ARC Review: In the Orbit of You by Ashley Schumacher

Posted March 16, 2024 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 6 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review:  In the Orbit of You by Ashley SchumacherIn the Orbit of You by Ashley Schumacher
Published by Wednesday Books on March 19, 2024
Genres: YA Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: four-half-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & Noble


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 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.

I’ve wanted to read this author for a while, and now after reading and loving this one, I know I need to go back and get to the ones I missed. This was a very emotional story, with really a lot of angst because both characters wanted to be with the other. But both knew or had reasons that they thought they shouldn’t be together. Reading about Sam’s past, how his dad had been to him, for the most part there were no immediate scenes describing the abuse. Just the after effects like bruises and injuries that Nova noticed, or him trying to figure out how to cover them or stay safe.

Now Nova’s life wasn’t bad. She just moved a lot with her mom’s job taking them places constantly as she helped on company then moved on to the next when that job was done. Nova had always seemed to like it. I mean, how much fun to be able to reinvent yourself in each new place and try out what life could be like in a different clique/group of high school. However all the reinventing made it so she didn’t really know what she actually liked and what she’d just participated in because of her found friends. She also ended a relationship that she’d thought was more than it was and was reeling a bit from that, thinking she now just needed to be herself in this latest place. Especially as the need to figure out what she wanted to do for college became a high priority both at school and with her mom.

Sam had been adopted by his aunt and uncle and it was a good life now. He was a star football player, dating a cheerleader, living the high school dream of so many boys, especially in Texas. But underneath it all he doesn’t quite know if he’s happy. He doesn’t know that he actually wants to do football for the rest of his life, even as scouts and colleges are promising him full rides and his new parents celebrate with him and are so proud. And even though he’s not really shown any signs, there’s just always the fear that he might become like his own abusive father. Not to mention he doesn’t want to disappoint either his parents or his girlfriend, and isn’t it a happy enough life the way it is, to follow these expectations?

But Sam and Nova had made a promise promise to each other when he left that they’d find each other again when they were 18 years old. It may be a year early for Nova, but when she happens to move in to his school, in fact his very neighborhood, all sorts of things start to connect. Then a personality test the school has all the students take on the first day Nova is there shows the two have a 99% compatibility, the highest of anyone else in the school, even Sam and his girlfriend aren’t that close! Even as I said, they both try to fight it.

I was totally in for this will they won’t they story. My only issue was the tiny bit of cheating it involved, even if it was really just spending time that they felt guilty about even as just friends. And the one kiss at a dance. Sam’s girlfriend Abigail was such a good person. Not your stereotypical cheerleader mean girl. I imagine her character was very similar to how my younger sister who was a cheerleader actually was in school. My sister was never a mean girl, well except maybe to our younger sister, but that’s a sibling thing. And I like getting a story where the cheerleader can be shown differently than the stereotype.

So really this was overall a great story and one I can’t wait to share with my students!

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6 responses to “ARC Review: In the Orbit of You by Ashley Schumacher

    • Lisa Mandina

      It is bad enough with adult romance to have cheating, but it was a little harder with YA. Although maybe more understandable if they didn’t quite get what they were doing.

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