I received a copy of ‘What If You & Me’ by Roni Loren via netgalley, the second in the Say Everything series and whilst these are standalone novels that can be read separately, I decided to read the first in the series before moving on to the ARC, because the more books the better right?!
You can find the synopses for both below.
I’ve read three of Loren’s books before and I’ve always appreciated that she writes a good, fun story but her characters are always dealing with real life issues and challenges and in writing this the reader can either identify with what that character is going through, or as I’ve found is often the case, learn something too.
In ‘Yes & I Love You’ Tourettes is a focus of the storyline, something I’d mainly considered to be about uncontrollable speech patterns and saying inappropriate things, however Loren shows a spectrum of what Tourettes is and how it can affect a person or impact their day to day lives, but also how they can manage it and work on it not interfering with their everyday lives. Improv comedy is also a big focus of the story, something I didn’t know much about, which was fun and interesting. I really enjoyed this one but didn’t click with the characters in the way that I have in other books.
‘What If You & Me’ focuses a lot on trauma in its different forms – Hill having survived an accident as a fireman who now has a prosthetist and Andi who is recovering from a traumatic relationship. I LOVED these two from the jump and if it weren’t for work, I’d have read this in one sitting! They were funny and flirty, and I continuously smiled during this one. I also learnt a lot about the horror genre, both books and movies. I’m a massive scaredy cat so I steer well clear, but it was fun to learn more about it and Andi had some really interesting insights. I also think that, if you are a woman reading this novel, you will find many of Andi’s fears, concerns, advice and thoughts to be issues that you have also thought about or considered in the past, things that men maybe don’t have to think about the same way we do.
Finally, both books deal with mental health, with characters dealing with anxiety and depression and actively working with therapists and I really appreciated the ‘normalisation’ of this. As someone who has been in therapy and hugely advocates for it, it was nice to see characters drop their mental health and therapy sessions casually and naturally into conversations, instead of it being a ‘thing’.
I’d definitely recommend both of these books and Loren’s series The Ones Who Got Away, of which I’ve read three of the four (I’m about to pick up the final one today!).
All books are out now, with ‘What If You & Me’ releasing just this week!
Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for a free ARC copy of 'What If You & Me'.