Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review: When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill (Liz Czukas)

When Joss Met Matt
Author:  Ellie Cahill (a.k.a. Liz Czukas)
Publisher:  Ballantine Books, 368 pages
Expected Publication Date:  February 24, 2015
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
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 a familiar friends with benefits story, but so well told.  Pretty adorable, actually, with a perfect balance between humor and sad/serious moments.  Some of the dating/relationship disasters are hilarious.

Joss and Matt meet in their first year of college and the novel chronicles their friendship to love story during a seven year period.  The story is told from Joss's POV, but we get to know Matt fairly well through their interactions and dialogue.  

The dialogue is incredible because it reveals the characters' relationship to one another, their personalities, moves the story forward, and increases the tension.  Very realistically written.  It evokes the way people actually talk in real life.  

I loved that the story spans seven years and that Joss and Matt know each other so well and are such good friends.  And they obviously have a great physical relationship.  Whenever one of them breaks up with someone and the other one is unattached, they have "sorbet sex" to cleanse the palate.  But more and more, Joss finds herself finding reasons not to date or to break up with her current boyfriend.  They have a messed up relationship (I mean, come on, we all know it's not going to work), but at the same time, they're perfect for each other and you just want them to realize it already.  But the fact that they go through so much and make mistakes along the way makes this a more true to life love story.

A light and fun romantic NA novel, When Joss Met Matt is refreshing and entertaining, I highly recommend it.

Posted by:  Pam


  1. Okay, I'll admit it, I was extremely skeptical about this entire thing, but then I read that it spans seven years and I'm like "That's better". :) It reminds me of One Day by David Nicholls in that way actually (loved the movie, haven't finished the book). One Day actually begins with an almost one-night stand.

    I haven't read a Liz Czukas book but I plan on changing that this year. The messed up relationship part really reminds me of One Day. I'm going to have to check this out, despite it being NA which I don't normally read, then again I don't "normally" read adult fiction either. Good review! :)


  2. I like this sound of this one. And I'm always looking for a good blend of light and serious. I don't want heavy issue books at this point. And I do want to read more in the college setting - I'll give this one a try!

  3. This is on my TBR, so I'm glad to hear it went over so well. I love humor and great dialogue. I'm definitely gonna read this one!

  4. So I read this synopsis and was like, nope, this doesn't sound like a me book. Then I read your review and it actually sounds really cute! Sounds like it was really well done. I think if I need a light, fun read I'll check this one out. Great review!!

  5. WAIT WHAT LIZ CZUKAS WRITES NA NOVELS? I really shouldn't be that surprised since from what I've heard of her YA novels, they sound like cute romances but I'm still surprised because there are so many YA novelists who have branched out into NA!

    "Joss and Matt meet in their first year of college and the novel chronicles their friendship to love story during a seven year period." -- LOVE THIS PREMISE. Have you read the anthology My True Love Gave to Me? The first story by Rainbow Rowell does something similar and it's awesome.

    "Whenever one of them breaks up with someone and the other one is unattached, they have "sorbet sex" to cleanse the palate." -- lol, NICE. That is such an evocative phrase too...

    I tend to stay away from a lot of NA novels because I've not had good experiences with most in the past - there are a few exceptions of course - but now I'm seriously considering this book because I really do want to read more good NA books :O :O.