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My Only by N.K. Smith

October 27, 2012

My Only


From Goodreads:

Shy, awkward Adam is resigned to sit on the sidelines of life, overshadowed by his outgoing and popular twin brother, Aaron. Adam James’ life is far from perfect. A deeply internal person, Adam is silently confused about his lot in life, including life after high school. A talented drummer from a small suburb of Chicago, Adam keeps to himself, downplaying his abilities, thinking that he is less than all those around him. By living a life of moderate isolation coupled with his ambivalence toward most people, he is unable to gain new perspectives on himself.
But when a free spirited new girl with a troubled past moves in across the street, Adam’s eyes are opened to a new world of possibilities. Olivia Cartwright is a fun loving, beautiful girl whose philosophies on life give her a deeper understanding of the world around her. Previously living a semi-nomadic life, Olivia is out of her element in the quiet, slow-moving suburb of Lakeside, Illinois. An instant connection between Adam and Olivia draws them closer, but why would anyone choose him when a better version exists? What will happen when Adam’s outgoing twin Aaron takes an interest in Olivia as well?
Adam has a choice to make: Keep his relationship with Olivia merely friends or fight to take it further, keep safely within the dormant cocoon he’s lived in for years or find and cultivate all of his good qualities. Which will he choose?
Will the friendship with Olivia change him? Will he adopt her philosophies, or will he continue to close himself off in his own world?
It seems Adam has a lot to learn about love….and life.

My Review:

Loneliness is amplified when everyone you know is busy talking to everyone but you.

Adam is a twin.  Aaron, a whole 22 minutes older, is as identical to Adam as he is different. The town knows they are twins but while Aaron is outgoing, social, athletic and a ladies’ man Adam is quiet, reserved, plays on the drum line and has only had a brief encounter with a girl. They even differ in size but still have that twin bond. The twins are twins.

When the enigmatic Olivia shows up in an upstairs window of the Cartwright house across the street dancing, Adam is mesmerized.

I looked out my window for just a second and I saw her. My feet stopped. My whole body stopped. As if I were transfixed, I watched her as she danced. She looked so beautiful? Sexy? Without a doubt. But there was something else, something more important than all of that. She looked free.

Adam, shy Adam gets a chance to spend some time with Olivia who needs a history tutor. It’s a good thing Adam rocks that subject. From their first “session” in Adam’s room we get to meet Olivia. She really is a free spirit. Someone who doesn’t hang on to the negative and wants to live in the present, not dwell on the past. Hence her need for a history tutor. Though the first few conversations between Adam and Olivia are awkward for him, he finds comfort being close to her.  Adam starts to open up in ways he never has before. Things he always thought people would call him a geek, nerd for Olivia finds cool. That starts a change in Adam.

Unfortunately for Adam, Aaron has taken an interest in Olivia as well. He can’t blame his brother for noticing her or wanting to be around her but he can resent him for wanting her the same way Adam does. While Adam is content to be friends with Olivia, just to be around her, Aaron is there for more. He will give his brother a chance to speak up but he won’t wait long.

Aaron was right. I was theory and he was fact. While I thought, he did. But with my brother knowing, he was going to force my hand. Either I was going to go after Olivia or he was.

Olivia is such a complex character as most females are yet she draws you in with her complexity. She not only intrigues the twins with her mysterious ways she draws in the reader. There is no fluff here. No eye rolling, hair tossing or silly games to be played. Olivia is straight forward as they come. She shows genuine emotion, concern, empathy and joy. Olivia was me in so many ways it was downright creepy but also a moment for a fist pump! I won’t say how, I don’t do spoilers, but two major reasons had me a mess and so excited to be represented that way. I respect the author for that, she handled both issues so well.

This book took me to the depths of my emotions. I don’t say that lightly. I swear this did not read like a traditional YA novel, it is written with superb sophistication. This is not a book about a typical love triangle. This is real emotion with real people.

The writing is just gorgeous. There is no filler in site. Just beautiful words strewn together in ways that reach into your soul, make you smile, make you cry, make you route for the underdog to get what they truly deserve and just flat-out breaks your heart.

There is so much I got from reading this book other than pure emotion and pleasure. My Only is a story about strength; strength in yourself to live, to lose, to overcome and move on. The epilogue had me in a new rush of emotions that did not allow me sleep for another two hours. Did I mention how emotional this story is? I honestly do not think I can do this book justice with a review; I gave it a good try.

My Only is a stellar read, I was blown away. It was suggested to me by a friend and I will be forever thankful to her for the suggestion.  Every emotion I felt was well worth it. This is now a favorite and one I will shout from the rooftops for everyone to read.


I’d never given much thought to the seasons. Some people could say which one they liked the best, and which one they liked the least. But not me. I’d ever really cared much.

Until now.

*Review copy courtesy of The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House and N.K. Smith. Thank You *

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2012 6:00 pm

    Just BEAUTIFUL, Sara… You couldn’t have said it better. I re-lived the book just reading your review. Glad you enjoyed it, tears and all. ❤

    • The Risqué Redhead Reads permalink
      October 27, 2012 6:06 pm

      I would do it all over again without a doubt!

  2. October 28, 2012 4:23 pm

    Brilliant review and I can’t wait to read this! 🙂

  3. October 30, 2012 2:31 am

    Sara, Thank you so much for reading the book and writing such a lovely review!

    • The Risqué Redhead Reads permalink
      October 30, 2012 10:23 am

      It was my pleasure. Thank you giving me the opportunity to read My Only. I cannot get Adam, Aaron and Olivia out of my head or my heart.

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