I was granted audio ARC access to Better Together via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
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About the Book
by Christine Riccio
Published 1 June 2021
Genre: YA Contemporary
Page Count: 448
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Jamie’s an aspiring standup comic in Los Angeles with a growing case of stage anxiety.
Siri’s a stunning ballerina from New Jersey nursing a career-changing injury.
They’ve both signed up for the same session at an off the grid Re-Discover Yourself Retreat in Colorado. When they run into each other, their worlds turn upside down.
Jamie and Siri are sisters, torn apart at a young age by their parent’s volatile divorce. They’ve grown up living completely separate lives: Jamie with their Dad and Siri with their Mom. Now, reunited after over a decade apart, they hatch a plot to switch places. It’s time they get to know and confront each of their estranged parents.
With an accidental assist from some fortuitous magic, Jamie arrives in New Jersey, looking to all the world like Siri, and Siri steps off her flight sporting a Jamie glamour.
The sisters unexpectedly find themselves stuck living in each other’s shoes. Soon Siri’s crushing on Jamie’s best friend Dawn. Jamie’s falling for the handsome New Yorker she keeps running into, Zarar. Alongside a parade of hijinks and budding romance, both girls work to navigate their broken family life and the stresses of impending adulthood.
Freaky Friday meets The Parent Trap in New York Times bestselling author Christine Riccio’s Better Together, a sparkling and heartfelt story about sisters, second chances, finding romance, and finding yourself.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Consider liking my review on Goodreads.
Better Together is Freaky Friday meets The Parent Trap, but LGBTQIA+ friendly and set in the current century. Siri grew up with her mother, utterly dedicated to ballet and dreaming of joining her mother on stage someday, but a career-ending back injury has her searching for a new dream. Jamie grew up with her father and, after yet another disastrous attempt to deliver her full 10-minute stand-up set left her wondering if this is really what she’s cut out to do, she finally gives in to her grandma’s suggestion that she attend a retreat to find herself. Queue the two sisters quite literally running into one another in a camp bathroom nearly 13 years after the last time they saw one another. As they plan to swap places and confront their parents, glitter magic takes hold and the pair swap appearances far more successfully than either intended.
Honestly, I’m shocked to see so many 1 and 2 star ratings on this book attached to reviews that complain about the writing. Is it perfect? No. Is it distractingly bad? Also no. I love the inspiration materials, so perhaps I’m biased, but I really enjoyed this book and I love the updates. This was fun, light, and quick to get through, and basically just everything I’m looking for in a weekend read.
My one major complaint is that the quirky A Song of Ice and Fire references (especially without anyone calling it A Song of Ice and Fire despite the adults proudly being fans before it was popular) are too much. The girls have taken on Aria’s nameless street rat catchphrase “A girl ___” and made it their own identities, and it got old.
I also both love and hate the twist of who’s behind the glitter magic. I love who it was, but I’m utterly confused about how, and I don’t like that.
If you loved Freaky Friday and/or The Parent Trap, give this a try!
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