Tuesday, February 17, 2015

When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

Title: When Joss Met Matt
Author: Ellie Cahill
Publisher: Balantine Books
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
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.

It’s not a secret that I love New Adult stories. But sometimes, it can start to feel like they’re all similar. That’s not to say that the stories aren’t original, but at the same time it can feel like the same themes and ideas are explored in each of the stories I read. Ellie Cahill’s When Joss Met Matt was refreshingly different and made for a compelling read.

When Joss and Matt met their freshman year of college, they didn’t think they would be anything more than friends. But when Joss’ longtime boyfriend breaks up with her, they make a pact: anytime one of them goes through a break up, the other will be there to offer sex. That way, their last memory of sex won’t be with someone they don’t care about. And that’s how sorbet sex was born. And for a time the arrangement works: Joss and Matt have a contract and rules they follow where sorbet sex is concerned. But what happens when the person you want more than anyone is the person you’re not allowed to have for more than one night? After all, the most important rule of sorbet sex is to not fall in love.

Every so often, a book’s premise sounds so different from what I’ve been reading that it draws me right in and wants me to read the book right away. That’s what happened when I heard about Ellie Cahill’s When Joss Met Matt. I was intrigued by the idea of sorbet sex and how two friends could possibly make this idea work. And then when I started reading, I really liked the way the story was told. The best way to describe it is to say that the story is told in a semi-linear way (or at least that’s how I see it). Basically the story switches back and forth between chapters starting when Joss and Matt first meet during their freshman year of college and chapters set in what I think of as present day. And then eventually the two timelines join up towards the end of the book. Having the story told this way allowed me to really see the history these two characters have together and how they got to be where they are in the present. In a way, it was almost like I was getting two stories. And the one set in the present sometimes had me worried. I knew what I wanted to happen and though I was pretty sure I was going to get what I wanted, there were definitely moments where I started doubting it. But it all worked out and I was one happy reader. Needless to say that When Joss Met Matt was exactly the romantic read I was hoping it would be. Though the romance worked because Joss and Matt just worked together.

I really enjoyed getting to know Matt and Joss over the course of the seven years they’ve known each other. It really allowed me to see how both characters changed and grew to become the people they were in the present. Not only that, but it made their relationship feel that much more realistic. It didn’t happen all at once, it was built up over the course of seven years. So when I say that the romance between Joss and Matt was a slow-burn kind of romance, I mean it. Like I said, their relationship develops over the course of SEVEN YEARS. All that to say I believed in the friendship, and the eventual “more,” between them. On their own, Matt and Joss were great too. And even though I’m feeling a bit like a broken record, getting to know them over the course of seven years allowed me to get a real sense of their respective personalities. In a way, it made me wish that more books were written to cover suck a long timespan. It was just really fun to read their story and I would have gladly kept on reading more about Joss and Matt but, sadly for me, the book ended.

Ellie Cahill’s When Joss Met Matt was just what I was hoping it would be: a New Adult read filled with romance and heart. If you are looking for a romantic read that will cause you both to swoon and pull at your heartstrings, then this is the book for you.

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