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The Possible

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Some storms rage from within.

What if…a teenage girl could move objects with her mind?

What if…someone turns up at her door asking questions she doesn’t want to answer?

Kaylee lives a normal life with her adoptive parents, and almost never thinks of her birth mother, Crystal, who is serving a life sentence in prison. But the woman at the front door is producing a podcast about Crystal that is about to blow Kaylee’s forgotten past wide open.

What if strange things have been happening Kaylee’s entire life, things she could not explain? What if she’s more like her mother than she ever imagined?

What if the podcast is about to put her on a collision course with Crystal—and her darkest self?

304 pages, Hardcover

First published June 1, 2017

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About the author

Tara Altebrando

12 books360 followers
Tara Altebrando is the author of numerous books for young adult and middle-grade readers. Her upcoming book, THE LEAVING (Bloomsbury), is a YA thriller that received a starred PW review and is a Junior Library Guild selection. Her other YA novels include ROOMIES, coauthored with Sara Zarr; Dreamland Social Club (A Kirkus Reviews Best Books for Teens), The Best Night of (Your) Pathetic Life, What Happens Here, and The Pursuit of Happiness.

Tara is a Harvard graduate who lives in Queens, NY, with her husband and children.

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5 stars
112 (13%)
4 stars
221 (26%)
3 stars
304 (37%)
2 stars
139 (16%)
1 star
43 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 164 reviews
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,064 reviews1,481 followers
August 30, 2017
My full review can be found at United by Pop.

I adore novels that seem to about one particular thing, but are instead concerned with a wider social topic. This is exactly what Tara Alterbrando does here. The subject of Kaylee's mother's telekinesis invites the reader to explore society's treatment of the other and the witch-hunt that dogs females who dare to be anything other than the image of the accepted.

Both Kaylee and her mother, during their teen years, struggled to be accepted and both decided to shun others' expectations in favour of forming their own path, whether for right or for wrong. As well as this being an insight into the trials of one female's ancestry, this is also a chronicle of growing self-identity and a commentary of a society that would see it morphed and tamed.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,741 reviews712 followers
June 13, 2017
I had read The Leaving and really enjoyed it, so I was pretty excited about this book.

I struggled with Kaylee right away. She's bratty and self-centered and kind of a jerk to her friends. She gets obsessed with the podcast idea and in allowing that to take over her life, she doesn't realize how she's treating people. I'm 100% on board with this attitude if there's some growth; however, by the end of the book, it didn't feel like anything had really changed. It was hard to root for her.

Plot wise, I loved the synopsis. I'm all over this sort of unreliable narrator type of plot and this one sounded promising. However, as things started to unfold, it was more of a hot mess than actual, planned layers being revealed. And the constant page breaks drove me absolutely insane.

I kept reading because I did want to know what happened. Yet, I could have easily set the book down, not finished, and been absolutely fine.

Overall, I loved the idea, but the execution was a bit lacking.

**Huge thanks to Bloomsbury for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Beyond Birthday.
148 reviews231 followers
April 20, 2017
I don't need to see every cover that'll come out until the year 2027 to affirm this is by far the best cover in the next 2 decades.

I'm so in love with it; the detail, the idea, the imagination, all of it. Bonus: I'm also in love with the title and the author's last name. Don't ask me why, I just love "Altebrando."
Profile Image for Kwante in Wonderland.
469 reviews39 followers
November 23, 2017
De hele recensie vind je op www.kwanteinwonderland.com

Dit is liefde op het eerste gezicht!

Ik was al verliefd op de cover toen ik hem zag in de najaarsaanbieding maar toen ik hem echt in handen had? Kijk er nou eens goed naar en zeg me dat dit niet een staaltje coverliefde is!

Ik kan niet anders dan zeggen dat je dit boek alleen al voor die cover op je verlangslijstje zou moeten hebben staan!

Als je zoekt naar een pageturner dan is Als het waar is er één die je zult verslinden! Een juweeltje van Young & Awesome dat je niet mag missen!
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,739 reviews868 followers
July 29, 2022
The Possible was a hot mess. After Altebrando’s previous book, I expected this to be a dramatic improvement but it was not. In fact, I disliked this one a whole lot more than The Leaving. I wish I could say there was a single redeemable aspect but I did not enjoy a moment of it. It was simply horrendous. The plot was all over the place. The execution was severely lacking. I am not sure whether this was meant to be a thriller, magical realism, or what. The layout with its incredibly brief chapters (think two sentences to one paragraph) did not help. The plot felt choppy and disjointed as a result, and there was rarely enough time invested into the important scenes. The blunt, juvenile writing style compounded this.

Our protagonist, Kaylee, was completely unlikeable. She was utterly selfish, bratty and treated her friends and family like crap. This was particularly brought out by the romance. When one of her friends somewhat admits he has a crush on her, she acts disgusted to his face. She is also jealous of his girlfriend and ignores him for a bit but then it gets complicated and… just no. This was on top of her being scarily obsessed with another boy who was already in a relationship. The romantic drama was messy, unnecessary and downright unpleasant. I was grinding my teeth the whole book, trying not to scream with frustration. I could have forgiven Kaylee if she had any character development but she did not.

Overall? This was such a disappointment. I got absolutely no enjoyment out of this story. I will not be seeking out any more of Altebrando’s novels.

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Profile Image for Odette Brethouwer.
1,455 reviews237 followers
November 18, 2017
Toen ik vandaag uit werk thuis kwam lag dit boek op me te wachten. En nu is het uit. Echt.

Wederom een sterk plot van Altebrando! Veel suspense, maar wederom is het dat aan het begin van het boek een situatie wordt geschetst, je het hele middendeel met megaveel vragen zit en niets te weten komt, en je een snelle onverwachte afhandeling van het plot aan het einde hebt.

Maar ondanks dat er in het midden weinig (nee - niets) gebeurt, is het toch een echte pageturner omdat je wilt weten hoe het zit. En ik vind het gaaf dat je aan het einde van het boek wel een keer aan alles getwijfeld hebt. Echte aanrader!
Profile Image for Paula  Phillips.
4,953 reviews306 followers
April 22, 2018

All Kaylee's life strange things have happened that have been shaken off as nothing but mere coincidences. Now at seventeen, Kaylee is about to learn that she is not only adopted but that her real mother Crystal is currently up for parole as she was sentenced to life in prison for murdering her baby son. Kaylee was four when this happened, and it turns out that she testified against her mother and was one of the key witnesses. Enter Liane; she is making a podcast about Crystal's life as she was a teenage also when Crystal first became famous for her psychic abilities and TK. Has Kaylee inherited the gifts from her mother? As the podcast is released though, Kaylee is about to discover that the people she thought were her friends are about to turn on her as lies and stories from her past unravel to fit the "psychic box." Can Kaylee prove that she is nothing like her mother or has she truly inherited her mother's so-called gift? I have to admit the ending of this book annoyed me a little as I was hoping to read more of what Crystal's theory of what happened to the baby and more of the storyline involving Kaylee of what happened before Crystal's arrest. Overall, if you are looking for a book that will open your mind to the possibility of mind control and powers, then check out Tara Altebrando's "The Possible" today.
Profile Image for Chloe Reads Books.
854 reviews339 followers
September 18, 2023
After loving The Leaving, I'm incredbly disappointed in this book. The story had some promise, with a Carrie-esque TK vibe and the strained mother-daughter relationship but I just felt the writing was... bad? I don't think I have a nicer word than bad!
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,340 reviews227 followers
November 5, 2017
Does she or doesn’t she?
When Liane, a reporter, asks Kaylee if she has telekinetic powers like her biological mother, she doesn’t answer. Liane wants the teenager to participate in a podcast reexamining the death of her toddler brother. Crystal, Kaylee’s birth mom, who has always maintained her innocence, is in prison for his murder. Who is Kaylee, really? The softball star or something much darker.

Tara Altebrando has become a favorite of mine, for the pure joy I experience reading her books. She creates flawed, unlikable characters that I can’t help cheering on. Kaylee is self-centered, not always honest and uses her friends. Throughout THE POSSIBLE there are hints she used her telekinesis for evil.

Altebrando took me on a wild ride and had me changing theories and opinions about the characters. Just when I think I’d figured out the truth, another curve ball.

I don’t think THE POSSIBLE will be a five star review for everyone, but if you’re looking for a fun mystery starring a character who will surprise you, you’ll like THE POSSIBLE.
Profile Image for Sara .
1,145 reviews110 followers
November 20, 2017
A page-turner of a story that keeps the reader wondering - along with the characters - whether or not this book should be classified as regular contemporary YA or as a tale of the paranormal. With references to Carrie, Matilda, and Eleven from Stranger Things, the book asks the questions: Is telekineses real? And if it is, what happens to young girls with those powers when they grow up?

Our main character is Kaylee, a high school junior and star softball pitcher who seems like she literally can’t miss a perfect pitch. Is it because she has inherited powers from her birth-mother Crystal, a woman now in prison for having murdered her son (Kaylee’s brother Jack) more than ten years ago? Is it true that Crystal really had telekinetic powers when she was a teen herself? These are not subjects Kaylee has thought much about, since she’s been living in suburban comfort with her adopted parents and has largely supressed these memories of the past - until a public radio reporter named Liana knocks on her door asking Kaylee if she would be willing to be interviewed for a podcast about her mother Crystal and Crystal’s supposed paranormal powers.

Alongside this engrossing mystery, we see some nice character development with Kaylee who at the beginning of the story is often self-centered, judgmental, and sometime quite petty. Her questioning about her past and her wondering about her own abilities in a convoluted way leads her to reassess how she has been operating in life - and refreshingly, there are other characters who tell her off for her lack of kindness towards others. The problem with Kaylee being so self-centered for much of the book is that we don't get a totally full picture of her parents and friends as full people.

There is also a subplot about Kaylee pursuing a boy and her desire to go with him to Prom, but romance is not the focus of the story.

The story is mostly told through first-person narration, but is also livened up with excerpts from texts, emails, old newspaper snippets, and the podcast that Liana is making.
Profile Image for Esmee.
332 reviews18 followers
December 2, 2017
3/5 Ik vond dit meer een jeugdboek dan een YA boek, omdat het veel meer vaart en minder details had.
Ik had niet zoveel met hoofdpersoon Kaylee, ik vond haar oppervlakkig. Het was overduidelijk dat de auteur wilde dat je een bepaalde mening over Kaylee, dat gedurende het verhaal zou veranderen. Bij mij gebeurde dat niet

‘Als het waar is’ is een dun boekje en door het vaart in het verhaal, had ik het snel uit. Het was leuk om zelf te denken welke verhalen waar zijn en welke niet.
Profile Image for Macarena Yannelli.
Author 1 book957 followers
July 6, 2017
A pesar de que el libro empieza con una premisa bastante interesante, es muuuy lento y la protagonista se me hizo insoportable.
Capaz que me recordo un poquito a Carrie, pero prefiero ver (o leer) Carrie.
Profile Image for Melanie McFarlane.
Author 12 books151 followers
July 19, 2017
This was the perfect YA mystery. With quick-pacing like We Were Liars & an edge of paranormal, that reminded me of the first half of The Graces, Altebrando has impressed me again. You will be drawn into Kaylee's world as it spirals out of control.
Profile Image for Aimee✨.
599 reviews44 followers
June 8, 2017
I received a copy of The Possible from Bloomsbury Australia to review.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I started this book. I kind of went into it thinking this telekinesis stuff was all crap. But then I thought what if this is like Matilda? Because anything in fiction is possible. So I decided to keep an open mind.

It took me a while to get used to how this story was told. Like, Kaylee’s memories would sometimes interrupt whatever was happening in the moment. It was kind of annoying at the start but as I got used to it the less it bothered me and I eventually got used to it.

So at the start I did think all of the telekinesis stuff wasn’t real and that Crystal made it all up but then there was all of Kaylee’s memories and the things that happened around her and I wasn’t so sure anymore. I’m a very skeptical person so I didn’t know what was going on… And after the ending I am even more confused.

I found Kaylee very annoying. She was apparently in love with someone she didn’t know and had never even talked to. And according to her, he was in love with her too and just didn’t know it yet. What?? Kaylee went to school with the guy so she knew of him but she didn’t actually know him. There’s a huge difference. Then there was one of her best friends, Aiden, and the way he just shut Kaylee down when she mentioned these powers (even though I was skeptical) or how when she wanted to meet her birth mother and he was against it for some reason. He drove me crazy!

That makes it sound like I didn’t like The Possible. Annoying characters aside I really did enjoy this. I loved the mystery surrounding the telekinesis. And that ending!

If you enjoy a good mystery that leaves you questioning what the hell is going on then you should definitely find a copy of The Possible.
Profile Image for Raul.
437 reviews14 followers
July 15, 2018
Tara Altebrando is becoming one of my favorite YA mystery writers. This story had me hooked from the begining. Even though I disliked the main character, I loved the premise and how I was constantly questioning reality and fiction until the very end.
Profile Image for Sharon.
570 reviews3 followers
April 15, 2018
3.5 stars! For anyone who has seen the horror movie Carrie, the idea that someone can manipulate matter with the mind is, frankly, mind boggling.

In The Possible, Kaylee is quite intrigued when she discovers her birth mother Crystal not only killed Kaylee’s younger brother when Kaylee was four, but was also once a famous teen for her telekinetic abilities. Now in jail, Crystal continues to plead innocent to the murder charges.

When a local podcast host wants to interview Crystal and Kaylee, the now 16-year-old has to revisit memories and questions the odd coincidences in her life. Does she have special powers?

Kaylee is not a character to easily like. She has my sympathy but she also comes across the pages as a manipulator.

When things don’t go her way, strange things happen and yet Kaylee is never around. The end leaves that weird prickly feeling that something is amiss.
Profile Image for The Blonde Bookworm.
298 reviews39 followers
June 8, 2017
The plot and the cover of The Possible initially caught my eye and I immediately jumped in when my copy arrived in the mail. It was a quick and easy read, but even though I really enjoyed the story the writing seemed a little too simple in the beginning. The characters were a little cliche, and the main character was slightly untrustworthy as a narrator. Initially, it was a little dull for me, but I soon became totally engrossed in the world Altebrando created and finished the novel in one sitting.

There's nothing I love more than an easy summer read that you can fly through in a single day, but I would have loved it if Altebrando went a little deeper with her characters. Don't get me wrong, I did like the characters and the story, but I wanted so much more from them! Kaylee was a little rude and and flat while her friends were just typical tag-a-long friends. I kept reading because I enjoyed the plot and I had to know how everything played out in the end.

I was a bit surprised by the ending of the novel, and I loved how I was constantly questioning whether or not I believed in Telekinesis throughout the whole book. One minute I thought it all was a hoax and the next I was totally convinced that Kaylee could move objects with her mind. The constant guessing and the twist at the end caught me off guard and made the book come together neatly. I enjoyed reading The Possible and look forward to reading more from Altebrando in the near future. I would definitely recommend this novel for a quick summer read!
Profile Image for Caitlin Smith.
150 reviews16 followers
December 2, 2018
I read this book on a complete whim and I have to admit, it’s nothing memorably unfortunately.

When Kaylee is approached by a woman creating a podcast on her estranged mother, Kaylee past is blow wide open, leaving her with more questions than she has answers.

Our main character is Kaylee, who I found to be insufferable! She’s bratty and self-obsessed, on multiple occasions using her friends to benefit herself or becoming suspicious of them for no reason. She’s a bad friend, period. She also has such an obsessive personality! From page 1, Kaylee is obsessed with some guy she believes is in love with her, when actually he barely knows her name and then she becomes obsessed with the podcast and the possibility of telekinetic powers... thank God this book was short, I couldn’t put up with it much longer.

This book was really unmemorable, in my opinion. On multiple occasions throughout the book, I actually forgot the name of the main character. To be honest, I probably didn’t know her name more often then not, I would be reading and someone would say Kaylee’s name and it would take me a moment to remember just who Kaylee was.

Overall, I have to say this book was entertaining. It was definitely not the best book in the world, not by a long shot, but I couldn’t stop reading and I don’t have a clue why...
Profile Image for Kristin.
955 reviews102 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
June 10, 2017
DNF at 17%

I had a difficult time connecting with the main protagonist, Kaylee, in this story. So much so that I just couldn't go further than 17% into the story. Granted, this isn't a long book. But when Kaylee never once considered any of the advice given to her, nor did she once think of anyone else but herself, I was done. And typically, I have absolutely NO problem reading teen stories and relating to the immature emotions and angst. I sometimes go looking for it just to relive my fun teen years. But I can only take so much selfishness before I've gotta bail. Sorry...
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,023 reviews57 followers
May 20, 2017
I will need to reread the finished copy considering how chopped up this eARC was. the book had a lot of potential to be great but I just didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped. review to come
Profile Image for Shirley.
213 reviews96 followers
June 15, 2017
The Possible had an intriguing premise, but failed dismally to deliver. The execution was horrible and the only reason I managed to finish was because the book was short and by skimming ¾ of the book, I managed to finish it in a couple of hours.

The Possible begins with Kaylee getting visited by a reporter, who wants to interview her for a podcast about her biological mum. Her biological mum, who is currently in prison for the murder of Kaylee’s brother, was once ‘famous’ for supposedly possessing telekinetic powers. The storyline essentially revolves around Kaylee investigating whether her mother’s claims of telekinetic powers are true, and simultaneously discovering whether she herself has these supernatural powers.

I’m assuming that the author intended for readers to spend the entire journey guessing whether Kaylee has powers, but I chalked up every single strange incident to coincidence – Altebrando’s storytelling wasn’t convincing enough for me to wonder whether Kaylee had supernatural powers. Her writing was too simple with a lot of “telling” rather than “showing”, and there were too many line breaks that ruined the flow of the story. Kaylee would be in a conversation with her parents, the conversation would quickly and conveniently wrap up, then the story would jump to another scene a few days later. There was no smooth transition between scenes which made it feel like the story was all over the place.

Speaking of Kaylee, it was impossible to like her. She was so self-centred and immature, I honestly would not want to be friends with her in real life. Instead of finding another date or going with friends to prom, she was under the illusion that her unattainable crush would somehow miraculously dump his current girlfriend, who she so kindly nicknamed “Princess Bubblegum”, before prom and would then somehow miraculously notice her and take her to prom even though they’ve never spoken to each other before. I’m usually fine with characters fantasising about their crush, but when they say stuff like “Yeah, he’ll dump her before prom and then take me” and purposely orchestrate a plan to break them up, then we have a problem.

I believe this story had potential, especially since telekinesis is such an interesting topic. If only the writing was stronger and the characters were more level-headed, memorable and less like… cardboard cut-outs, I would have liked the book a lot more. The pacing could have been slower too, since it read like the author rushed to finish writing the book. All in all, this wasn’t my cup of tea.
Profile Image for teddy.
433 reviews64 followers
March 14, 2017
The Possible is shockingly clever. It really gets you thinking about how perspective can and will change what people believe. If somebody sees something from a different angle than how you saw it go down, they could very well consider you a liar because that's not how they saw it and they know that they themselves aren't lying so it has to be you who speaks false truths.

Going into this, I wasn't sure exactly what I expected from it but by the end I knew it to be better than I presumed. Not only is the writing style unique and easily relatable, but the visual appearance such as the texting scenes were spot on. So why the three-star rating? Well, that's down to a few things.

Firstly, I thought it odd that upon hearing about a podcast being made of Kaylee's birth mother so many of the people in her life turned against her. Not only her two best friends but her coach, fellow students, her teachers, etc. I understand that some of them had other reasons for turning their backs but it still seemed a bit sketchy. These people genuinely believed Kaylee was capable of using a paranormal force whether it be to trip them up, slice textbooks, smash light bulbs, break tree branches, predict the outcome of a roll of a dice or move things with her mind. She even got shelved from the softball team because they believed her to be using telekinesis in order to pitch so well. How unrealistic. What's worse is that some of those people were adults - like, thirty, forty (?) years old.

Secondly, I didn't like the romantic interest Kaylee had in Bennett; it just didn't seem authentic. Sure, she daydreamed about him and they even made out but it just all felt... forced. And don't even get me started on how out of the blue Kaylee's realisation of her heart truly belonging to her best friend was. That right there came completely from nowhere ― no hints throughout that perhaps she liked him, or anything in that nature. It was just, 'Well, Bennett doesn't really like me. I guess I like Aiden now? After all, we danced at prom'. I don't know, it was weird and then she's all, 'I love you' to him. Like... okay?

Anyway, I think I'm rambling but overall, the plot was enjoyable, Chiara's character was amazing and the payback on Crystal was great. 3/5 stars!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kaitlyn Davis.
Author 45 books1,684 followers
May 31, 2017
I enjoyed this book! The mystery drew me in and kept me turning the pages :) I wavered back and forth from believer to non-believer, which I think was the point, and the constant guessing and theorizing made the book really interesting! Such a unique premise for a book that was super unlike anything else I've read! The characters didn't really draw me in and the romance confused me a bit (seemed to come from nowhere), but I was drawn into the plot and the intrigue and enjoyed being surprised by some of the twists the story took! Ending wrapped things up a little too quickly, until you reach, well, I don't want to give anything away...!

I will note that I got this from netgalley, and the ARC was incredibly ill-formatted and choppy, I'm surprised the publisher didn't check it more closely before posting it for reviews (sentences cutting off, paragraphs starting and stopping for no reason, page breaks). I couldn't tell if any of it was intentional, but I'm guessing not, so I think I would have a more enjoyable reading experience with the final book.
Profile Image for ⠀annie. ♡.
183 reviews76 followers
June 9, 2018
real rating: 3.5

disclaimer: i finished this last night so these are the thoughts that i have been sitting with.

this was a decent story but it didn’t really do it for me.

based on the description, i guess that the plot was going to take me somewhere else. i’m not mad that it didn’t, it was just more childish than i thought.

there’s no question we had character development, however, kaylee remained the same for the majority of this. the person she was before was stuck up and almost hateful. it was hard to relate to her or some of the things she wanted.

this entire book seemed like a cliche— which is fine, it was just too predictable.

i feel like this should have been classified as juvenile fiction and [ not ] young adult. maybe it’s because i’m used to reading things that are more intense and dramatic than this, who knows.

i didn’t hate this and i’m glad i read it but at the same time, i had to push myself to read this.
Profile Image for Olivia.
79 reviews1 follower
July 3, 2018
This book was kind of disappointing. I was expecting a lot more of it, especially since it had been on my to-read-list since it came out, but I hadn’t been able to find it since. For starters, the book was definitely not the genre I had connected the description to. The format of writing was also a little odd. I suppose it made viewing text conversations and visualizing certain papers easier, but it just wasn’t my style. The book took a much different turn than I anticipated: for better or worse I can’t tell. The obsessive page breakers started to drive me crazy. It was as if there was a page break between paragraphs that were meant to be read together. The chapters and section breakers also did not leave off on a finished thought. They just abruptly ended, leaving me wondering if I skipped a page. The last pages were also cryptic and I’m honestly still deciphering what it’s supposed to mean, because the two possibilities I imagine can completely change the entire ending of the story.
Profile Image for Sue Wallace .
6,140 reviews71 followers
June 1, 2017
The Possible by Tara Altebrando.
What if ... no one knows the truth about you?

It's been thirteen years since Kaylee's infamous birth mother, Crystal, received a life sentence for killing Kaylee's little brother in a fit of rage. Once the centre of a cult-following for her apparent telekinetic powers, nowadays nobody's heard of Crystal.
This was a good read with good characters. Little slow. 4*. Netgalley and Bloomsbury publishing plc.
Profile Image for Taylor.
261 reviews3 followers
July 6, 2017
This book was okay. Super quick read that was interesting enough but not really super gripping to me. For a thriller, a lot was predictable and it was pretty trope-y.

July 6th Update:
I changed this to two stars because the more I was thinking about it the less I liked this book. It was a fine read but none of the characters were flushed out and it just felt so flat.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 164 reviews

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