Review: "If Only"

Sixteen-year-old Bridget, the main character in “If Only,” hadn’t imagined her life as it has turned out to be in Jennifer Gilmore’s young adult novel. She didn’t think that her boyfriend would dump her for another girl. And she certainly didn’t think that she would be pregnant.

With just a few months until she gives birth, Bridget must envision an entirely new future, adoption for her baby. But as she considers the various paths and people who want to parent her child, she can’t help but feel there isn’t one right decision. How can she possibly make a decision as difficult as this?

Years later, Ivy, the baby, now 15, doesn’t know much about her birth mother. She knows that she is about the same age Bridget was when she put Ivy up for adoption. She knows that Bridget was the one who named her.

Ivy wants to discover more about herself, but as she tries to locate Bridget she can’t help but wonder if the risks of finding her might outweigh knowing where she comes from and why her birth mother chose to walk away.

This book was thought provoking and absolutely beautiful. The author takes you through both Bridget and Ivy’s minds and details their stories. My favorite part was definitely the contemplation of the "if only" scenarios. The book explores what Ivy's life would have been like if she had been given to a different set of adoptive parents.

It was interesting to learn how many things would have been different and how  other things may have stayed the same. “If Only” offer breathless possibilities on every page. Its structure captures the utter unpredictability of being alive. Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It took me on an emotional rollercoaster and showed me a side of adoption that I had never considered. It also made me  think about how one decision can impact everything.