Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Book Review: Never Meant to Meet You

Are you the kind of person who follows and reads what you see the most of online, maybe through blogs but also Instagram and TikTok? I'd like to think I'm a little more discerning than that but I'm a basic bitch and honestly, I'm OK with it at this point. I saw this one all over the place before it came out, and when I had the opportunity to review it, I jumped on it! I am so glad I went with my basic bitch gut on this one. 

Never Meant to Meet You 

Alli Frank & Asha Youmans

Self-appointed fixer of other people’s woes Marjette Lewis is uncharacteristically determined to keep to her side of the driveway when it comes to her flawless neighbor Noa Abrams. Professionally, Marjette has her hands full as she prepares for a new class of kindergarteners and her first year of teaching without her best friend, Judy, as campus “Black-up.” And at home, her son’s budding manhood challenges her expectations, and her vexing ex-husband continues to be a thorn in her side.

But when tragedy strikes Marjette’s street, and an unexpected child shows up on the first day of school with an uncle who has all the class moms aflutter, Marjette is forced to contend with both her neighbor and her own heartache over losing the life she once thought was guaranteed. Through laughter, tears, and the gift of found family, Marjette and Noa navigate the rituals of loss together and discover the strength to remake their lives—whether they meant to or not. 
First off, if I was the type of person to annotate my books, this book would have been defiled, I tell you. The book is literally full of bent corners (I didn't have sticky notes, stop judging me) but there were two moments that I absolutely howled because I was doing the snort laugh and both were pretty close to the front of the book so I knew I was going to love this one. The first being a story of how she (Marjette) , totally well mannered and thinking she was doing the right thing, let a set of gardeners in to fix up her neighbor's yard and it basically turned into a well oiled theft ring that robbed her neighbor's house blind. Now, that's not funny but you know I was literally howling in my car in the kid pick up line and I'm absolutely sure I'm on someone's Instagram as the crazy lady at school today. The book is full of sarcasm, funny day-to-day things we mutter to ourselves or under our breath to our friends in Weight Watchers meetings of coffee dates, and it was an absolute delight to read. 

Not to meantion we have the actual meet of the story, women overcoming and moving on in life after divorce or death, betrayals in their own ways, and what it takes to open up to someone else and actually let other people in enough to pull you to the other side. The most important part of this book though is the fried chicken recipe at the back of this book and I don't care what anyone says, diet be damned, I am all about fried chicken. (I'll also be damned if anyone thinks I'm rolling up here with an entire chicken and butchering it myself. Um, no ma'am, Gold'n Plump has done a fine job with their GMO chickens, I'm not trying to out-do them, I am not Gordan Ramsey, thanks.) There is also a recipe for sweet potato pie but if you know me at all you know I don't like pie and I don't like vegetables, so I'm not giving that the time of day but you healthy eating folks might be down for it. 

I only had a few minor critiques that got my eye twitching as annoying, one being some of the cultural references literally made no sense and I had never, in all my life, heard them. Now, is that a me problem? Absolutely, 100%, do not let that be any kind of guide for whether you'll like the book or not. The other one, that almost had me DNF this one was Marjette because her characters isn't really likeable and quite honestly, in the beginning it outlines how her marriage went (and ended) and never in my life have I said, "girl.... you are the dumbest broad there ever was" because if she couldn't see the writing on the damn wall when she got pregnant? I have zero sympathy for you, cut your damn losses and run. Those pages alone should be a 101 on how to tell if your man actually doesn't want you but doesn't have the balls to just say it. 

Overall though? It was fun, it was entertaining, it was definitely a good one to have in my purse to pull out as I waited endlessly for kids in pick up lines. (Which I don't have to do anymore....mostly.... because Olivia has her license, and a car, and it is now her job to shuttle herself and her brother around. It's glorious.)

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Montlake for sending me a copy for review! 

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