When I posted my TBR last week, attentive readers may have noticed I was already on chapter 2 of the audiobook for You Say It First by Katie Cotugno. To a certain extent, it’s is a somewhat seasonal read. Meg is a buttoned-up high school senior from Philadelphia who works part time for a non-profit call center focused on reaching out to help get voters registered, regardless of party. On one of her phone calls she reaches Colby, a guy struggling through his post-graduation life and trying to keep it together in the face of a family tragedy. The two strike up a friendship that eventually leads to more, as you might expect from this type of book.

There were things I liked a lot about this book:

  • The characters are both flawed – for very different reasons.
  • I really did care about these characters. I cared about the minor characters – I wanted it to work out for Meg’s mom, and for Colby’s friends to be supportive of him. I wanted both Meg and Colby to figure out how to listen to each other.
  • The characters are very different from each other, and butt heads and unintentionally hurt each other. But that’s life, right? I like that it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, and that it was a somewhat realistic look at how difficult it is to go from “phone friends” to “real life friends,” and that sometimes the things you like best about someone can also be a force that may be strong enough to keep you apart.

But there were also some problems with this book, for me. For all the angst (and, y’know, as these books go at least some of this angst was justified) and plot development it felt like it ended too abruptly. And I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the resolution we were given.

I also really felt like neither of these two characters were capable of shutting up and really listening, even while I know that when you’re the one in the moment (as opposed to being the one reading the story) it can be really hard to keep your own emotions in check and silence the voices of your own demons.

Overall, for me, this was a book that had the potential to be really good and turned out to be pretty decent. It wasn’t the greatest book of it’s genre that I’ve ever read, but it certainly wasn’t terrible, either.

Have you read this one? If so, I’m interested to know what you thought about it. Let me know in the comments!

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