“FOR PENNY LEE high school was a total movement. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she’d somehow landed a boyfriend, they never managed to know much about each other. Now Penny is heading 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 cafe 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 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, its less meet-cute and more 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, you know, see each other.”
This book was one hell of a disappointment.
Usually when I pick up a book that many of the large booktubers on YouTube were doing paid=promotion videos for, I have good experiences. I hadn’t had one bad experience.
Starting off with the characters, I had mixed feelings about Penny and Sam. In some ways, I could connect with the both of them. As in the case of Penny, I also want to eventually become a writer. And with Sam, who clearly was experiencing some form of depression and anxiety, I have dealt with those feelings myself (especially these past few months). Although those are some traits that I felt myself connecting to, I found both of them extremely annoying. Penny just seemed like the manic-pixie-dream-girl character so prevalent in both YA and New Adult contemporary fiction these days. And with Sam, it felt like he wasn’t taking anything seriously. These were just not the characters for me. I’m glad to see some representation as Penny is half-Korean but again, these characters just didn’t work.
As far as the romance aspects, I’m glad that there really wasn’t one and that the author decided to make the bond between Sam and Penny more of a friendship. I felt that if they had been in a romantic relationship, it would have had some sort of problems with it that would have driven me nuts. The friendship aspects just made sense for this book.
Finally, diving into the plot. There really wasn’t one and if there was one, there was way too many things go on at once. The communication between Sam and Penny just seemed to sparatic. It was very info-dumpy. There was just things going on that didn’t need to be there.
Overall, this was just so disappointing. I’ll give a lot of credit to the author as it is their debut novel but it did not work for me. I think I will check out some other future works by this author, I just really wish that this book had been more of a pleasurable experience to read than it was.