Hello everyone! Today I’m bringing you a review for a book that comes out this upcoming Tuesday, June 1st. This book tells the story of two estranged sisters who find each other at a retreat and decide to switch places to confront their parents about why they were separated as kids.
This review will be unspoilery so feel free to read it to help you understand the story and get excited for it!
This book was an ARC given to me from the publisher and author through NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you for this opportunity, and know that all thoughts are my own and do not reflect the author or publisher in any way.
Title: Better Together
Author: Christine Riccio
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: June 1, 2021
Siri is a professional dancer who recently injured her back and learned she cannot dance again, and Jamie is a wannabe stand-up comedian. The two sisters were separated at birth when their dad moved to California with Jamie and left Siri in New Jersey with her mom. The two sisters have had no contact since then.
That is until they run into each other, quite literally, at a retreat in Colorado. After much yelling and debating, the girls decide to switch places and confront their parents about their history. With the help of some accidental magic, Siri and Jamie embark on their journeys of self- discovery in hopes of finding the family they lost.
So that book was pretty good! When I started the book, I really wanted to like it. But I actually kind of disliked the beginning. The characters were just so hard to like and understand at first and the Parent Trap Confrontation plot was a little insane sounding- especially with the magic.
That being said, Siri and Jamie grew so much throughout this book and I loved that which meant that the story really picked up for me after the first like 80 pages and after I suspended my disbelief over the magic. Also this book is targeted for New Adult, so readers in their early 20s, and the writing style is super conversational and more YA feeling.
Siri was such a fascinating main character! She is dramatic, upset, and angsty when we meet her, and I loved seeing her find happiness and a purpose. I felt so bad for all her back pain and being forced to quit ballet, but I am proud of her growth and all her cooking was amazing! I feel like Siri was pretty annoying at the beginning of the book which felt unnecessary to me, but I did appreciate watching her grow throughout the book.
Jamie is so fearful of relationships and emotions. It was fascinating to see how Jamie’s assertive, emotionless approach to things contrasted with Siri’s instability. Jamie was so full of life at the beginning of the book, but it almost seemed fake and superficial. As the story proceeded, it was wonderful to see Jamie begin to let people in and consider her own emotions. She came so far throughout the book, and in her stand up routine, and I am proud of her for admitting her pain and her desires.
Some of my favorite parts about this book were watching the girls struggle to form a relationship, seeing them challenge themselves to stand up for themselves, the positive discussions about the importance of mental health, the quirky conversations, and the food. This book wonderfully discussed using therapy and open discussion to improve ones emotional health and in turn their outlook on life and relationships with others. Also, even though there wasn’t a ton of food in this book, there was enough that I was constantly getting hungry!
Some of my least favorite parts of this book were how awful their parents are, all the deception, and the unexplained magic. It took a lot for me to consider the parent’s perspectives and motives because I think they were just horrible people who totally screwed up their daughters’ lives. That being said, I did love that this book shows Siri and Jamie confronting their parents about everything they have put them through and what they need from them in the future. Also, I couldn’t decide what to think about the magic in this book because it just feels too convenient at times, but it did add a layer to the book that made it enjoyable.
Overall, this was a really fun, quirky, exciting book. I began this book expecting it to be a typical, parent trap-like story, but it was so much more than that. There was so much sass, emotional growth, and drama in this book. Also the bit of magic was a lot of fun, and I think it added something special to the story- although I did think it was concluded weirdly at the end.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for an exciting story about finding family, growing emotionally, finding your purpose, and forgiving yourself and others.
Are you looking forward to reading this book? I would love to hear all your thoughts!
Be safe, Stay strong, and Change the world!! ❤️🏳️🌈✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏻✊🏼🏳️🌈❤️
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