is…a lot. Luckily that doesn’t happen a lot and this type of writing does more good than bad to the narration. Because it has so many beautiful quotes, a few of which hit me just right and only made me cherish the book.
Here’s where I tell you why that first half didn’t do it for me. I was bored. It was a lot of the same thing, Leila doing a whole bunch of nothing, mainly talking, breathing, sleeping her writing, which I do get, because a lot of us, yes me included, have a routine sort of life, where much of the same thing happens, but a book needs to keep the reader’s attention and that first half fails to do that in my opinion which once you read the whole novel makes sense, but right there and then it was just frustrating.
Final Draft finally starts picking up when Laila gets a new teacher that shakes up her life and pushes her to live outside her writing to better her craft. From then on, I was hooked, not because the MC changes drastically and becomes this social butterfly, far from that, but things start happening, not all good, to be honest, most of which aren’t good but I really enjoyed following Leila’s journey in opening herself up to the world, fuck ups et all. That being said, and what I didn’t expect, is that the book is heavier than we’re led to believe. Towards the last third of it, Leila gets hit by depression (this isn’t a spoiler and if anyone thinks so, the exit is to the top right) and the way it was portrayed was so so so great to me personally. It kind of gave me the words I needed to read when I needed them, and for that, this book will always have a special spot in my heart.
Laila‘s a fat ecuadorian pansexual girl and she’s the kind of main character a lot of us can relate to, because she has a very routinely life where she goes to school, has dinner with her family, reads, watches shows, writes and goes out with her friends sometimes. Which is a pretty good life, Don’t get me wrong, but not the most entertaining to read about. She’s pretty insecure in herself and her writing and a little bit lost, which becomes VERY lost before returning to a little bit lost as the book progresses.
There’s an f/f romance that pops up and although I was really hoping it would happen and that I really enjoyed reading about it, I still wish there were more build up to it, there was a bit of foreshadowing but nothing in the two girls’ interactions that would signal what’s between them would turn into a romance and it was quite sudden to be honest. But I’m sapphic trash, so I still really liked it. Her friends’ group is also the cutest thing ever, they’re all so supportive of each other and are there for each other no matter the fights and misunderstandings, I want Hannah, Felix and Leo to be my best friends.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Final Draft? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.