There are two things that really makes this book original and special. The first thing is the writing style. Instead of just reading about what the characters do, Michael and Susan choose to write in letter style. As a reader you get to know the main characters through the letters they write to each other. In the beginning I didn’t like it. At all. I was confused about who was writing who and felt like there were gaps in the story. That was until I realized I really had to check the dates of the letters: sometimes time has passed between two letters and the Scott and Cath met in that time. You aren’t missing anything there, it’s just that you ONLY read what they are writing to each other, and nothing more. After a few chapters I started to adore the very thing that irritated me at the beginnen. The letters they send each other are funny, honest and sometimes a bit painful. But this really makes the story original and unable to put down.
The second thing you should really know about this book, is the time it is set in. And that is the 80’s. 1982 if I’m not mistaken. At the beginnen I was telling myself: they should just text each other to avoid further drama. And also: why is he calling her at her college paid phone? It took a while for me to realize that mobile phones didn’t exist yet and people hadn’t heard of the concept ‘texting’ yet. It was quite interesting to read bout their struggles (as letters starting crossing), and it made me realize how much I love whats app. It also made me value letters in another way. Besides the mobile phone thing, you also have the ‘music thing’. In the book, Cath and Scott talk about Micheal Jackson music. I. LOVE. IT. Cath is explaining to Scott that her roommate just loves the newly released Thriller and plays it all day long. These references make the story seem more real.
So the writing style is lovely and the world building is really realistic. But what about the plot line? I think they could’ve gotten it deeper and to a higher level if they had invested a little more in the characters. The plot line was pretty basic, and even though I really liked it, it wasn’t mind-blowing or original. It just went on and on (I kept reading tho, because of the lovely writing style). Some parts were pretty ‘exciting’ in a way, but I missed some action here and there.
The characters were fun. Cath become a real student over the course of the book and Scott finally started to realize that maybe he made a mistake and was now ruining his life. Kind of. They developed. But it still felt like something was missing. And I’m not sure what exactly that could’ve been.
Overall the book is a really nice read and I couldn’t put it down. I finished it in three (working) days and laughed a lot. I also teared up at certain parts of the story and was so happy to see that their friendship was strong enough to survive the most terrible things. I really recommend you to read the book: it’s funny, emotional, quick and original!
- lovely letters
- very funny and lots of humor
- references to music