Hot Best Seller

Better Than the Best Plan

Availability: Ready to download

Lauren Morrill's Better Than the Best Plan is a fresh, funny, romantic YA novel about a teenage girl who finds an unexpected silver lining in her life when plans get turned upside down. Plans are made to be broken. It's the last day of junior year, and seventeen-year-old Ritzy--short for Maritza--is pretty sure she has a great plan. Summer job--check. Hang with friends at th Lauren Morrill's Better Than the Best Plan is a fresh, funny, romantic YA novel about a teenage girl who finds an unexpected silver lining in her life when plans get turned upside down. Plans are made to be broken. It's the last day of junior year, and seventeen-year-old Ritzy--short for Maritza--is pretty sure she has a great plan. Summer job--check. Hang with friends at the beach--check. Keep looking after herself as she's been doing since her mom bailed to follow her bliss--check. Or no check? After someone reports that Ritzy is living alone, a social worker shows up and puts her into foster care. That's surprise enough. Even more surprising? Ritzy has been in foster care before, as an infant, and the woman who cared for her then takes her in again. But maybe the greatest surprise of all for Ritzy is that living with her foster mother, Kristin, in Kristin's gorgeous house, isn't all that bad. And neither is the cute, friendly boy next door. If Ritzy's mom hadn't gotten her back all those years ago, this is the life she could have had. But is it the life she should have had? When Ritzy's old life catches up with her new one, she has some decisions to make. Can she plan for the worst, but still hope for the best?


Compare

Lauren Morrill's Better Than the Best Plan is a fresh, funny, romantic YA novel about a teenage girl who finds an unexpected silver lining in her life when plans get turned upside down. Plans are made to be broken. It's the last day of junior year, and seventeen-year-old Ritzy--short for Maritza--is pretty sure she has a great plan. Summer job--check. Hang with friends at th Lauren Morrill's Better Than the Best Plan is a fresh, funny, romantic YA novel about a teenage girl who finds an unexpected silver lining in her life when plans get turned upside down. Plans are made to be broken. It's the last day of junior year, and seventeen-year-old Ritzy--short for Maritza--is pretty sure she has a great plan. Summer job--check. Hang with friends at the beach--check. Keep looking after herself as she's been doing since her mom bailed to follow her bliss--check. Or no check? After someone reports that Ritzy is living alone, a social worker shows up and puts her into foster care. That's surprise enough. Even more surprising? Ritzy has been in foster care before, as an infant, and the woman who cared for her then takes her in again. But maybe the greatest surprise of all for Ritzy is that living with her foster mother, Kristin, in Kristin's gorgeous house, isn't all that bad. And neither is the cute, friendly boy next door. If Ritzy's mom hadn't gotten her back all those years ago, this is the life she could have had. But is it the life she should have had? When Ritzy's old life catches up with her new one, she has some decisions to make. Can she plan for the worst, but still hope for the best?

30 review for Better Than the Best Plan

  1. 4 out of 5

    emma

    Here's the thing. I said I was going to review this book when I had more feelings on it, but the issue is that I don't feel anything about this at all. This was a totally meh read for me. In all sincerity, I have nothing else to say. That's the review. -------- this is a book that i read. the above comprises just about all of the feelings i have on this at the moment, so...review to come when i have more of them? 2 stars -------- this book looks like summer incarnate so i am of course obligated to read Here's the thing. I said I was going to review this book when I had more feelings on it, but the issue is that I don't feel anything about this at all. This was a totally meh read for me. In all sincerity, I have nothing else to say. That's the review. -------- this is a book that i read. the above comprises just about all of the feelings i have on this at the moment, so...review to come when i have more of them? 2 stars -------- this book looks like summer incarnate so i am of course obligated to read it immediately (thanks to FSG for the ARC)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    DNF. At 150 pages in, I realized I just didn't feel anything for the story or characters. I really wanted to see this angle on foster care discussed, but the emotion wasn't there on the page. Sorry, book. I'm moving on.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Possibly my new favorite from Lauren Morrill (I'll have to reread My Unscripted Life to be sure) this book was really good! I really liked Ritzy and I loved Kris. I can tell that I'm officially in Momland now because I saw everything from Kris's point of view so much clearer! Lol! This book was really enjoyable and felt like I should have been reading it while at the beach!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Adding this one to my extremely exclusive "Almost Like a Sarah Dessen Book" list...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Caro Herrera

    As a social worker who is used to books that portray social workers as total incompetent idiots who are too burnt out to care anymore, with whom kids never actually feel comfortable, and with no fashion sense to boot, I just want to take a minute to say thank you to the author for including a competent, well-dressed, put-together social worker who forms an actual bond with the main character in this book. Also, this book was a fast read, and it was very sweet, cute, and endearing. There are a cou As a social worker who is used to books that portray social workers as total incompetent idiots who are too burnt out to care anymore, with whom kids never actually feel comfortable, and with no fashion sense to boot, I just want to take a minute to say thank you to the author for including a competent, well-dressed, put-together social worker who forms an actual bond with the main character in this book. Also, this book was a fast read, and it was very sweet, cute, and endearing. There are a couple relationship things I would have liked to see get hashed out a bit more because maybe they felt a little bit too easy (i.e., Lainey) but for the most part I really enjoyed this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Trudi

    Ritzy is abandoned by her mom at the age of 17 and she is placed in a well-off foster home until she is legally allowed to be on her own. Her foster parents have rules and expectations that she never had to deal with when living with her mom. And then she meets a boy who plays tennis and fights with his dad. Super sweet read all about family, friends, and what's it like to live on "both sides of the tracks".

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    3.5 stars Summer read? Yes and it's a super quick, happy one at that. Love & romance? Just a wee little bit, more of a budding romance type of story. It's really the best part of the story. Depth? It tried but then it fell apart at the end when one main character had a personality-lobotomy that I personally feel can't happen in real life (personal experience). Me thinks the author should have stuck the course with her story and not gone the direction she ended up going with the story. I was re 3.5 stars Summer read? Yes and it's a super quick, happy one at that. Love & romance? Just a wee little bit, more of a budding romance type of story. It's really the best part of the story. Depth? It tried but then it fell apart at the end when one main character had a personality-lobotomy that I personally feel can't happen in real life (personal experience). Me thinks the author should have stuck the course with her story and not gone the direction she ended up going with the story. I was reading the ARC so hopefully this got fixed in the final copy. Crossing my fingers on that one! Overall, a good beachy, summer YA read. Just nothing earth-shattering, ya know?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    it was just overall such a BLAND book. I was only reading to get more juice/tea of the main oc's perspective and seeing the male oc's problems. his problems had been done before so many times i snored. full review to come.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    This is a perfect YA summer read. If you're a Sarah Dessen fan, PICK THIS ONE UP!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Erin Colvin

    This was really interesting- entering a foster home at age 17. Was a good book about family and relationships. Teens will enjoy this sweet book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    Ritzy is used to her mother's flaky demeanor and plans; so when she takes off to Mexico one morning Ritzy isn't all that surprised. When her mother is still MIA two weeks later, Ritzy begins to worry and then she really, really starts to worry when a social worker comes to place her in foster care. But foster care is something Ritzy wasn't at all expecting, especially when her foster mother is someone who has already cared for her. As she settles into this new life, Ritzy begins to relax and pre Ritzy is used to her mother's flaky demeanor and plans; so when she takes off to Mexico one morning Ritzy isn't all that surprised. When her mother is still MIA two weeks later, Ritzy begins to worry and then she really, really starts to worry when a social worker comes to place her in foster care. But foster care is something Ritzy wasn't at all expecting, especially when her foster mother is someone who has already cared for her. As she settles into this new life, Ritzy begins to relax and pretty soon she meets Spencer, the boy next door that has problems of his own. When Ritzy's mother re-enters the picture after months of no contact Ritzy doesn't know what to do; she has fallen for Kristen and Pete but she still loves her mother. This book was a slow burn for me, but when I fell I fell hard. I loved how Morrill wrote about family; how family is sometimes blood, sometimes friends but family always, always puts what is best for you first. Thanks to MacMillan for the ARC!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan for the E-arc copy of this novel. I found myself loving this book the more pages I read. It is at the heart about family and the choices they and we make for ourselves as we grown up. Ritzy learns first hand that what we choose and how we deal with those choices will influence us going forward into our future. We love our family, Ritzy's birth mom, but that doesn't mean they make the best life for us. I love this book for teens who have the maturity to underst Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan for the E-arc copy of this novel. I found myself loving this book the more pages I read. It is at the heart about family and the choices they and we make for ourselves as we grown up. Ritzy learns first hand that what we choose and how we deal with those choices will influence us going forward into our future. We love our family, Ritzy's birth mom, but that doesn't mean they make the best life for us. I love this book for teens who have the maturity to understand that family is more than blood. Families can be what you make them. A group of individuals who care for your emotional and physical well being without having to be ask or made to care about you.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland

    Better Than the Best Plan hooked me from the first pages. The characters fit into standard tropes. I never felt like I got to know them beyond a superficial level. Nevertheless, the protagonists are likable. Maritza is nice girl who enjoys to read, has a crush on a cute boy, and thinks carefully about her future. She’s mature for her age, having had to take on so many responsibilities at home. And she enjoys a good book. I loved seeing Martiza’s relationships with her foster parents and Spencer, Better Than the Best Plan hooked me from the first pages. The characters fit into standard tropes. I never felt like I got to know them beyond a superficial level. Nevertheless, the protagonists are likable. Maritza is nice girl who enjoys to read, has a crush on a cute boy, and thinks carefully about her future. She’s mature for her age, having had to take on so many responsibilities at home. And she enjoys a good book. I loved seeing Martiza’s relationships with her foster parents and Spencer, the cute boy next door, blossom. Seeing her learn what it means for a parental figure to provide security and stability, even if it means placing boundaries on her freedom. And seeing her learn that the wealthy don’t all coast through life; the teens work during the summer too, if at nicer establishments, and experience conflicts with parental figures. If any character breaks the tropes, it’s Spencer. Spencer initially comes off an the arrogant rich boy, but he’s actually not the troubled jerk hiding a nice heart. He’s a genuinely kind person, albeit with some issues of his own, who thinks about others and, like Maritza, is carefully considering his future. I especially love his relationship with his rowdy younger brother. Ryan was born with a gestational amputation and is missing one of his forearms, but he’s super hyperactive and finds ways to work around his disability. Spencer is an advocate for treating his younger brother normally, and he demonstrates this by example. He’s also fixing up a car and enjoys playing tennis competitively, though he doesn’t plan to go pro. The book progresses quickly from scene to scene, never lingering long on any one character, activity, or setting. This causes some discontinuity in the story. For example, Maritza is roped into creating a children’s program for a July 4th celebration. After she accepts the role, the next time the program comes up is on the day of the performance. Still, enough is given that I understood where the story was going, and the end didn’t come as a surprise, though it felt rushed. Pretty much everything wraps up in the last few chapters, some a little too neatly and some given to us without showing us the process. Although the problems and central conflicts of the novel resolve rather quickly and neatly, Better than the Best Plan is an enjoyable, heartwarming story about the importance of communication in relationships, finding first love and new love, and opening oneself to new beginnings. As it takes place during summer vacation and features some beach scenes (set in Florida, by the way), it’s perfect for a summer read. INITIAL THOUGHTS Hooked me in from the beginning. I did feel like I'd only just plashed into the characters' lives. The ending felt rushed, but it is conclusive. I enjoyed my stay with this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lana

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was an easy read for me. I read it in two days. I kept waiting for the moment she really connected with her foster parents but I didn't feel it. From the blurb I was under the impression she actually connected to Kris and Pete but it never happened. I liked this book but it was also a huge let down. Most of the time good foster parents aren't represented in books and this had a very good example of good foster parents. Matriza was almost always out with her old friends, new friends, he This book was an easy read for me. I read it in two days. I kept waiting for the moment she really connected with her foster parents but I didn't feel it. From the blurb I was under the impression she actually connected to Kris and Pete but it never happened. I liked this book but it was also a huge let down. Most of the time good foster parents aren't represented in books and this had a very good example of good foster parents. Matriza was almost always out with her old friends, new friends, her job always out, and she avoided talking to Kris at almost every turn. Most people would probably find this a boring read. I honestly felt like nothing happened. Just a teenage girl going out and having fun with some inner turmoil. I called the romance between Ali, ritzys crush, and Lainey, matriza's bff. That was predictable from the first time you see them all 3 together. Spence and Matriza were pretty nice to see. I thought they were cute and it's like one of the few things I actually liked about the book. I hated the ending. I get why she chose to stay with Kris and Pete but still have a connection with her mom, but her mom didn't seem sorry at all about the situation. I felt like she would have just done the classes and requirments to get her back but still be flaky and probably eventually leave her again. I am glad she is giving her foster parents another chance but like I said I saw no connection which was disappointing. There were only a few moments were she somewhat let them in, but even that was really small. Overall I don't recommend, but if you want to read it it's not that bad and its a cuteish little read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Layla Smith

    A very enjoyable summer read! I very much liked the characters of Ritzy, Kat, and Spencer, but most of all I loved Ryan. Spencer's younger brother was definitely the scene stealer whenever he was around. I liked how the story progressed and showed that while change it is hard, it can be a good thing. The growth that Ritzy makes in a short time was good, and it was nice to she see her going from the responsible one in the guardian-child relationship, to learning how to be an everyday teen.

  16. 5 out of 5

    lauren

    this was the first of Lauren Morrill's books that i've read and i loved it. i don't read a ton of YA and wasn't sure what to expect, but Ritzy is a smart, relatable character who i would like to know in real life. though this book touched on some serious topics, it was a very fun read and i raced through it. it was a perfect little gem for summer :)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Cute, light read with some heavy topics thrown in.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    This was such a fun summer read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Perfect for summer and lounging at the pool or the beach, BETTER THAN THE BEST PLAN is my favorite Lauren Morrill book yet! This book hits all the marks of a classic YA summer rom-com while still telling a fresh story and giving you characters you enjoy spending time with (and don't feel like you've already read a million times).

  20. 4 out of 5

    Candice (Beachwood Schoolhouse)

    A quick summer beach read is how I would describe this. I love to sit by a pool during the summer and this was the perfect story to dive into poolside. Expecting a bit deeper on the foster care, child neglect I was surprised she sort of zips through that and concentrates more on Ritzy’s adjustment to living with her rich foster mom. I can see that appealing to those teenage readers wanting more of fun storyline and less thought provoking or triggering. I really had fun reading this and zoomed th A quick summer beach read is how I would describe this. I love to sit by a pool during the summer and this was the perfect story to dive into poolside. Expecting a bit deeper on the foster care, child neglect I was surprised she sort of zips through that and concentrates more on Ritzy’s adjustment to living with her rich foster mom. I can see that appealing to those teenage readers wanting more of fun storyline and less thought provoking or triggering. I really had fun reading this and zoomed through it way to quick. I loved all the characters and I liked how it wasn’t really focused on the romance bit. It was present for a lot of it but it didn’t feel overbearing and all in composing like most contemporary YA. review : https://beachwoodschoolhouse.com/bett...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I won this book on Good Reads giveaway! I loved it! Perfect for your summer reading list!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Perfect summer beach book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    caitlin

    I liked the originality of this plot: girl discovers she was once a foster child when she’s 17 and abandoned by her mother just before her senior year of high school and is sent to the former foster mom again. Sarah Dessen fans should take note of Lauren Morrill books, this especially.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sherry

    Normally I find Lauren Morrills’s books to be fluffy fun. The main characters have their dilemmas to deal with, but they usually are resolved without too much drama. With the addition of a bit of romance, her novels are entertainingly light reads. However, this one didn’t quite work for me. I think that in this case the main character’s problem was much too serious for the fluffy treatment. Ritzy is left alone when her perpetually flaky mother goes to a retreat in Mexico with no firm plans for he Normally I find Lauren Morrills’s books to be fluffy fun. The main characters have their dilemmas to deal with, but they usually are resolved without too much drama. With the addition of a bit of romance, her novels are entertainingly light reads. However, this one didn’t quite work for me. I think that in this case the main character’s problem was much too serious for the fluffy treatment. Ritzy is left alone when her perpetually flaky mother goes to a retreat in Mexico with no firm plans for her return. When the authorities figure out that she’s essentially been abandoned, they put Ritzy into foster care. So far, so good. But Ritzy’s foster home isn’t just nice, it’s practically perfect. She winds up living on an island in Florida where most of the inhabitants are wealthy. Ritzy gets a job in a country club, makes friends, and even falls for the cute (if somewhat troubled) boy next door. It’s just all so easy, and so far from what a lot of kids experience in foster care, that it made me uncomfortable. The resolution of the story is similarly low stakes. I won’t spoil the ending, but what winds up happening allows Ritzy to have her proverbial cake. Even the cute boy’s family troubles just kind of evaporate at the end. For me, this was just an OK read. I wanted more than I got. A copy of this book was provided through NetGalley for review; all opinions expressed are my own.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Aurora

    Don't let the description fool you. Yes, this is about a girl who ends up in foster care, but it is 100% a beach read sort of book. If that's what you're looking for, it's really good, but if you're expecting it to be deep and serious, you'll probably be disappointed. There were a number of inconsistencies I could nitpick. For example, early on in the book, Ritzy talks about how she grew up moving "every six months to a year" until high school, while her mother tries to find herself "on a commune Don't let the description fool you. Yes, this is about a girl who ends up in foster care, but it is 100% a beach read sort of book. If that's what you're looking for, it's really good, but if you're expecting it to be deep and serious, you'll probably be disappointed. There were a number of inconsistencies I could nitpick. For example, early on in the book, Ritzy talks about how she grew up moving "every six months to a year" until high school, while her mother tries to find herself "on a commune in Oregon or at a yoga center in Arizona." But throughout the book, she regularly talks about growing up in Florida, like she's never lived anywhere else. It's certainly possible she spent most of her time there, but it doesn't sound like it and it kept bugging me every time it came up. But honestly, it's just such a nice feel-good story. Nothing--not even the circumstances around Maritza ending up in foster care--is all that serious (I mean, it is of course, but it's basically as mild as possible), and (spoiler) the ending is as happy as you could hope for, all things considered. The presence of serious topics make the book feel more grounded, but the tone of the book itself is light enough to breeze straight through (I could've read it all in one sitting, but I started it the day I bought it and I always feel weird about finishing books less than 24 hours after getting them).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This, I think, is my favorite Lauren Morrill novel. She really hit it out of the park. It's also my first of hers that I've given five stars! (All of her previous have received four on Goodreads.) I loved the characters, and you could tell Morrill knew the subjects she was writing about well, with a social worker sister and husband who works at Mercer (where she also teaches a class). I really appreciated that Ritzy's story wasn't traumatic or super depressing like many foster care depictions can This, I think, is my favorite Lauren Morrill novel. She really hit it out of the park. It's also my first of hers that I've given five stars! (All of her previous have received four on Goodreads.) I loved the characters, and you could tell Morrill knew the subjects she was writing about well, with a social worker sister and husband who works at Mercer (where she also teaches a class). I really appreciated that Ritzy's story wasn't traumatic or super depressing like many foster care depictions can be. I'm definitely not saying that doesn't happen and that it isn't a serious issue, but I do like that we got to see this other side that's not as frequently portrayed. I really liked Spencer as a character too. He had a lot of depth you don't realize at first because he looks like your typical rich boy. But his conflicts with his father, his alternate future dreams and especially his little brother with one arm but double the energy make him such a compelling character. Spencer and Ritzy are so good together. Even the supporting characters don't act merely as filler or placeholders there to further the plot. I enjoyed Lainey, Ali and even Abbie, although I do wish we got a little more time with Abbie. Overall, I really enjoyed this one and think Morrill hit it out of the park. Can't wait to come back to this story and read it again and again!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I really liked the premise for this story, but it ended up disappointing me. I'm not sure why. Maybe I was just unhappy about how predictable things turned out to be after that promising start in which the protagonist, seventeen-year-old Maritza (Ritzy) Reed realizes that she's on her own as her always-unpredictable mother has decided to follow her bliss to Mexico. I figured that Ritzy would struggle a bit and either reach out to her best friend, Lainey, or end up in foster care. What actually h I really liked the premise for this story, but it ended up disappointing me. I'm not sure why. Maybe I was just unhappy about how predictable things turned out to be after that promising start in which the protagonist, seventeen-year-old Maritza (Ritzy) Reed realizes that she's on her own as her always-unpredictable mother has decided to follow her bliss to Mexico. I figured that Ritzy would struggle a bit and either reach out to her best friend, Lainey, or end up in foster care. What actually happens turns out to be great for her since she reconnects with someone from her past and finds love in a neighbor who is dealing with his own inner struggles. I was happy for her, but she just left all her emotional ties and past life behind a lot more easily than I would have expected her to. And the locals in this privileged part of Florida surely do accept her more swiftly than would happen in real life. In the end, despite some of the relationship dynamics and her inner struggles with her identity, this turned out to be a bit more frothy than I had expected. It's ideal as a summer beach read, though, if you like that sort of thing. Part of me kept wondering what all the drama was since she was one year away from being on her own anyway and never really expected her mother to help her with college expenses. In its own way, this is sort of a modern fairy tale.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I enjoyed this quickly read book a lot. It has a lot of heart. Maritza is a good kid, not a troublemaker or spoiled, with a good head on her shoulders when her flaky mom decides to take off to Mexico to become a life coach in what sounds like a pyramid scheme. Maritza is scooped up by Florida DCS and finds out she was in the system already and placed with a woman who took care of her when she was very young. Maritza goes to stay with her and her nice husband, who give her the care, supervision a I enjoyed this quickly read book a lot. It has a lot of heart. Maritza is a good kid, not a troublemaker or spoiled, with a good head on her shoulders when her flaky mom decides to take off to Mexico to become a life coach in what sounds like a pyramid scheme. Maritza is scooped up by Florida DCS and finds out she was in the system already and placed with a woman who took care of her when she was very young. Maritza goes to stay with her and her nice husband, who give her the care, supervision and limits that parents should have given her. The girl had never had rules or a curfew before. All reasonable things she's not used to having, perhaps she realizes it's nice for someone to care where she is and if she's safe. There's a love interest and a best friend. I loved the little brother too. Enjoyed the book. However what summer camp pays $18/hr???

  29. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    I think this is the first ya book I've read where I related 100% more to the adult (Kris) than the teen. If this book was from her POV I would have loved it. But instead, it was Maritza and I found it bland. Maritza was one dimensional. She didn't have a personality or anything that made her unique as a character beyond her situation with her mom. The love interest was just totally boring and I didn't buy their relationship one bit. There was a bunch of problematic plot thinks but it mostly just I think this is the first ya book I've read where I related 100% more to the adult (Kris) than the teen. If this book was from her POV I would have loved it. But instead, it was Maritza and I found it bland. Maritza was one dimensional. She didn't have a personality or anything that made her unique as a character beyond her situation with her mom. The love interest was just totally boring and I didn't buy their relationship one bit. There was a bunch of problematic plot thinks but it mostly just boils down to not be a BAD book, just not the book for me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Coming out June 25th, this is an adorable story about a girl who is always taking care of herself, finally letting herself getting cared for after she's forced into foster care months before her 18th birthday. Whisked from her scrounging thrift store life to that of boutiques and tennis court backyards, Ritzy starts to question who she is and what she really wants from life. This was a super cute and enjoyable read about first love, and trying to find your place in the universe.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.