I swear this was a difficult review to write, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Maybe because a part of me just wanted to continue savouring this book, and keep it to myself, like a comforting mug of hot cocoa on a cozy winter night. Hands down one of my favourite reads this year. I devoured it in a couple of days and then immediately wanted to read it again. I think I was smiling throughout as if in the middle of a flirty text exchange with someone
The writing was smart, witty and so entertaining. The book is about January and Gus, two established authors who were college rivals with very different writing styles. January’s forte is romantic fiction whereas Gus’s is literary fiction. They both find themselves living in neighbouring beach houses suffering from a writer’s block so they decide to challenge each other into writing for the other’s genre in an attempt to snap out of it.
Don’t be fooled by the cover and the name. You go in expecting an easy lighthearted summer read but find so much more. It is a beautifully written, emotionally deft novel dealing with some heavy topics like abandonment, fidelity and loss in a warm and compassionate manner. The chemistry between the two protagonists was absolutely crackling, the premise so charming and the banter between them was everything, witty, snarky but also tender. I simply love the friendship that January and Gus start to develop and to watch it grow into something so meaningful for both of them was an absolute pleasure. It is the kind of connection everyone wants. The witty repartee, the slow burn romance and the tongue in cheek self deprecating humour plus the pacing of the book is all absolutely on point.
It was amazing to read about the writing process too, all the researching and world-building, the intense writing marathons and setting word count targets. I feel like I really needed to read this book right now. It made me feel less lonely and extremely hopeful. I would recommend this book to everyone. It will leave you smiling more than usual, this I promise you.