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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

Auld Lang Syne

You, Again by Kate Goldbeck

Stars: 4

Spicy: R, some explicit scenes and conversations

Will you like this book? You might if you like:

Nora Ephron films

Enemies to friends to lovers

Complex and messy MCs

Snappy dialogue

Warning: Spoilers

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.

Ari and Josh meet in 2014 when he comes to cook for her roommate, Natalie, because he is a chef and in search of his soul mate. Ari is a comedian who is in search of her next hook-up and improv set. Turns out they are both hooking up with Natalie, but that is about all they have in common. In a nod to When Harry Met Sally, Goldbeck’s two protagonists continue to meet at various times over the next nine years and eventually they become friends as they bond over the demise of their last respective relationships. Oh New Year’s Eve, it’s almost like its own character.

The story moves along at a clip, ranging from time and place, and Ari and Josh slowly realize that they mean quite a bit to each other. Their interactions are electric and Goldbeck gives them snappy dialogue. But though there are some serious laugh-out-loud moments, Ari is a comedian after all, both of these people are really struggling. Ari’s various starts as a working comedian have all fizzled and Josh’s once promising career as a chef went down in flames. On top of that, Josh, who has only ever wanted to be in a long-term relationship, is no closer to that even after years of dating Sophie. And Ari, who never wanted that, is now going through a divorce that threatens to break her. These are not two people with their shit together. They are both messy and after nine years, they haven’t evolved all that much, Josh is still condescending and Ari is still emotionally closed off. The reader doesn’t always love them, in fact, you might want to kill them both. But they are real, they are so messy, so complicated. When they take a chance and expose themselves you hold your breath, you worry that it might not be a happily-ever after. In fact, I wasn’t sure if they would get together!

I got this as an ARC from NetGalley because I had seen a few other people praising it. And it turned up as a Book of the Month selection for September so I hope it gets a lot of press because it is, as I said, a great romance, one that is so relatable. Goldbeck really took some risks and I hope other authors will follow her lead.

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