Most Likely by Sarah Watson can be described as a most interestingly structured coming-of-age story about four girls and their friendship. So, you ask, what’s so interesting about the book’s structure?
Well, the story begins with a scene, as follows: A newly-elected (female!) American president is about to be sworn in to office. Her husband (who’s last name is Diffendefer or something like that) is there by her side. It is also revealed that her husband and her are deeply in love and have been for a long time. The catch? We don’t know her name. Since there are four protagonists in the story, she could be any one of them. Throughout the book, we are given clues to help us guess which of our female leads becomes the future president of America (and ends up marrying Diffendefer).
And of course, while the reader plays with the idea of guessing/choosing a president, the four girls -Ava, CJ, Jordan, and Martha- are each going through their own battle in the war more commonly known as senior year in high school.
So. What did I think of the book?
Most Likely is amazing. Apart from having a unique mystery aspect (guessing who becomes president), it highlights the different struggles girls (and people in general) go through in high school. For example, Ava, the brilliant artist who’s trying to find where she belongs. Or CJ, who absolutely needs to get her SAT score fixed to go to Stanford, her dream school. Martha, trying to scrape up enough money to go to college. Jordan, who wants to experience everything the world has to offer, everything her small Ohio town can’t.
The four girls’ individual stories are empowering by themselves, but what I found most special was their friendship. I can’t think of any books centered on friendship between a group larger than three people, and none as special as what I found between Ava, CJ, Jordan, and Martha. As most YA coming-of-age novel, Most Likely discusses issues closely affecting high school students: first love, friendship, identity, and family amongst others. It also discusses racism, and ableism.
Most Likely gets an 8/10. The mystery was solid, but I managed to guess who it was anyway (not a bad thing, necessarily!) I would have, however, liked more POC representation, and another consistent plot (apart from the president thing.) Most of the subplots I enjoyed, but some of them could have been VASTLY improved. (Don’t spring up on me in the middle of the book that someone is adopted and wants to meet their biological mother, okay! This isn’t much of a spoiler, so don’t worry. 😉 )