“Smart and funny, with characters so real and vulnerable, you want to send them care packages. I loved this book.” —Rainbow Rowell

From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory—perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

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.
March 27, 2018  |  400 pages
(Read from Jul 16, 2018 to Jul 20, 2018)
Grade: B–    (switch to numeric scale)
L/E Ratio: 100% Entertainment, 0% Literature
Tags:
Writing Quality:
Low High
Originality:
Low High

Addictiveness:
Low High
Movie Potential:
Low High

Re-readability:
Low High
Sequel Potential:
Low High
Comment:
I wanted this book to be better than it was. It had such potential - Sam is an interesting character, Penny's dialogue was well done, and the friendship development was solid. But Penny's characterization was all over the place - her internal dialogue seemed way too young for her age and her relationship with her mom was hard to relate to. Also there are a lot of storylines that are set up and then don't go anywhere. Parts of this were cute but it was on the whole disjointed and disappointing.  (+2 votes)