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’t 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 of 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!
Have you read this book? Do you want to read it? How do you feel about book with relationships formed over text or email?