TECHNICALLY, YOU STARTED IT by Lana Wood Johnson
Updated: Sep 9
I had the pleasure of interviewing Lana about this book before it was published and also managed to get my hands on a signed copy! It took a while for me to actually read this book (for some reason) but read it I did and I enjoyed it very much. It was a quick, fun read that had me laughing out loud and cringing in embarrassment for the characters at times.
This book also had two LGBTQAI+ reps, which was just the icing on the cake for this nice little book. I say little, even though it was 374 pages, because the format made it easy to fly through this in one sitting.
As I mentioned, the format made this book a very easy read. It was told completely through text messages. There were even a few times when other characters texted through the main characters' phones, but it was easy to tell the difference between them all through their texting style. I especially enjoyed it when Martin's mom texted Haley because it was exactly like what a person who struggles with texting would text like.
It starts out simple - Martin is texting Haley about a class project. It evolves from there, the two of them getting to know each other. The problem is, which is explained pretty early on, Haley thinks she is texting Martin's cousin, who has the exact same name. Again, this is revealed pretty early on, and what keeps you turning the pages is the suspense of what will happen once Haley inevitably finds out she's been texting a different Martin than she thought she was.
It also is hilarious because Haley supposedly hates the "other" Martin.
Haley: Haley is just a normal girl with normal problems. I know this sounds cliche, but it is what it is. But also keep in mind that everyone's normal is different, so Haley's normal includes anxiety, cons, and texting Martin - the "good" Martin. She also loves reading up on different topics and is a veritable information-overload waiting to happen.
Martin: Martin is another character that is normal (I think that's part of the reason I enjoyed this book so much - the characters are just so real). He may come from a rich family, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have his own problems. Problems he's gotten used to dealing with by himself until he befriends Haley. Martin figures out pretty quickly that Haley thinks he is his cousin but decides that he wants her to like him before he tells her. Cue all the shenanigans!
Like I said earlier, this is a very fast read. I tore through it in one sitting. While that may not be for everyone, I found a quick read refreshing from all the long-slog fantasy books I typically go for.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't my favorite by any means, but I'll come back to it when I need a speedy, feel-good read to brighten up my day. While it might not be for everyone because of the format, I thought it was great.