Corinne has just moved to Chicago, a place she hasn’t lived in since she was a child, following the death of her best friend Joelle. Not sure what she wants to do for work and processing her grief, Corinne thankfully is able to integrate herself into the city through her cousin-not-cousin Tiawanda. Yet, right out the gate, an app shows up on her phone called Met, who says it will bring four people she has already met before, one of which is her soulmate. She doesn’t believe it, but as these connections show up out of nowhere, she has to reconsider it. Yet she is developing feelings for Cory, a friend she makes through her cousin’s social circle. While still working through her grief and stumbling through her temp jobs, Corinne decides what to make of her feelings for Cory and the other people brought back into her life.
I have to start with talking about the two things I loved the most about this book. First and foremost, was every passage about Joelle. Coming to terms with loss, especially with someone you are that close to, doesn’t always make its imprint on the page. But those were perhaps the realest parts of this book. Whether it was what Corinne was just thinking to herself, her memories of Joelle, or the few times she managed to speak of her best friend to someone, there was an obvious hole from this loss. One that felt raw.
The other part I loved was Corinne’s new friend group. The times of them just hanging out felt fun. To the point where I was rather disappointed when the romance was brought up in any of those moments, because in my eyes it detracted from it. Especially with Cory. Corinne’s references to him as him, or as a friend, felt natural, but there was something missing when it came to talking about their romance. I never got that moment of when the sexual attraction and their friendship came together for the feelings we as the readers were supposed to expect. I preferred every scene where it wasn’t about their burgeoning romance and rather them having fun or getting to know each other.
As much as I hate to say it, the beginning and the end of this book were hard to get through. The beginning started in the right place, but the introduction of the plot-driving app Met felt bland. Perhaps not that, but more of Corinne’s reaction to it. If we were supposed to see her as a skeptic of it, there were many other ways to have that keep going without having her absently press “yeah, sure send me my matches, why not”. Until a bigger reveal about the app itself later in the book, I don’t feel as though there was enough gravity placed upon the app itself. It was almost easy to forget about it until that reveal and the twist which came right after. Plus, the messages were creepy to me. Fine if they weren’t creepy to Corinne, I accept that, but she doesn’t seem into them. And there weren’t enough of those messages popping up (really doing anything) for Corinne to react to. Her comfort with it comes in rather sudden, no internal struggle about it at all.
Then there was the conflict at the end of the book, which felt forced. Which is a big shame, because I rather liked how it was resolved. But how it was put into the plot in the first place didn’t feel right. I knew part of the twist was coming up (I actually would have been disappointed if it wasn’t there), but how the characters handled it was what felt off to me. I almost would have felt more empowered if Corinne had ended the book single and happy with what she was doing outside of romance because of it. But instead the characters involved had the issue of one not wanting to listen, then the other. Maybe if I didn’t know I had only a handful of pages left it wouldn’t have left me feeling so much nothing. But it was right at the end and I had no doubt the story would end with a happy relationship. I just wish, in that case, that the conflict then didn’t feel so nothing. Especially as the revelation which began the conflict was only a revelation for Corinne and not the other person.
I’m glad the story didn’t have three burn out choices and then “the one”, as one of the potential soul mates who shows up is actually just a likeable person. Once again, making me wish this story was focused much more on the friendships, which had a really good start at being the whole story themselves along with Corinne’s job search. Without Met and the entire romance plot, I actually would have enjoyed this more, which is rather unfortunate considering that is the plot.
I give this book a 2 out of 5, very reluctantly. It was not a bad book, but definitely not for me considering I couldn’t suspend my disbelief for the romance and the supposedly supernatural app Met. I like supernatural elements, even in stories that are otherwise 100% realistic. So I don’t regret reading this book, but I put it aside knowing that despite everything I enjoyed about it this was certainly not written for me.