How are we all today? I’m currently writing this while on a train back up to uni. We’ll, technically Uni doesn’t start back up until Monday but I have to go up for work. I’ve been wanting to buy this book since I read about it on Goodreads back at the start of June. However, I decided to wait a bit and try get the paperback instead of the hardback. Then Christmas came around and with no sight of the paperbacks release on the horizon I kindly asked my Mum to get it for me. It was the first thing I opened on Christmas Day and therefore it felt most fitting as my first read of the new year and my first review. Enjoy 🤗
Title: Technically, You Started It
Author: Lana Wood Johnson
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: 25th June 2019
Pages: 384 pages
When I Read It: January 2nd 2020
When a guy named Martin Nathaniel Munroe II texts you, it should be obvious who you’re talking to. Except there’s two of them (it’s a long story), and Haley thinks she’s talking to the one she doesn’t hate. A question about a class project rapidly evolves into an all-consuming conversation. Haley finds that Martin is actually willing to listen to her weird facts and unusual obsessions, and Martin feels like Haley is the first person to really see who he is. Haley and Martin might be too awkward to hang out in real life, but over text, they’re becoming addicted to each other. There’s just one problem: Haley doesn’t know who Martin is. And Martin doesn’t know that Haley doesn’t know. But they better figure it out fast before their meet-cute becomes an epic meet-disaster . . .
My Goodreads Review:
December 29, 2019 – page 84 21.88% “So far I love it! The style is very unique and I’m loving the fact it’s straight into the action, not a long build up. The characters all feel very fully fledged and I can’t wait to read more.”
December 31, 2019 – page 216 56.25% “It’s still great. It’s platoed a little and not much is happening really. You know it’s the other Martin and your just wanting her to know. But it’s not going to happen for a while yet. I can feel it.”
Final Review – January 2nd 2020 – This was such a sweet and unique read. I loved the fact it was written in the form of texts, it cut out a lot of unnecessary things and kept it you on the edge of your seat with every page. I loved Haley as a character, she was so apologetic and shy and nerdy. I related so much, and to see her develop as the book went on was amazing! The premise of it was so interesting and gripping. It was heartwarming and uplifting; the perfect book to start of 2020. Page 349 had me awwing. Overall, relatable, humorous and utterly enthralling. I think this might be a new favourite.
Characters: I loved the characters, especially Haley. As I mentioned above, I loved that she was nerdy and apologetic and smart and then you see her flourish throughout the plot into someone who is still all of those things but also realises her self worth and that she doesn’t have to put up with nonsense. It doesn’t make her bold or confident per say, it just makes her not a push over. Obviously I love Martin too, he’s so sweet and you can feel the dilemma of his life sealing through the pages, but he’s not a drain sucking life from the book with a pity party. He makes the most of his bad situation and looks to the positive, which I love. While you hear of the other characters, you obviously don’t get as much of them as the story is only seen throught Martin and Haley’s text conversation.
Characters = 8/10
Humour: I loved the humour in this. It was the kind of humour that was only funny in the moment and between those who were there. It was situational and not funny for funnies sake but almost in a laughing at the characters kind of way. It was just brilliant. Had me laughing out loud multiple times.
Humour = 8/10
Atmosphere: You don’t really get much sense of atmosphere with the book because it’s all in text. No description of surroundings, or even characters appearances. Which I mentioned liking because it leaves it up to your imagination and cuts straight to the important character development and plot furthering points. While I liked this I have to mark it down because it technically didn’t really have any.
Atmosphere = 5/10
Writing Style: This is what first attracted me to this book. It’s not written in normal first, or second or third person prose. Oh no! This book is written in the form of text messages, which leads to having quite a narrow view of the events that unfold and this is what made the writing stand out so much for me. Not only was the text format interesting and unique, but it meant that the writing had to be that much more technically exocuted and well thought-out because you had to be caught up on real life events without it seeming like that’s what the point of the conversation was. It was brilliantly achieved and made the book so much more emersive. It made everything feel far more personal and create a better dynamic between the reader and the characters. Plus, you didn’t get all the over fancy description. You were always plunged straight into action or character development or plot. Everything was written for a purpose and it made me enjoy the novel so much more!
Writing Style = 10/10
Plot: In general I liked the plot a lot. The blurb made it seem very gripping and while the actual sorry was less so it didn’t diminish my enjoyment any. It wasn’t the most adventurous or unheard of romance plot but it didn’t matter because of the uniqueness of the writing format, the humour and the adorable characters.
Plot = 7/10
Intrigue: As amazing as this novel was, it did lack intrigue. I wasn’t hovering on my seat the whole way through waiting for the other shoe to drop. Mainly because you find out pretty early on what that shoe is and therefore it leaves you not as gripped about it unfurling and derailing the plot as you might expect.
Intrigue = 6/10
Logic: the only logic flaw I had was that Haley didn’t notice things earlier. This is a common issue in YA romances, but it’s part of their charm as a genre. other than that, everything done by the characters was surprisingly accurate and believable for teenagers.
Logic = 7/10
Enjoyment: If you can’t already tell, I loved this book. I thought it was really great. So sweet and motivational. Pretty amazing as a first read for the year, really motivated me to be like Haley and get rid of the bad elements in my life and make room for the great things.
Enjoyment = 9/10
Relationships: This won’t be a long section because I’ve said it a lot already…but I loved the romance. I felt it was very believable and accurate to how relationships are formed in high school and how outer forces battle against the couple. It was a incredible slow build, the furthest from insta love I think I’ve ever read and it was amazing! So cute, so sweet, not perfect but perfect in spite of that.
Relationships = 9/10
Overall Score = 77/90 or 8.5/10
Star Rating = ⭐⭐⭐⭐
That’s the end of the review, no spoilers below. If you give it a try or have read it, tell me your opinions below or tell me on twitter cause I want to know what you think. I loved this and I can’t wait to read more by Lana Wood Johnson! Anyway, see you tomorrow!