February 28, 2012

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade • Destined to Fail

Destined to Fail book cover
Destined to Fail by Samantha March
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
Source/Format: Author (Thanks!) || e-book
[I received this from the author. This in no way affects my review.]

Jasmine Jones is ready to begin her new life as a college student, and is ecstatic to have best friend Abby by her side. But then, Abby drops the bomb- she is pregnant, and dropping out of college. 

Eventually, everything seems back on track for Jasmine- great new friendships and roommates, a strong relationship with boyfriend Nate, and excelling at her college courses. But Jasmine’s newfound happiness is shattered when her own pregnancy test comes out positive. 

Jasmine’s life has been filled with obstacles and challenges along the way- from a missing father, sexual and physical abuse, and addictions that tore her family apart. With this latest setback, Jasmine fears her life will always be a struggle. 

Reading the synopsis, I was aware that this story was bound to be an emotional sucker punch. What I didn't realize was how much of an impact it would have on me, though my experience in life is vastly different from that of Jasmine Jones. Destined to Fail managed to leave me feeling positive, inspired and strong.

The Character

Jasmine Jones is a young woman who has been through so much in her nineteen years. When faced with all of the stuff she has to handle, I found it admirable that she was able to keep up her grades, her social interaction and even her commitment to her relationship. Though I didn't particularly feel a strong connection with her, I thought she was a well-written character with a history - and I think having a history (not necessarily a bad one, but a history nonetheless) is something we can all relate to.

The Story

Honestly, there are a lot of cliches in this tale - the character stereotypes and certain turns of phrase, for instance. But I think that the most important thing, for me, is the story left me feeling quite positive. There's a lot of bad things that happen in this novel, or things that come out of left field in the lives of the characters. But it is very uplifting to see how the positivity that this novel ends with grows out of this negative history. As I finished, I felt hopeful and inspired.

Personally, I say you should...

Read this novel - it leaves the reader with a message and a mindset that is strong, determined, powerful, hopeful and quite inspiring. I really enjoyed Destined to Fail and commend Samantha March for writing about such sensitive topics in a good way.

Speaking of reading this novel, you're in luck! I'm hosting a giveaway for an ebook copy of Destined to Fail! To get a chance to win, check out the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This review was posted as part of the Destined to Fail blog tour.
To check out the other stops on the tour, CLICK HERE.


  1. I never know what to think when two characters in the same circle get pregnant young. That's a problem I always had with that show, Secret Life of an American Teenager. I'm always thinking: WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF THAT HAPPENING? But I trust you if you said the book was worth reading. haha.

  2. Thank you so much for this review! I'm glad the book at a positive impact on you :)

  3. It's definitely on my TBR list now! Great review. :)

  4. This sounds like a very interesting concept. I saw a lot of books that are coming out regarding young pregnant teens at ALA. I didn't manage to get any of them, but I'm extremely intrigued by the stories. Great review, Alexa! And yay for you giving away an e-book!

  5. I'm totally with Estelle - When I read that Abby got pregnant, and then Jasmine got pregnant soon after, I said out loud, "Girl! What were you thinking!?!?!" Teen pregnancy is a touchy subject with me b/c I've seen so many of my own students, who are really babies themselves, have babies. At the same time, I totally trust your opinion and if you think it's a great book, then I'll bookmark it for the future. I think it could be really helpful for some of my kids to read about a girl who has a baby young, and then learns and grows from that experience. Thanks for a great review!

  6. It's interesting that both main characters become pregnant, I don't think I've ever read a story like that and while I can't relate directly, I am sure that so many girls can

  7. I've heard about this one but wasn't sure about it. You make it sound uplifting and positive, which makes the difference for me. With two pregnant at once, this has the potential to be a downer, but you assure us that this isn't the case. I'd read it based on your thoughts. Thanks Alexa! And thanks for the giveaway opportunity. Very generous.

  8. One of the reasons that I really enjoyed this book is mostly because I felt for the MC and what she had to go through. She's given a lot of hairy situations to deal with, but she manages to overcome them all. I love books when I can root for the MC!

  9. I'm normally not a big fan of books that focus on adolescent/young adult pregnancies, especially unplanned ones. But I think this book was well written.

  10. I think what I loved about it was the positive feeling it left me. I felt hopeful and proud because I had been rooting for the MC the whole time. It's pretty encouraging!

  11. Thank you! I'm honored that you'd consider my opinion in a decision to read this or not. It really is a positive little book.


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