This is a romance story about a meet-cute between two guys, in New York, and yes, it brings in all the cuteness and relatability of a first love. Told in alternating perspectives between Ben and Arthur, it is a sweet romance but also about how to navigate relationships and friendships in your teen years, as well as how there is no perfect formula for a happy couple, and you find your own way. All this is bound together in the humor and realism of being a young adult in this era.
Ben and Arthur meet at a transitional time in both their lives – Ben is just getting over a recent break-up (he dumped his ex and was about to mail him his things) and Arthur is interning at his mom’s law firm for the summer. It is a little love at first sight, but more like ‘oh he’s cute I should give it a try’ kind of thing. The initial stages of their relationships are fraught with troubles like, for instance, finding each other, which Arthur does in his cute Arthur way, and then finding a happy medium between their two different ideas of hanging out and having fun. Their approach to love is also slightly different – where Arthur is all about the romanticized idea of love, Ben is a little cynical given his recent break-up. Then comes their individual insecurities – Arthur feels that Ben might not be over his ex, and Ben feels a little defensive about his socioeconomic status, as well as the fact that he is in summer school. Alongside this main storyline, is the changing relationships between their respective group of friends, and how they handle those things.
The only drawback of this book I can say is that the voices don’t seem distinct enough. Ben and Arthur sound pretty much the same, even with their supposedly different personalities, and considering the fact that this book is co-written by two people, it was just disappointing that this happened. And while this is not necessarily a drawback, their respective friends are way TOO enthusiastic about getting them together, and you also have to pretty much buy into fate to make this all believable; still, considering this is a romance, it gets a pass.
Overall, a cute romance story with a good cast of characters you’d love to cheer for.