The Possibility of Now ... by Kim Culbertson
Mara James has always been a perfectionist with a plan. But despite years of overachieving at her elite school, Mara didn't plan on having a total meltdown during her calculus exam. Like a rip-up-the-test-and-get-escorted-out kind of meltdown. And she definitely didn't plan on never wanting to show her face again.
Mara knows she should go back, only she can't bring herself to do it. Because suddenly she doesn't know why she's been overachieving all these years. So Mara tells her mom she wants to go live with her estranged dad in Tahoe. Maybe in a place like Tahoe, where people go to get away from everyday life, and with a dad like Trick McHale, a ski bum avoiding real life, Mara can figure things out.
Except Tahoe is nothing like she thought it would be. There are awesome new friends and a chance to finally get to know Trick, but there are also still massive amounts of schoolwork. Can Mara find a balance between the future and the now, or will she miss out on both?
Wow! Talk about the stress you face in school...this poor girl has reached her limit! Mara's total meltdown during her calculus exam is captured on You Tube and her life is changed forever.
The story unravels as Mara decides to take a break from her perfectionist life to visit the dad that she only has a bit of memory of due to her Mom's "let's keep it a secret" attitude. Yes, Mara's family life at home with her brothers and stepdad is great, but she feels a new change of pace and life style is needed to keep her emotions in check. Mom's not crazy about the idea, but agrees to let her go to Tahoe if certain criteria is met.
The ending was very satisfying, tying up loose ends, and revealing shocking truths. This author knows how to spin a Young Adult story, making it as realistic as you can get.