Okay, first of all I need to apologise for the ridiculously long absence since my last post–it’s been pretty crazy ’round here with my deadline for book two of the Shadowlands series fast approaching. I haven’t really had a chance to read all that much, let alone write reviews!
I don’t read a whole heap of YA contemporary. Give me magic or space or time travel and I’m there—but real kids dealing with real problems? Urgh, I’m too old for that shit.
My exception to this is romantic comedies. Because it really doesn’t matter what genre it is—if a book is funny, I want to read it.
So, when I came across Natalie Decker’s new series Offsides, I decided to give the first instalment a go. The premise jumped out at me immediately—the whole ‘meeting via a wrong number’ trope seems to have taken the rom com world by storm recently, and I’ve read a few really good adult books with this premise, so I was interested to see how it translated into the YA age range. Add the whole aspect of the characters knowing each other (and hating each other) in real life and I was sold.
I was expecting the book to have a similar feel as Kasie West’s P.S. I Like You and I was right—the added bonus here, though, is that we have alternating chapters from the POVs of both characters.
If you lived through the ‘90s you will have no doubt seen You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan—it’s the original ‘anonymous boyfriend’ romance (I’m sure there were earlier ones involving pen pals etc., but this feels like the benchmark). Anyway, I don’t want to give too much away, but Right Text, Wrong Number follows a very similar formula to that movie.
Basically, our heroine, Layla, discovers her boyfriend is cheating on her when he receives a sext from another girl while they are on a date. This prompts Layla to take his phone and copy down the girl’s number, deciding she needs to warn her about this guy’s cheating ways.
But there’s a problem. Layla is dyslexic, so when she’s copying the number she gets it wrong, and that’s how she ends up texting Tyler instead.
Using fake identities, Layla and Tyler form a close relationship through their texts, finding they’re able to be honest with each other and be a version of themselves no one else would ever see. In real life, however, Layla and Tyler (who go to school together) can’t stand each other. Tyler thinks Layla is a spoiled princess and Layla thinks Tyler is a complete jerk.
And that’s basically it—any more and I’ll be giving away the whole story! Instead I’ll just get to my thoughts on the book:
I really enjoyed this book. It was a really fun read and I definitely laughed out loud quite a few times. I loved both the main characters, as well as some of the side characters who I believe will have their own books as the series continues. I thought Layla in particular was quite a strong character and I really liked the way she developed over the course of the book; I thought the way she handled certain situations and her reactions to certain things seemed realistic for a teenager, yet not too bratty or annoying as teens can sometimes be portrayed in fiction (although, I will admit there were a couple of times when she donned her Superbitch cape).
I think the best thing about this book for me was the minimum amount of teenage angst. There were still some serious themes addressed (e.g. Layla’s insecurity about her dyslexia, Tyler’s family situation) but they were handled in a way that didn’t take over the entire story, allowing for a fun, easy read.
If you’re a fan of authors like Kasie West and Stephanie Perkins then I think you’d like this one—I’ll definitely be reading the next book in the series.