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The Possibility of Now

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,380 ratings  ·  224 reviews
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-walk-out kind of meltdown. And she didn't plan on a video of it going viral. And she definitely didn't plan on never wanting to show her face again.

Mara knows she sho
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Point
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Sofia YESSS!!!! I would love to see if Isabel got into the Olympics, some closure for Beck, and Mara learning how to paddleboard with Logan. As Well as Mara…moreYESSS!!!! I would love to see if Isabel got into the Olympics, some closure for Beck, and Mara learning how to paddleboard with Logan. As Well as Mara's college/career decisions.(less)
Grace Donahue I thought the book was very good and it is also clean and wholesome. I would recommend it to someone of the age of 12/13 and up. Things to mention: A …moreI thought the book was very good and it is also clean and wholesome. I would recommend it to someone of the age of 12/13 and up. Things to mention: A use of "crap". Very small mention of underage drinking at a party. There are a few kisses with little to no details. For more info you can go to my review of this book:

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 ·  1,380 ratings  ·  224 reviews

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Jen Ryland
Feb 13, 2016 marked it as setting-aside-for-now
I liked the premise of The Possibility of Now -- a girl, under tremendous pressure to do well at her elite school and get into a good college, freaks out during a calculus test and this episode ends up on YouTube. I think the tremendous academic pressure many kids are under is a subject that YA books don't usually tackle head-on. But that's not the main focus of the book and there were other aspects of it that I wasn't as crazy about.

The main character, to get away from all the internet notorie
Maryam Dinzly
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK. I think I devoured it within 3 hours. YUP, I DID. This book hooked me in from the start, in which I instantly love Mara James. I mean, she tore up her test paper! IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TEST. IN AN ELITE SCHOOL. Yeah, I definitely love her, alright. I definitely relate to Mara since the first page, and I actually think that most readers will relate to her, whether you go to an elite school or not, because we all know what it's like to NEED to do well. To always hav ...more
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Ok. So I can definitely appreciate the fundamental themes behind The Possibility of Now.

As someone who went to a competitive high school, I saw more than my fair share of academic-incurred meltdowns, similar to Mara’s. So I am all in favor of books that teach teens how to find a healthy balance between academics and having a social life.

But where I think …Now struggles, is through Culbertson’s execution. We’re presented with a compelling set-up: Mara has a public meltdown during an exam, which
Brices Mice Christian Book Reviews
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
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. I had really big expectations for this book because I loved her other book 'Catch a falling star' but this book wasn't as inspirational. The book itself started a little slow. The book went on to have a mysterious factor involving the pasts of her mom and dad. But it didn't draw me in as much as you would think. I really hated her mom and dad the whole book. They didn't seem to care about what she wanted in opposed to what they thought. The end wasn't bad but it was lacking the romanc ...more
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! I got a finished copy of the book for review from the publisher.

I go to college with two incredible women. One of them, Lori, is as nonstop as Alexander Hamilton. She won Undergraduate of the Year, she’s being inducted into the Student Hall of Fame, she’s our school’s first-ever Fulbright scholar, she’s done internships at Mount Vernon (among other places), and she did independent research her sophomore year on censored or otherwise altered artwork and li
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Nice fairly wholesome YA book. Great for teen girl who isn't ready for to much adult material. Sweet story about a girl who has a meltdown in class and of course it is posted on You Tube. So she takes a break from her highly competitive high school in San Diego to stay with her Dad ,who she doesn't really know, in Truckee/Tahoe area. Nice setting, story revolves around Mara and her discovery of herself. Fun backdrop of the skiing environment. ...more
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
So, I picked up this book because the author is coming to talk at my library. Although I knew it was not my style, it did not totally disappoint me. It had a strong message (that I should take to heart), some funny comments, and overall was a good read.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super insightful. The teenage girl could teach many adults a few lessons.

“I shouldn’t care what most people think of me”
“But I think the thing to remember is most people aren’t”
“Aren’t what”
“Thinking about you. In my experience most people are just trying to find their car keys.”
Nicole Hoefs
I was excited when I got approved to read the ARC of this book via Edelweiss for Sunday Street Team. It was an enjoyable read. The characters seemed realistic to me, and I especially loved Logan. Mara was a pretty great main character, and I loved watching her transform during her time in Tahoe, finally learning to let go a bit.

The book had a few slow moments, but overall it was entertaining. As someone who has never been skiing or snowboarding (shocking since I live in Wisconsin), it was really
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-releases
This book caught my attention because of the setting. I grew up half an hour away from Lake Tahoe, and I was really interested to see a place that I've been going to for as long as I cam remember be portrayed in a book. I don't know what it was, but something about the portrayal of Tahoe just felt kind of off to me. Maybe it was Mara's perception of it, but something about it didn't feel quite right. I know that people perceive things differently, but Tahoe has never seemed like an especially la ...more
Aug 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Solid contemporary (think Elizabeth Eulberg). It was funny and talked about things I haven't seen YA books talk about yet, like first world problems and how other people's worse problems don't negate your own, but the main character was a little too self-righteous for me, amongst other issues:
-it harped on too much about the competitive vs. noncompetitive lifestyles—everybody seemed to have an opinion one way or another, which seemed unrealistic to me
-it felt like the author started the book wit
Jan 21, 2020 added it
I enjoyed reading The Possibility of Now by Kim Culbertson, a novel geared towards young adults about a young girl with an ideal plan for her life in her head, but isn't exactly executed when brought to life. Sixteen year old, Mara Mchale, moves from San Diego to Tahoe to reconnect with her long-lost father, Trick Mchale, in hopes to get her life back on track after a humiliating incident. Mara ends up finding more than she expected in Tahoe, she makes great friends, meets her boyfriend, Logan, ...more
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it
The Possibility of Now by Kim Culbertson is about Mara James, a perfectionist, list making high school student who has a panic attack during one of her classes. It ends up on YouTube and receives a lot of views. This makes Mara want to get away, and so she does. She goes to stay with her biological father, Trick, in Tahoe.

At first, The Possibility of Now was slow. Like, really slow. I couldn't get into it. I felt like all I was doing was watching someone sit and study all day-- and that's all M
Initially, I would've rated this a 3 as I was invested with the second lead (another Xavier :/, tsk tsk tsk) and sadly he was presented as a tragic character. I dislike that kind of writing as it made to justify that the male lead is better.

That aside, it's a good coming of age novel and I have a soft spot with dad-daughter dynamics. Also, I like its take on the teenage life and the academic system. I had that bug back during uni days(which is really bad, shouldn't have happened especially if y
Jun 05, 2017 added it
This is a very sweet YA novel that every driven, AP test-taking junior should read. It offers the possibility of another way through that might seem more humane, indeed, more human, and make room for young people to consider a more true, or complete, expression of who they really are, and hope to be, in the world.
Victoria (thepetitebookblogger)
The Possibility of Now had such a potential to be great, with its original plot and themes of self discovery, rebuilding relationships and learning how to have a healthy balance with school work and life. It sounded like something that I would like reading. Unfortunately, The Possibility of Now evolved from Mara learning how to deal with the aftermath of her very public meltdown and discovering what it’s like to live in the now to a romance and spending every waking minute skiing. Now, I would ...more
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored The Possibility of Now, by Kim Culbertson. Mara, an overachieving student and chronic list maker, buckles under the pressure to be the best. Even worse, her meltdown has thousands of views thanks to the cruel person who uploaded it to YouTube. She just wants to get away from the pressure and decides out of the blue to go visit her father, a man she doesn’t really know. The ski resort town where he lives sounds like the perfect place for Mara can to learn to live in the moment ...more
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review.

Rating: 3.75 Stars

I think this book is one of those that you'll appreciate as a standalone story, but you'll appreciate it much more if you're someone who is into skiing, snowboarding, etc.

I was mainly interested in this book because I thought that witnessing Mara's academic "difficulties" and her handling them would make for a good read. They did and I was pleased to see how things worked out in the end.

The skii
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 12, 2016 rated it liked it
This was cute! I gobbled (most) of this up super quickly, but found myself slipping away and losing interest once Mara got together with the eventual "love interest." After a few obstacles were cleared, this felt a little too much like insta-love. Yes, they were friends for a while first, but once they got together, they were suddenly IN LOVE. It was too much, too soon.

There were definitely moments where I felt like I was way too old for this stuff. Mara can be super sensitive. And sometimes sh
Lexi Wright
Sep 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, reviewed
Junior year is intense enough without having your meltdown in calculus class caught on video and shared thousands of times online. That’s one reason why superachiever Mara has decided to leave her hypercompetitive prep school in San Diego and hunker down in Tahoe for the rest of the school year. Getting to know her estranged dad is another. And so is learning to ski, upping her self-care, and kissing a cute snowboarder, all items on Mara’s evolving “Now List.” Using her list as a springboard int ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Culbertson, Kim The Possibility of Now, 299 pgs. Point, 2016 (Scholastic). $17.99 Content: Language: G; Mature Content: PG; Violence: G.

Mara has a panic attack in her calculus class that is recorded and goes viral. Mara decides that she needs to go and visit her biological father to get a break from all of the expectations put on her at school and a break from all of the negative social media responses. While Mara is in Tahoe with her dad, she starts to realize that it’s okay to have a plan B i
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
All I can say is, wow! This is not the typical book I would pick up off the selves, but I'm certainly glad I did! The Possibility of Now by Kim Culbertson sheds light on serious topics, such as anxiety and the pressure parents put on their children. Mara is role model for any student, getting the chance to live as "San Diego Mara", "Tahoe Mara", and well, just Mara. Mara troubled past with her father and perfectionism make her easily relatable. She taught us all that living in the now, is not ju ...more
Jim Toner
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novel is a realistic teen read depicting a teenage girl named Mara who is under pressure to get the best grades. At the beginning of a story she has a melt down while taking a calculus exam. She moves to Tahoe, Nevada where her mother expects her to have regular visits with a psychologist.
This is a clean YA fiction novel with no swearing and no sexual inuendo.
Mar 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I haven't been reading lately and this was the perfect book to get me out of my dry spell. It was a fun, clean, YA book about a teenage girl trying to figure out who she is and what she wants out of life with some first kisses and love triangles. ...more
Jun 21, 2016 rated it liked it
3-3.5. Charming young adult book. Not only is it clean, but pretty funny as well. For an adult reading, it is pretty predictable. But I would have no problem recommending this book to teenage girls. The humor and writing made this book worthwhile.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
YA contemporary fiction. I liked the message of this book, it had good characters and it was clean. Win-win. Mara's character explores the idea of what happens when no matter how perfect you try to live your life, it doesn't turn out the way you want it to. Fun, interesting and fast read. ...more
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my favourite book ever. I've loved it from start to finish. This story is passionate and takes you through the mind of a stressed teen and the perks and downfalls of being the "Perfect Student". ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cheesy teen romance with a heavy-handed theme. Pretty fluffy overall, but good clean romance for middle school girls who like that genre.
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Kim Culbertson is the author of the teen novels THE WONDER OF US (Scholastic 2017), THE POSSIBILITY OF NOW (Scholastic 2016), CATCH A FALLING STAR (Scholastic 2014), INSTRUCTIONS FOR A BROKEN HEART (Sourcebooks 2011), and SONGS FOR A TEENAGE NOMAD (Sourcebooks 2010).

She believes books make the world a better place.

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