Or Best Offer: A Short Story by Beck Medina
Rating : 4/5
Cara Campos is a high school junior and a relentless boy chaser. For three years, she’s pined for Noah Levinsky, who doesn’t seem to notice her regardless of how many times she’s schemed to catch his interest. Cara’s scheming finally gets the best of her when she charges $500 to her stepdad’s credit card for non-refundable front row tickets to see Noah’s favorite band, The Spiral Dragons, and Noah can’t go. Cara turns to Craigslist to get the money back, only to reconnect with Liam, a charming boy from her past. But when Liam challenges Cara to confront her need to win over Noah’s affection, is Cara ready to face the devastating truth behind it? OR BEST OFFER is a romantic comedy about self-love, acceptance, and letting everything fall into place.
On normal days I am definitely not a YA fan. In a moment of weakness, I stumbled upon Beck Medina’s A Fantastic Mess of Everything which made me fall in love with everyone and everything in the book. So, it is not an exaggeration when I tell from that point onward I am forever on the lookout for any writing titbits from Beck Medina. She has the power to write extremely lovable and realistic characters and surround them with emotionally charging and also hilarious situations. So, when an offer came to review Or Best Offer from Beck, I was more than thrilled to accept it.
Or Best Offer is a typical YA adult story revolving around Cara Campos. The book won me over in the first page itself with the following trademark Beck Medina line –
“Back in the olden days, when a woman saw a man she wanted to talk to, she’d drop a handkerchief in front of him so he’d have to pick it up and talk to her. Women have always made the first move. We just make men feel like they’re doing all the work”
Cara Campos is an adorable character made more so by her single-minded devotion to make her crush of three years, Noah Levinsky, fall desperately in love with her. The creative and devious approaches she takes to make this happen, which she terms as dropping handkerchief, is completely amusing. To make matters more hilarious she keeps a mental list of the times she has dropped the handkerchiefs, the latest venture being number eighty seven. These acts range from slipping on a banana peel to even stealing his lunch so as to have a lunch date. Like all YA adult heroines, Cara has a best friend Jess who is more practical and level headed and tries her best to rescue her from this doomed pursuit of Noah; yet providing her with all the help needed for her relentless handkerchief dropping.
All the other characters of the book are also very relatable, especially Cara’s family and their relationships. Cara’s relation with her sister Kelly is so endearing with the both of them sharing a very close bond. We also learn that Cara is not alone in handkerchief dropping with Kelly too being an expert in it. Cara’s step-dad Tom is also adorable in trying to be all macho in front of her date.
As the story progresses, Beck tackles more serious issues that lie hidden in Cara, especially her traumatic childhood which explains her lack of self-esteem. A broken family at a young age leaves Cara with very less confidence making her chase her unattainable love for three years. This makes her blind to people who love her as she feels that it is truly impossible to love her.
“Because how could someone so obviously unloveable, someone who’s own father didn’t even love her enough to stay, be deserving of a real love story? It was always safer to dream of the ones in my head.”
Overall, this short story is a must read for all YA fans and to those who love Beck’s writing. For the others, this story is a refreshing read which will transport you to the fairy land of rainbows and butterflies and will bring you back feeling utterly happy. This is a small book which will hardly take two hours to finish but will keep you smiling for the entire day. Get your copy on May 1st!
Author Info :
Beck is a writer residing in Los Angeles. She’s a Dunkin’ Donuts enthusiast, pop music fanatic, and dedicated cat mother. She can be found on all corners of the Internet @beckmedina.