7 September 2014

Text Me by Shelley K. Wall

Hello everyone,

The book:

Carter Coben is having some serious communication problems lately. First he mouthed off to a project manager at work and got fired, now his girlfriend's dumped him and trashed his cell phone. About the only place he hasn't got his wires crossed these days is at the anonymous texting app, Justchat.com. Carter thinks he might have found a real connection with "She Hearts Dogs," but little does he know he's already quite acquainted with this cunning canine-lover…

When Abigail Jeffries gets a random text message from a stranger saying he's been dumped, she can't help but answer it—and recommend he send his ex some flowers from her new shop. When she delivers the bouquet though, she finds out his ex was cheating on him with his best friend—the same best friend she's impersonating via text! Abby feels guilty, but she can't help responding. But what will happen when Carter finds out that Abby is not only the face behind the texts, but the reason he got fired at work and his mysterious mutt-loving pal on Justchat.com?

Will they ever manage to sort out their mixed signals, mistaken identities, and misunderstandings to find real love? This madcap, modern-dayYou've Got Mail for the texting generation will delight romantic comedy fans.

My Thoughts:

This is a book that hits the ground running and entices you to keep up. Text Me offers a fast-paced and humorous depiction of the perils of romance in an increasingly digital world. Throughout the novel Carter and Abby’s relationship is both enhanced and crippled by modern technology. Although in some instances it allows them to form a deeper connection, it is also the cause of some serious misunderstandings. These misunderstandings provide plenty of humour and outlandish situations, especially when Abby and Carter start piecing together the various connections. One moment that stands out for me in the novel is when Carter tosses a rubbish bin over Abby’s head.

His arms were above his head shaking the contents of the trash receptacle. All over her. She growled and yanked the plugs from her ears. “Are you CRAZY?”

I admit this comes across as a fairly dick-head move on the part of Carter, however, he has reasons that I will leave you to discover by yourself. What this scene demonstrated to me when I read it was the fact regardless of how they choose to communicate and despite all the lies and misunderstandings Carter and Abby are comfortable around each other. They truly act as themselves and despite moments of anger they are always drawn to each other. Even when Carter thinks Abby has betrayed him he still can’t stay away from her (also for those who are completely against cheating in romance novels just to clarify there is no cheating between the hero and heroine). One of the secondary characters, I believe Jackson, states he believes in the idea of fate and certainly this is a book that portrays fated love as despite all the misunderstandings, lies and argument Abby and Carter appear destined to be together.

As the blurb describes Carter and Abby annoymously communicate in three different ways, and arguably these different interactions are what allow their romance to develop so quickly. When I was reading this book I was conscious that each form of communication allowed for a slightly different relationship to develop between Abby and Carter. I loved this aspect of the book as I thought it was fairly true of real life, for example when communicating using the Justchat app the anonymity and safety of talking to a stranger meant they quickly formed a connection based on shared interests and mutual respect. This is demonstrated in Carter’s first message where he states:

My life is filled with escaped moments that I never seem to grasp until I’ve missed them.

Now I don’t know how you start a conversation with a new person, but normally I keep the tone light-hearted and the topics neutral, subjects that are unlikely to be seen as controversial, thereby avoiding any awkwardness. On the surface this is a light-hearted book in the style of a romantic comedy and yet it is also a book that deals with deeper issues, particularly in regards to Carter’s past. What I loved is that despite the humour the author didn’t shy away from the darker side of life. Rather than allowing Carter’s past to cause a further rift between them it becomes a source of connection as Abby is able to help Carter move on.

Overall this is a great romantic comedy that made me laugh and also made me cry. Although it is centred on Carter and Abby’s developing relationship the reader is also given an insight into the friends and world of the main characters. Carter and Abby are both likeable, realistic characters, they aren’t perfect and they don’t pretend to be. Yet what is perfect is watching them reach the happily ever after they deserve.

My rating:
Happy reading everyone and see you next time!