Review: In the Orbit of You by Ashley Schumacher

Posted February 19, 2024 by Lillian in Reviews / 1 Comment

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Review: In the Orbit of You by Ashley SchumacherIn the Orbit of You by Ashley Schumacher
Published by Wednesday Books on 2024-03-19
Length: 320 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2024, 2024 COYER Unwind

In the Orbit of You is a YA story of enduring love from acclaimed author Ashley Schumacher, where a personality test reunites two friends and makes them second guess their careful plans.

It's been years since Nova Evans last saw Sam. She was too young then to understand why he had to move away—and what it had to do with the cuts and bruises he got from home and never wanted to talk about. All she knew is that they promised to find each other when they were older, something she thought was impossible thanks to her and her mom moving around constantly. Until she bumps into Sam in her new school, and realizes he has clearly forgotten their childhood promise.

Sam Jordan has a plan for his life: accept his college football scholarship, date his girlfriend Abigail, and—most importantly—hide how much he wants to do something, anything other than The Plan™ his parents and coaches have set before him. It doesn't matter if sometimes he finds himself thinking about the new girl he met in the cafeteria, a girl who reminds him of a past that hurts to remember.

When a school-wide personality test reveals Nova and Sam to be each others' top matches—not only that, but a match of 99%, the highest in the school—they begin to remember why they were such close friends, all those years ago. As well as the myriad of reasons this new-yet-familiar, magnetic, sparkling thing between them will never, ever work out.

In the Orbit of You is a story about the enduring and changing nature of friendship, of the strange struggle between who you are and who you want to be, and finding your voice after trauma.

A delightful and heartfelt read! In the Orbit of You by Ashley Schumacher is a YA contemporary romance about two young friends who fate keeps bringing together. Nova Evans said goodbye to her neighbor and best friend Sammy when she was a little girl with a promise that they would find each other when he was 18. Flash forward to now, Nova has moved to a small town in Texas with her mom for a short stay. Imagine her surprise when sitting next to her at lunch is Sammy Jordan all grown up, and he doesn’t recognize her. Sam escaped a horrible childhood with an abusive father to grow up with his loving aunt and uncle who he now calls his parents. He purposely tries to not think about the “before” until a school personality test matches him with his once best friend and the new girl in school. Now the “before” and the girl the next door is all he can think about.

For though they aged and changed and became far different people than the ones who ruled Snailopolis, though their planets remained chained to their separate orbits, the little girl never forgot the little boy, and he never forgot her.

“The Beginning,” In the Orbit of You by Ashley Schumacher

Nova is coming off a bad break up when she arrives in Texas with her mother. Her mother’s job has them moving a lot (about every two to three months, sometimes less) which leaves Nova feeling untethered. She doesn’t know who she is, who she wants to be in life, and as college applications loom, her fears that she doesn’t know what she wants to be because she doesn’t know who she is weigh heavy on her shoulders. Seeing her childhood best friend for the first time in nearly a decade leaves her feeling even more lost, but also found.

Sam has come a long way from the boy Nova knew. He’s happy and safe, at least on the outside. On the inside, he is struggling as much as she is. The fears he had as a little boy are just under the surface. A lot of his choices and actions are related to making his aunt and uncle proud: playing football, dating the cheerleader, meeting with college scouts. His whole life is laid before him, but it isn’t the life he really wants. It’s the life he thinks he’s supposed to have. But seeing Nova, finding her again, awakens something in him that he can’t keep hidden anymore.

All stories have middles. All middles are murky, unruly things that take the dirt of conflict and the water from the story’s current and fashion them together to make a beast of mud that prowls the pages until the very end.

“The Middle,” In the Orbit of You by Ashley Schumacher

I adored every moment of this book. Schumacher’s writing draws you in creating a sense of wonder and magic as fate brings Nova and Sam together. It reads almost like a fairy tale, even though it isn’t. I couldn’t help but fall in love with them, their relationship, and agonize with them as they navigated what they should or shouldn’t do. It’s realistic to life, but also shows how two people can be tied together in ways others don’t understand.

Overall, I loved In the Orbit of You. I can honestly say it is my favorite book of the year to date. It will be hard to top it. If you are a fan of the author’s previous books or a fan of YA contemporary, I highly recommend it.

*I buddy read this one with Lenore @ Celebrity Readers who gave it BLANK stars. You can see her review here.

About Ashley Schumacher

Author Ashley Schumacher

Ashley Schumacher is the author of Amelia Unabridged and Full Flight and has a degree in creative writing from the University of North Texas. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s either singing Disney songs, finding new and exciting ways to pester her family, or trying to find her inside voice, which has been sadly missing since birth. She lives in a small town north of Dallas with her husband, son, and more books than is strictly necessary.

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