Title: My Week with Him
Author: Joya Goffney
Publisher: Harper Teen
Review Copy: ARC by publisher
Availability: Available now
Summary: Nikki’s always had a difficult relationship with her mum. So when she finds herself homeless at the start of spring break, she decides to rage-quit Texas and give California a shot, to pursue her dream music career.
Until her best friend and long-time crush, Malachai, discovers her plan and convinces her to spend spring break with him, so he can show her all the reasons she should stay in Texas.
But when Nikki’s little sister goes missing their plans are interrupted, and Nikki is forced to face her feelings about both her mum and Mal. Can Nikki find the love she’s always been missing? And will it be enough to convince her to stay?
Review: You all know that I’m a huge fan of Black Love so of course I had a smile on my face as I read this novel. Joya Goffney’s sweet story had so many lovely moments between Nikki and Malachi, Nikki and her sister, Nikki and her friends, and even Nikki and her mother. Nikki is just shy of graduating from high school which is both a time of promise and fear, but she doesn’t really have any plans for the future because she’s been in survival mode for so long. She doesn’t have the best relationship with her mother, very turbulent in fact, as she’s been kicked out or runaway a number of times. Like most teens, she isn’t very forthcoming with her dreams with her mother, so she keeps her desire to have a music career from her family. Then comes the opportunity to audition for a girl group in California which just happens to occur during her spring break, giving her the perfect alibi for her mother. Initially her plan is only shared with a trusted few but her plan goes awry when she gets locked out of her house by her mother. She turns to Malachi who decides to help her, but also uses this change to share his feelings with her. Nikki’s spring break turns into a week of being with her best friend, who maybe more, and her family and trying to decide what her future moves should be.
Love was the central theme of this novel as it begins with Nikki’s close friends helping her plan her outfit for the audition. They truly care about propping of their friend and showed how even though Nikki’s home life wasn’t that great, she had created a family of her own. Malachai and his parents were included in Nikki’s unique definition of family. His parents cared for her as if she was their own and were willing to help in any way they could. Of course, being a book with a theme of love, Nikki and Malachi decide to finally share their feelings towards each other and because they are such good friends, their romantic relationship begins from a deeper, more intimate place than a new relationship. And Goffney writes these two with a maturity that is somewhat unusual in teens, but here is it is completely believable because of the bond these two have and all they have experienced. The revelation of how much they care for each other and deciding to act was so sweet and swoon worthy. In addition, when Nikki learns her sister is missing Malachi he does all he can to support her. Her missing sister brings up the tense relationship with her mother and again, Malachi just chooses to be whatever Nikki needs him to be. Their loving relationship, one built of mutual respect and support, is a wonderful depiction of a healthy relationship that teens (and most adults) should have. I’ve read very supportive romantic relationships in adult romances, but not very often in YA romances (as those are about the thrill of falling in love) so this was a lovely change of pace.
Overall, this was a fun summer read that was a moving family story as well as sweet romance.