RELEASE DATE: March 27th 2018
AUTHOR: Mary H.K. Choi
GENRE: Young-Adult, Contemporary, Romance.
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.
Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.
When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.
I really wanted to love this book, I really did but sadly I couldn’t connect to the story, and the characters. I also struggled with the writing style of the author. I honestly regret picking it up after finishing three fourth of the book but I never DNF a book so I had to push myself till the end. This book reminded a bit of Eleanor and Park which I really loved but this one failed to captivate me. I loved the diversity in the book but the plot seemed lacking to me.
I didn’t liked Penny Lee’s character. She is very judgmental and slut shams her own mother. She calls her Mom MILF. Some of her actions seemed a bit selfish. After halfway through the book, I found her character annoying but I did felt bad for her when she finally revealed her dark secret. On the other hand, I enjoyed Sam’s character even though I couldn’t connect with him. He’s living a pretty tough life and his struggle for the money and everything felt realistic. He loves baking which is one of the things I liked about him. The textual friendship between Penny and Sam was kinda cute but as for the romance part, I didn’t feel any chemistry between them. I loved Penny’s roommate Jude. She’s the only decent character in this book. She’s so sweet and adorable. Penny’s mom is definitely not a great mother figure but she does care for her daughter’s well being in her own way.
This book deals with some heavy topics but the pacing was too slow for my taste. Despite the cute concept, I found myself getting bored. And moreover, I struggled with the writing throughout. The story failed to hold my interest. The ex-girlfriend drama just pissed me off. I skimmed some pages in the second half because I wanted to quickly finish it. The book was told in third person dual POV’s switching between Sam and Penny. I wish the author focused more on Sam’s family too. Overall, it was an okay read, but left me feeling like meh.
Although this book didn’t work out for me, I do recommend you guys to give it a shot if you want to read it because majority of the readers had loved this book. If you’re looking for a cute and fluffy romance read then steer away from it.