Like I need more reason to watch Mom mia in loop, Emma Lord delivers a perfect account of the film which is buried in all our hearts.
If you don’t know the movie Mom mia (first of all, how dare you?), let me give you the premise of When you get the chance. We follow Millie Price, who is determined to make her dream of becoming a Broadway star come true and nothing will stand in her way. Not her adorable father who raised Millie on her own and doesn’t really want her to move out, not her rivalry with Oliver, who seems to put the drama in the theater club and certainly not the dreaded “Millie Moods”, the intense, overwhelming emotions that often lead to Millie turning into a tornado that is likely to flatten everything and everyone around her.
When a browser left open brings Millie to her father’s LiveJournal from 2003, Millie knows what she needs to do to overcome all the obstacles that stand between her and her dream. She’s going to find her mother. With three potential candidates, Millie embarks on the quest that she is sure will solve all of her problems.
As unlikely bonds form, rivals turn to allies, and Millie’s secret mother’s identity is about to be revealed, Millie will have to ask herself: how can she search for answers in the world. past when his present desperately needs his full attention? And besides, can the secrets of his father’s past threaten his future?
Honestly, only Emma Lord could take something as iconic as Mom mia and make it, dare I say, even better? These days, there are a few writers that disturb me a little more with each new release, but Lord is at the top of this list. How this woman manages to make me feel like I’m watching a sitcom while reading her books – you know, laughing out loud, but feeling super invested in the characters and being on the verge of tears when they are abused or faced with difficulties – it’s beyond me.
Millie is such an endearing character. After going through a somewhat embarrassing incident, Millie has convinced herself that she has to constantly reinvent herself in order to be remarkable and make people forget what happened. In eternal competition with herself, Millie strives to fit in while standing out. In addition, Millie suffers from “Millie Moods”. Of all the books I have ever read, I think the “Millie Moods” are the closest I have ever seen myself portrayed in fiction. Lord somehow manages to capture those intense, overwhelming feelings where you suddenly feel like your whole world is falling apart and the only thing you feel like you can do is to hit yourself a hammer and knock it all down before someone else has a chance. I had never seen this kind of performance before, but wow, was I stunned by Millie’s relevance.
I also appreciated how everything that makes Millie Millie really relates to her pursuit of self-discovery. From reinventing yourself to finding out who your mother is, especially at this age, it’s so hard to make all parts of your identity “work” and I think readers will sympathize with Millie’s ordeal.
Also, can we just talk for a second about family relationships because wow, just wow. Are father-daughter relationships (when not completely toxic) some of my favorite reads in YA and Millie and her father’s relationship? High level. Kiss from the head. Even though Millie is focused on finding her mom, we still get some truly heartwarming moments between her and her dad. You can see the love between them and while there are some unanswered questions, there is an abundance of comfort and familiarity in their bond that jumped off the page. Not to mention that Millie’s aunt – her father’s sister – also provided, beyond comedic relief, so much spice in this novel. Honestly, I had read an entire series on this family dynamic.
Millie’s three potential mothers: Steph, an aspiring stage actress who works as a receptionist at an arts agency; Farrah, a dance teacher who teaches Millie how not to step on everyone’s toes; and Beth, an avid performer with a girl who is almost as obsessed with performing as Millie is, were also all so amazing. I loved how Millie spent a time with them all where you as the reader practically begged them to become her real mother. While I didn’t spoil the ending, I just loved the interactions between Millie, Steph, Farrah, and Beth. Lord really lets you guess until the very last chapters and whether the “horse you bet your money on” wins or not, chances are you will love these lovely women anyway, if only for the sake of it. comfort and security they offer Millie at the same time she desperately needs it.
And of course, there is the romance. Millie and Oliver are a top OTP for me. Rivalry ? Joke ? The slow realization that, hey, there might be more to this person than I thought about them? Kiss from the head. 10 out of 10 would recommend falling head over heels for Millie and Oliver. What I liked the most is that, even when these two face off, they still understand each other’s motivations even if they don’t agree. Often times in rivals of lovers you don’t really understand why they are on the other side, but here it is crystal clear. And while you know Lord will deliver a satisfying romantic showdown, the journey to get there may have been my favorite part of the whole book.
I could go on and on about the things I loved about this book, from Millie’s best friend Teddy, which is the healthy word embodied, to the endless laughs this tale offered to all the little moments between Oliver and Millie who makes my heart beat and even the band of Oliver’s brothers – there is so much to discover in this wonderful story. If you’ve ever been hesitant to buy a book because of the hype, let me allay your fears right now: this one is worth it. Now excuse me while I go listen to Abba for the rest of the day.
With the perfect blend of a sparkling drama queen protagonist that will steal your heart and delicious romance between rivals and lovers with a touch of Broadway, Lord turns out to be a staple of the contemporary YA genre with When you have the chance—a fresh and uplifting voice that evokes the excitement of what is yet to come!
When you get the chance is available from Amazon, Book Depository and other good booksellers, like your local bookstore, from January 4, 2022.
Will you pick up When you get the chance? Tell us in the comments below!
Summary | Good reading
A big-hearted novel about falling in love, wreaking havoc and learning to let go, When you get the chance is Emma Lord’s next effervescent novel, New York Times bestselling author of the Reese Witherspoon YA Book Club’s choice You have a match.
Nothing will stand in the way of Millie Price’s dream of becoming a Broadway star. Not her sweet but super introverted dad, who has raised Millie on her own since she was a baby. Not his drama club rival Oliver, who is the very definition of Simmering Romantic Tension. And not her “Millie Moods”, the feelings of intense emotion that threaten to overwhelm. Millie needs an ally. And when a browser accidentally left open takes Millie to her father’s embarrassing 2003 LiveJournal, Millie knows exactly what to do: find her mother.
But how can you find a new part of your life and expect it to fit into your old one without leaving a mark? And why is it that when you go looking for the past it somehow brings you back to what you’ve always been through?