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The Resolutions


The Resolutions

THE RESOLUTIONS by Mia García centers around four inseparable best friends: Jess, Lee, Ryan and Nora. However, as their junior year gets more intense and senior year looming on the horizon, the four have begun to grow apart. During their New Year's Eve celebration tradition, Jess makes a plan for the four of them to come up with a list of resolutions for each other to accomplish throughout the upcoming year. Their resolutions are written with the intent to see each other thrive with their limited time left together and with the hope of strengthening their bonds.

Jess is an overachieving student, who tries to please individuals around her and seeks validation from her peers. Lee is still recovering from her mother’s death a few years prior, and neglects to deal with anything related to her mother. Ryan is still reeling from a recent breakup with his college boyfriend, and has struggled to get in touch with his artistic side since. Finally, Nora tries to balance working at her mother’s restaurant with being a sound student academically and devoting adequate time to her girlfriend, Beth.

"It was refreshing to have a contemporary YA novel tackle real world situations that permeate our society today including the LGBT presence in this novel..."

The plot of the novel centers on the following resolutions for the respective characters. Jess has to say yes to everything that seems spontaneous. Lee has to relearn Spanish and take a test to determine if she has the same disease that her mother suffered from. Ryan has to show his work unapologetically and kiss someone who is wrong for him. Finally, Nora has to experience the ocean for the first time and choose her own adventure.

As these four friends attempt to navigate first loves, heartbreaks and life altering decisions, their overall friendship and bond continues to strengthen. It is apparent throughout the novel that they all care deeply about one another, and have all of their interests at heart. Not only do they all grow as a unit by the end, but their personal growth is apparent too.

Told in alternating perspectives, García’s novel is able to capture the ambitions and struggles that each character deals with. Through this raw version of each character, I felt as if I was able to visualize myself and my friends interacting with them, if not paralleling them. Each of the characters are unique and not modeled after high school stereotypes. I also felt like the secondary characters were well developed and an integral component of the story adding dimension. 

García also is able to provide some comic relief throughout the duration of the novel as she shows some snippets of their text exchanges. It also serves as an avenue to gain more insight into the characters, and understand what they are choosing to share about their intimate personal lives even with people close to their hearts.

It was refreshing to have a contemporary YA novel tackle real world situations that permeate our society today including the LGBT presence in this novel with half of the main characters. In addition, García touched on all four of their Latino identities and had numerous discussions throughout the novel regarding this.

THE RESOLUTIONS is highly recommended for any YA reader looking for a quick read that deals with finding yourself, stable relationships, LGBT and discussions regarding identities. Content warning for grief, sexual harassment, descriptions of injuries and anxiety.

Reviewed by Ryan H., Teen Board Member on November 14, 2018

The Resolutions
by Mia Garcia