Synopsis from Good Reads:
Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?
Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.
To be completely honest, I hated this book for about the first quarter of it. I almost DNF-ed it, but because of all the completely glowing reviews I’ve read on it I decided to keep going. I’m glad I did, as it did definitely get better. However, I still found it a far cry from the perfection I’ve seen it reviewed as.
So why did I dislike it so much to start? There’s mention of Kate’s backstory briefly before diving right in to her finding out who her father is. I didn’t like the way it was handled at all. Kate’s aunt and uncle just completely give over their home to the senator’s campaign staff and aren’t really there for Kate at all. They stay out of the way and leave her to deal with it. Kate also completely drove me nuts. She asked no questions, didn’t stand up for herself, and did exactly as she was told by people she had no reason to trust. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m also very annoyed with how impulsive and whiney and stupid YA heroines can be and Kate steered clear of that, which I like. But it was almost like she had no emotions about it for most of the book. She was excited about the idea of having a family and that was it. She didn’t really deal with the fact that her mother had lied to her her whole life or that her father obviously only wanted her around to redeem his image for the campaign. His wife and his friend kept telling Kate to give him time and that he was “worth it”, but the guy was a complete douche until the final chapters. Kate finally shows some real emotion and he finally stops being such a politician.
Ok, so rant over. Kate eventually became less annoying as the story went on. I liked how her relationship with her step-mother evolved and her relationship with her half brother and sister, though I thought they could have been a little more developed. I loved Andy. He was sweet and understanding and funny. My only complaint with him was there wasn’t enough of him. While I definitely appreciate that this story was based on family and not romance, he really brought humor and a lightness to the story that I missed when he wasn’t around.
The behind-the-scenes look at the campaign was interesting. I thought most of it was pretty well done and I appreciated the new spin on YA. There was lots of opportunities for the story to get really political, but it mostly stayed away from hot-button topics. There’s mention of the senator being pro-choice and pro-gay-rights, to which Kate responds, “but he’s Republican!” and then they don’t bring it up again. The big topic, and the one closest to Kate’s heart, is immigration. This also had the potential to get pretty “preachy”, but I liked that multiple perspectives were given and it was used to help develop Kate’s relationship with her father a little.
Overall, The Wrong Side of Right was an ok read. It was interesting take on YA contemporary that I haven’t read before. While it started out pretty bad for me, it definitely got better. I’m glad that I finished it, but I’m also glad I waited for it to come to the library instead of buying it!
Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars
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