This was my first ever Kasie West book, and I picked it up when I was in probably my worst reading slump all year. I have to give Kasie kudos for the fact that I read the entire thing in one sitting and it managed to pull me out of my slump! It was a really cute, fast, and fun read, which is all I expected when I went into it, honestly.
→ what i liked ←
• Abby’s family is pretty precious. We see some surprising anxiety and agoraphobia rep in her mother, but the star of this book for me was her grandpa, who is kind, witty, and absolutely hilarious.
• Despite being pretty clueless as the best friend/unrequited love stereotype, Cooper is an enjoyable enough love interest. He’s flawed for sure, but I mostly really liked his banter with Abby, and there were some tender moments that bordered on turning me into a pile of goo (like when he’s sick, and wants only Abby to take care of him – precious).
• I’m such a sucker for the best-friends-turned-lovers trope, and I always have been. While this isn’t the best portrayal of that trope I’ve seen, it was a pretty damn good one, and I appreciated that it wasn’t as happy and cutesy as they are in a lot of fluffy contemporary titles.
• The entire focus of the book isn’t just on Cooper; a surprising portion of the story focuses on Abby’s art, or even her blossoming friendships with other people, which was nice and added some three-dimensionality to the story.
→ what i didn’t like ←
• Cooper’s cluelessness borders on being a jerk from time to time, and when coupled with his arrogance, it was a little frustrating.
• Abby is honestly a pretty mediocre narrator; I never felt like I was particularly rooting for her (just the romance itself), and I wasn’t always fond of how she treated other characters.
• The ending felt very rushed and way too tidy; the way things unraveled should’ve lent to a slightly less “no loose ends” HEA, in my opinion. I feel like the book could’ve been improved dramatically by a certain event happening a few chapters earlier.
• ***SPOILER:*** Like I said, I love the best-friends-turned-lovers trope, but I hated how convenient it felt that Cooper had no idea he loved her until she gave him the silent treatment. It made the entire HEA feel super unrealistic and I kept thinking to myself that, if he took her for granted so long and couldn’t even give a good reason for recognizing his feelings, beyond just “I missed you”? Boiiiiii that is not gonna last long, lemme tell ya. ***END SPOILER***
→ final thoughts ←
Was this book mind-blowing? Definitely not. It’s honestly more of a 3.5 for me, but I felt like it was fair to round up to 4. That said, would I pick up another book by Kasie West? I can’t say I’d rush to the store to grab all of her titles, but if I was in another slump and needed a cute, fluffy contemporary to pull me out of it, yes, I would definitely reach for another Kasie West book.
Thank you to HarperTeen for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review!