Review of Technically, You Started It

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Goodreads // Barnes & Noble // Amazon // Book Depository

Before we talk about the actual book, can we just take a moment to appreciate the cuteness of the title and the bright and beautiful cover? I mean, you can practically hear the sass in the title! Okay, now we can move forward with the review!

As you know if you’ve read our BookCon post, I was super excited to unexpectedly get a copy of Technically, You Started It a few weeks ago at BookCon! Which mean that I wasted no time in picking this book up to see whether it lived up to the hype I built up for it! And I’m very happy to say that it certainly did! It’s a cute story about a relationship that develops purely over text, between Haley and a boy in her class named Martin Nathaniel Munroe II.

To start with, this is my absolute favorite story told purely over texts that I have read! This is especially impressive, as I was expecting this book to be told in prose. Yet I ended up really happy with the unexpected format. Many times when I read a book that is told only through text messages, it can feel info-dumpy, since in real life people that know one another well don’t explain basic things about themselves, since their friends know these things already. The brilliance of Technically, You Started It, is that the characters don’tย really know one another. They don’t talk much in person. And so it makes sense that they’d have to provide basic information about themselves, which you as the reader need.

I also very much appreciated the interactions between the two main characters. Their relationship is really unique and you can see it grow throughout the book. I loved how Martin and Haley opened up to one another about so many things as their friendship grew. Haley’s anxiety was especially relatable to read about. I loved how you could see her anxiety come through whenever she thought she might have overshared and became anxious over what Martin might think of her. You got to see the two of them struggle with all the messy things going on in their lives, from their family to their friend groups to their sexuality. It’s definitely a slice of life story, which is great because that’s one of my favorite kind ofย stories!

However, despite really enjoying this book, there were 2 things that held me back from giving this a full 5 stars. The first is the fact that there were many references that I did not understand. While this didn’t take away from my understanding of the plot, it was frustrating to go through so many conversations a little clueless about what they were talking about. My second issue is more complex. I feel like the synopsis has a bit of a spoiler in it. But at the same time, I think I might have been a bit confused had the synopsis not spoiled me. If you read the full synopsis you’ll understand what I mean, but I chose not to be more specific for those that want to go in blind. Those were the only things that bothered me though! Everything else in this book was perfect to me!

To recap, I had such a wonderful time reading this book! I flew through this book in less than a day and I’d love to read Lana Wood Johnson’s next book! If you’re looking for a fast, adorable read this would definitely be at the top of my list of recommendations!

Goodreads // Barnes & Noble // Amazon // Book Depository

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Have you read this book? Do you want to read it? How do you feel about book with relationships formed over text or email?


25 thoughts on “Review of Technically, You Started It

  1. ooooh this sounds super good! I loved the way the texts were handled in that Cinderella retelling that was so popular (GAHHH what is it called?) and in Emergency Contact. So I think this is one of those books I never would have picked up had I not read your review Malka!! So thank you. Texts only will be fascinating to try. โค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review (: I look forward to reading this and I’m glad that the texts were well done in it! Having read the synopsis on Goodreads a while ago I’m also pretty sure that I know what the spoiler you mentioned is.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you ๐Ÿ˜€ I know what you mean, sometimes it’s best just to be vague about something just in case, although it can be frustrating if it’s one of the parts that you most want to discuss :L I’ve also felt like other books have given away too much in the blurb too when you get what should be a big twist a third of the way in but actually it was mentioned in the blurb.

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        1. Yes! Definitely! I think that might be an issue here. But I also understand why they mentioned it in the synopsis, because it was one of the factors that got me interested in the book. I just think it does feels slightly like a betrayal when it’s the publisher doing the spoiling though. I’d appreciate if they could just find a different way to market the book without giving everything away!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah I can understand that; it’s kind of a hard balance to get right I guess. And you’re right, it does feel a bit like a betrayal; it’s like a film trailer showing a twist within it (which sometimes they seem to do). I agree that they need to find a different way to market the book, I don’t really know how though as I haven’t read it yet. I’m sure there’s another way to draw readers in though.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you loved this, great review! I’m honestly not usually into books that are told in texts/emails/diary entries/anything besides prose?? but I’ve heard good things about this and after reading your review I think I’ll have to check this one out! โค

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  4. I haven’t read this book but I love the sound of it (again, uber envious that you went to BookCon!) I would love to read this as it sounds so good?!! I have a friend who met her current / ex (I honestly am so confused with all the tea in that relationship, I swear idk where they stand now) boyfriend online, and I went with her to meet him and he was all good, so I can understand how it can happen in books, too. I really enjoyed I Hate Everyone But You which is written in a similar prose, so I would love to be able to try this too! Great post!!
    -Emma ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. I know! Doesn’t it sound great? I saw it on a blog ONCE and immediately became obsessed with reading it! Wow. It seems like your friend could be a YA heroine! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’ve actually read I Hate Everyone But You! I do think I liked the plot of this book a bit better though.

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ’•

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful review! I enjoyed this one a lot as well. I thought the text format was really done well. I definitely loved how they didn’t do the info dumping as well because the author could have tried to make it more prose instead of real. I definitely think this worked out for the better. And I did have an issue with the spoilery part as well. I walked into the book knowing the basics so I wasn’t surprised by anything and knew the entire time. It was fun to looking for the little clues, but still not as fun as guessing the entire time. Great post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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