“The Evolving Truth of Ever-Stronger Will” Review

The pink/purple cover has the face of a person half covered with flowers of various types and colors. Their hair and one blue eye is visible along with their lips and cheek. The author's name and book title are written at the top of the cover. Written by Maya MacGregor
Published by Astra Books for Young Readers, July 2023
264 pages
Completed November 25, 2023

Will is a 17-year-old on the cusp of freedom: freedom from providing and caring for their abusive, addicted mother, freedom from their small town with an even smaller mindset, and the freedom from having to hide who they truly are. When their drug dealer mother dies months before their 18th birthday, Will is granted their freedom earlier than expected. But their mother’s last words haunt Will: She cursed them with her dying breath, claiming her death was their fault. Soon their mother’s drug-dealing past threatens Will’s new shiny future, leaving Will scrambling to find their beloved former foster mother Raz before Child Protective Services or local drug dealers find them first. But how do you reconnect with family and embark on a new love when you’re convinced you destroy everything you touch?

This was a great read. I really enjoyed reading about Will slowly being able to take control of their own life and figuring out how to deal with everything that was happening. The book is written in second person and is almost entirely stream of consciousness but it was fairly easy to read. I think perhaps some of the chapter endings and beginnings could have been different but for the most part the story worked well. I liked the differences in all the other characters that Will interacted with. Their best friend has a lot of privileges and I liked the conflict there with her realizing that fact later on in the book. I also liked the resolution of the entire station. It all worked out well in the end.