Yes & I Love You (Say Everything #1) by Roni Loren
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
TW: social anxiety, anxiety, suicidal thoughts (mentioned), traumatic childhood
CW: harry potter mentions
This is a leftover review from 2021 as I have not finished any reviews from books I’ve read this year.
I had no idea what to expect with this one. The only reason I picked it up was because I saw a few people talking about it on bookstagram and then saw it at my public library. So obviously I had to check it out.
Plot: Hollyn is a writer/review for a local New Orleans entertainment column where she reviews movies/shows/etc. She also has severe social anxiety. To try to help with that she rents an office space in a shared office space area (idk what these are called I’m not a professional). Thanks to her social anxiety, she is completely rude to the new coffee guy, Jasper, who happens to be super cute. After an accidental run in with Jasper at his improv show that goes off the rails, but also brings them together, they start to establish a friendship and maybe Jasper can even help Hollyn handle her social anxiety.
WHAT I LIKED
- I really liked the improv element! I don’t know much about improv, but it was a fun setting.
- The title!! (If you know improv you’ll get it).
- I’ve been to a few improv shows and the setting of the theater made me feel like I was right back there.
- It was overall, super cute and it engaged me right away.
- I planned on only reading a few chapters to see the vibe, but then I was completely sucked in.
- I loved seeing Hollyn warm up to Jasper, it takes a few chapters, but I loved seeing it.
- Their conversations which were great.
- I love me some awkward characters who start to feel comfortable with each other.
- I did like the anxiety rep! At times I was getting a bit anxious myself from everything on page, but I like seeing Hollyn do her best to handle it.
- She is “seeing” a virtual therapist and their chats are on the page which was cool.
- Seeing Hollyn and Andi become friends was super cute and I wish we got to see their girl’s night out!
- Andi’s book is next in the series and I already have it out from the library.
- I loved how honest and communicative Hollyn and Jasper were with each other. No miscommunication here (at least for more than a few chapters).
- Hollyn and her best friend both have Tourette’s and I did like seeing that on page and discussed because I have not seen that in a romance before.*
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE
- Honestly I really liked the first third and then it sort of lost me with some of the conflict.
- This happens to me in a lot of romance novels and it’s not my fave.
- A part of me felt like this book implied that Hollyn’s anxiety was “cured” or “fixed” because she got a boyfriend and did improv, which obviously these things can help and she was going to therapy, but I wish it had been a bit of a more nuanced transition from severe anxiety that is impacting her entire life to manageable anxiety because it seemed to get a lot “better” very quickly.
- There was a lot a plot point I wasn’t the biggest fan of. I’ll put it in white here if you want to spoil yourself (her best friend who is a man professes his love to Hollyn after seeing her with Jasper). It worked for the novel I guess but I did not need and I just hate this trope.
- Not to be like “I didn’t like all the sex” but it was a bit much for what I expected from this novel. Curse of the illustrated covers am I right? I thought this was going to be women’s fiction based on the cover.
Overall, I enjoyed this one and am excited to read the next book in this series.
*Note: I do not have experience with Tourette’s or ADHD so if I inadvertently misrepresent something please let me know and I will adjust. Also, I cannot comment on the validity of the representation*
Thanks for reading!