I would like to first thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for this ARC. Since this book is an advanced copy, I’m limited in what I’m allowed to share and cannot share direct quotes from the book. You may purchase this book wherever books are sold on June 1st, 2021.
Author: Christine Riccio
Release Date: June 1st, 2021
Page count: 448
Genres: Young Adult Fiction
Themes: Second chances, mental illness, and divorce.
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆
A loose retelling of The Parent Trap about two sisters who were separated from a nasty divorce. After both being hit negatively in their careers, they attend a camp where they rediscover themselves and ultimately meet up again. A book about second chances, sisterhood, and divorce.
Synopsis by the publisher
Jamie’s an aspiring standup comic in Los Angeles with a growing case of stage anxiety.
Siri’s a stunning ballerina from New Jersey nursing a career-changing injury.
They’ve both signed up for the same session at an off the grid Re-Discover Yourself Retreat in Colorado. When they run into each other, their worlds turn upside down.
Jamie and Siri are sisters, torn apart at a young age by their parent’s volatile divorce. They’ve grown up living completely separate lives: Jamie with their Dad and Siri with their Mom. Now, reunited after over a decade apart, they hatch a plot to switch places. It’s time they get to know and confront each of their estranged parents.
With an accidental assist from some fortuitous magic, Jamie arrives in New Jersey, looking to all the world like Siri, and Siri steps off her flight sporting a Jamie glamour.
The sisters unexpectedly find themselves stuck living in each other’s shoes. Soon Siri’s crushing on Jamie’s best friend Dawn. Jamie’s falling for the handsome New Yorker she keeps running into, Zarar. Alongside a parade of hijinks and budding romance, both girls work to navigate their broken family life and the stresses of impending adulthood.
I really wanted to enjoy this book, but I didn’t at all. And it really sucks because I’m a HUGE fan of Christine. I’ve been watching her on YouTube for 10 years, and it pains my heart to write this review, but I must be honest. This book was not that good.
The characters were interesting and quirky, but after a while I just lost taste and wanted to give up. I found them annoying after a while, and I found myself enjoying to read more about the secondary characters than the main characters.
The plot was too dramatic. There were so many events in the book that took it too far for my taste. The events in the book were just took dramatic that there is no way that this could be realistic. And some really interesting, but I had to stop and think, COME ON, could this REALLY happen?
The constant change of Point of View confused me a bit. It’s really rough when writers have two point of views because to achieve this, the writing has to be distinct. Maybe it was just me, but I had to stop and go back in the book to remind myself which sister point of view it was.
For a book that is marketing itself as a retelling of The Parent Trap, the plot is really similar and very different to The Parent Trap. It was hard to distinguish if this was a retelling or a loose retelling of The Parent Trap. There were too many details that could sway both ways.
Do I recommend this book?
If you are into plot lines that are really dramatic and extra, yes! But other than that, no. It hurts to say this because I’m a hard core fan of Christine, but this book doesn’t stand out in Young Adult Fiction.
Also keep in mind that this is an early copy of the book. Things can change. But until then, this is my opinion.
Will I read more books by this author?
YES! Despite the issues that I’ve had with this book, I really enjoyed Christine’s writing style. From the other reviews that I’ve read, this is a huge growth from her past book.
5 thoughts on “YA’s Most Anticipated Summer Novel, Better Together: I Wish I Liked This One | Book Review”
Thank you for being so honest with your review despite loving Christine. It’s so disappointing when you love an author but you’re disappointed by one of the their books but I agree it definitely shouldn’t put you off the others!
Oh yeah for sure! I just couldn’t lie. I had to be honest.
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Oh no. We’re about to start Better Together. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it.
Yeah 😔 But I hope you enjoy Better Together! I wanna read that book sometime this year to get a feel for Christine’s writing. I love the concepts in her books, but I’m not sure how I feel about the execution on those books.