Won this in a Goodreads giveaway – thanks!! This is releasing on July 16, 2019 if you decide you want a copy!
For people who want a quick read, for people who like alternative-medium books (ie something other than just written prose), and for anyone who’s ever had a friend you couldn’t live without but also maybe can’t stand sometimes
Gen & Ava have been best friends for a while, and even thousands of miles won’t keep them apart post-college. Gen signs on for a job at a tiny newspaper in a podunk Floridian town, while Ava hits New York to work on a well-known late-night tv show hoping to pitch some jokes for use. Through their texts and emails, Gen and Ava keep in touch as they each try to find some love (Ava with her boss, and Gen with a not-entirely-straight cowgirl), as well as professional success.
Even though I laughed a good deal, and the characters felt pretty realistic and at times even reflected things I’ve had friends say and do, for some reason I just didn’t totally connect with this. It’s possible that the medium it’s told through — emails and texts — both helped and hindered it. I love the format, because it’s informal and personal for the characters, but I also feel like the depth of emotion from each character wasn’t able to be fully explored since it was only in what they communicated to each other. Someone’s own thoughts versus what they’ll say to even their closest friend are infinitely more weighty. Since we didn’t get any first-person moments, or even third-person narrative moments, we’re kind of missing out on that. My sympathy for them was lukewarm, since they still felt a bit flat. Also I just didn’t like Gen very much: very impulsive, bitter, and heartless… she didn’t have much that made me consider her a decent friend.
That said, it’s worth a read! I hadn’t read the first one, and deliberately didn’t seek it out before this one out of curiosity of how my thoughts might be different than people already in the series. There were some references to things that happened in the past (probably in that first book), but they were very clear and I never felt like I was missing info on something important. This could easily be read as a standalone book, you just miss some of the development of their relationship initially.
The ending didn’t satisfy me, particularly that Dana was like two sentences in an afterword kind of thing. He deserved more. There also didn’t seem to be much of an actual climax. What I would pinpoint as those moments didn’t feel as weighty as they should for being the points the story should hinge around. I loved how stigma around STDs was addressed, and I’m hoping that this would be a way to help teens (and anyone!) start breaking down the issues around it.