When Joss Met Matt – Ellie Cahill (Liz Czukas)

Synopsis

Ellie Cahill is poised to coin the term “sorbet sex” with her charming twist on the age-old ‘friends-with-benefits’ story.

Dating can be fun, but it can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Joss, ever since her longtime boyfriend cheated on her, she doesn’t want her last memory of a guy to be that jerk. Enter her college friend, Matt. They come up with a theory: after a bad break-up, a person needs to cleanse the palate with a little sorbet sex. Lovers for a night, but always back to being friends in the morning. The two can handle it because they have a contract: rules they wrote, rules they follow and rules they can sometimes bend. The arrangement works: everyone needs a little sorbet now and again … until it starts to be the only thing you want. And then Joss breaks the one rule they never wrote down: don’t fall in love.

Review

You know when you read a blurb and you think, “Oh my god, I NEED to read this book”? And all the while as you’re reading it, you think, “I’M READING THIS BOOK AND IT’S PERFECT!!”? This was one of those stories. It was unputdownable. As I got closer to the end, I kept trying to draw it out, because I didn’t want it to be over so soon.

The characters were incredible. Joss exuded this amazing sassy confidence. Matt was funny, charming, and just… wonderful. Yeah, he may have been no “romantic,” but he definitely made up for it. Joss often talked about wanting a guy who would fight for her. But the closest “one” to Joss was Meghan, and Matt was at that level. He was so ready to fight for her, at one point. I kinda wish the Meghan situation cut a little deeper (maybe if that scenario turned out to be “real”), but the book got heavy enough, in a sense.

At any rate, I still managed to laugh (out loud!), cry (literally, with tears dripping down my face), and fall in love with this love story. Nothing is better than a book that can evoke all sorts of emotions like that!

Even the side characters were ON POINT. Like Nellie, she was a gem. And I loved the college crew, who all had personalities in their own right. Geena was mischievous, Jessie was sweet, and Kerry was cool. I kinda wished they had more guy friends in their circle too (like, who were Matt’s “bros”?? I would’ve thought Joss and Matt would have had more notable mutual friends). I liked how it was realistic friendship-wise—tons of people walk in and out of life. Like Rachel and Chris, oh so important due to proximity in freshman year, but wholly irrelevant to the story of Joss and Matt. I’m glad they were there, and I’m glad they were nuanced at that. Ben was the symbolic start. Alex was SO necessary. People like The Squad (hahahaha) and the duck guy (seriously, HAHAH) were essential. And I’m glad Meghan existed too. I really liked Josh (he was such a big “what if?”), but Joss’s priorities were evident. I just wished we got to see him more (and definitely more than like… Alex, ugh). And Bartender Matt? Classic.

I was unsure about the then-and-now sequencing at first, but I warmed up to it. Starting off, I didn’t want to go through the “present-day” frame. I just wanted to read more about the start of their friendship, the start of everything else… and immerse myself in their fun, witty banter! But later on, I savoured the ability to prevent the story from continuing by falling back into memories. I loved feeling the nostalgic quality surrounding each notable relationship. Oh man, I loved the restaurant scene about the “Best they ever had.” That was rich! This book made me SO HAPPY because it focused on so many good times, probably to the point that it was “too good to be true considering these messed up circumstances.” But I soaked it up all the same (thankfully, since I hated seeing them angsty or unhappy!). In a sense, Cahill/Czukas made characters that I wanted to rally behind and support. I seriously love them.

I wish we got a little more at the end though. Like there were SO MANY inklings that Matt felt more. I’m of the opinion that he wanted Joss straight from the beginning. And that “hard swallow” that one time was totally him tampering down admissions of love. Don’t just talk about the last straw, talk about all of it! Ugh. Boys. And Joss needed to listen to Nellie, like, yesterday.

I could seriously go on and on. I should probably stop gushing. Simply put: I had crazy-high expectations for this book, and I loved every second of it. Can we see them experience life in California or something now? Get married? Have children? Please?!

Related Reading

  • That Boy – Jillian Dodd (yesyesyes)
  • Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins
  • 17 First Kisses – Rachael Allen
  • I can’t even think of other related books. This one was so fresh and fun!

Rating: 5/5

When Joss Met Matt is available as of February 24, 2015. 

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