You Say It First

You Say It First
Age Range
Release Date
June 16, 2020
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One conversation can change everything. Meg has her entire life set up perfectly: she and her best friend, Emily, plan to head to Cornell together in the fall, and she works at a voter registration call center in her Philadelphia suburb. But everything changes when one of those calls connects her to a stranger from small-town Ohio. Colby is stuck in a rut, reeling from a family tragedy and working a dead-end job. The last thing he has time for is some privileged rich girl preaching the sanctity of the political process. So he says the worst thing he can think of and hangs up. But things don’t end there.… That night on the phone winds up being the first in a series of candid, sometimes heated, always surprising conversations that lead to a long-distance friendship and then—slowly—to something more. Across state lines and phone lines, Meg and Colby form a once-in-a-lifetime connection. But in the end, are they just too different to make it work? You Say It First is a propulsive, layered novel about how sometimes the person who has the least in common with us can be the one who changes us most.

Editor review

1 review
Layered Romance, Difficult Characters
Overall rating
Writing Style
'You Say It First' is easily one of those books you will either love or hate. My feelings fell somewhere in the middle, in the grey area of dislike and love.

Meg was hard to like. Mostly because she came off as the type of character she insisted she wasn’t, (judgmental, and snobby,) or didn’t believe she was. She couldn’t help having the background she did, but it was the thing that came between her budding relationship with Colby at every heart-wrenching, headache-inducing turn. On the surface, Meg seemed perfect, or as close to perfect. She was well versed in politics, had a seemingly perfect boyfriend, and a best friend who could finish her sentences.

All the while, Meg was dealing with her parent's divorce and the effects of it. Then she met Colby. He pulled things out of her she wasn’t ready to confront, but she also did the same for him.

This was where things got a little murky in terms of my like/dislike. Their relationship was troublesome. They judged the other for things they didn’t understand and wouldn’t discuss. I want to blame it on the naivety of being young, but there was something just aggravating about their relationship. I think the differences, and the way they handled it was intentional. It added a layer of realness to the novel. The author deliberately did not make their relationship or the development of their relationship easy. It was kind of refreshing—but again also aggravating. With all the disagreements and the differences that never seemed to stop coming up, I wondered what they liked about the other. The romance was by no means soft, but I would have liked to see some softness come into their relationship. It's more of a personal preference.

The book is well written. The concept is fresh. I liked the novel as a whole, but the romance was hard to swallow. Though some readers might appreciate the fact that things hadn't come easy—like the imperfect kiss and the closed-door sex scene that was awkward. (I liked those parts) Some will find Meg and Colby downright annoying. You Say it First is hit or miss.
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