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NetGalley Review: Better Together by Christine Riccio

Hey all, Dani here.

Hello and Happy Sunday. Welcome back for yet another review. Actually it’s another review that I honestly should have had up sooner, because I did read this book a month or so before its release date, and I would have had it written up and posted, but that’s about the time that I ended up slumping again. Whoops.

All right, I guess let’s not waste any more time before jumping into my discussion of the book. I mean, I guess I could, and maybe should say, that I read and loved Christine Riccio’s first book, and I watched all of her writing videos while she was writing and then editing this one, and so maybe that influenced my expectations or feelings towards this book before I got my hands on it? Maybe.

Let’s get started.

Better Together by Christine Riccio

Freaky Friday meets The Parent Trap in New York Times bestselling author Christine Riccio’s Better Together, a sparkling and heartfelt story about sisters, second chances, finding romance, and finding yourself.

Jamie’s an aspiring standup comic in Los Angeles with a growing case of stage anxiety.

Siri’s a stunning ballerina from New Jersey nursing a career-changing injury.

They’ve both signed up for the same session at an off the grid Re-Discover Yourself Retreat in Colorado. When they run into each other, their worlds turn upside down.

Jamie and Siri are sisters, torn apart at a young age by their parent’s volatile divorce. They’ve grown up living completely separate lives: Jamie with their Dad and Siri with their Mom. Now, reunited after over a decade apart, they hatch a plot to switch places. It’s time they get to know and confront each of their estranged parents.

With an accidental assist from some fortuitous magic, Jamie arrives in New Jersey, looking to all the world like Siri, and Siri steps off her flight sporting a Jamie glamour.

The sisters unexpectedly find themselves stuck living in each other’s shoes. Soon Siri’s crushing on Jamie’s best friend Dawn. Jamie’s falling for the handsome New Yorker she keeps running into, Zarar. Alongside a parade of hijinks and budding romance, both girls work to navigate their broken family life and the stresses of impending adulthood.

My Thoughts:

Rating: 3.5 stars

I should probably start off by saying that I read this book back in late April/early May…I think? So I’m definitely fuzzy on some details, but since I try to keep things vague and spoiler free anyway, it should still be okay. I wanted to like this book way more than I did. I did like Jamie more than Siri though, but that’s not saying too much because I didn’t really connect with either sister.

One of the sisters…I want to say Siri…didn’t curse at all, and while that could have been cute or endearing, the tame words she used instead just didn’t sound right and were a bit off-putting…actually let me be completely honest here…it was downright annoying. And I think it was Jamie, maybe, was sort of phone/social media adverse, and that was really weird for me too.

Also, is here where I should point out that Jamie and Siri basically got their names from Jamie and Cersei Lannister from “Game of Thrones”? Because honestly that knowledge made this book feel even weirder to me.

The first third or so of this book felt like telling me about the sisters and forcing them into a situation where they could meet up and have one of them come up with the cockamamie idea to swap places, which seems like a poor idea considering that they don’t exactly look alike. It’s a Parent Trap style set up except for the fact that these siblings aren’t twins; they’re a few years apart in age. So here’s where we have to throw in magic to make the story work.

While I liked that style of set-up with Riccio’s first book, with this one it just felt clanky and jarring and like trying to fit a square box into a circle hole, and it wasn’t working for me.

The story did get a little more interesting after they swapped places and started actually getting involved in the lives of each other. Jamie’s best friend Dawn actually might be my favorite character from the whole book, and I liked seeing her and Siri interact, especially after the switcheroo was revealed.

But this book just couldn’t keep my interest, sadly, and I felt like I was forcing myself to read it and just feeling annoyed by the story and the characters. Considering how much I loved Again but Better, I was expecting another great story, and unfortunately this one fell into the sophomore slump category.

…Then again, I will also just go ahead and say that I was heading back into a reading and blogging slump when I read this book, so there is a chance that my opinion was affected by everything else going on in my life. So maybe I’ll pick this book up again some other time and give it another try. If it sounds interesting to you, then by all means, pick it up, and I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

All right, that is all from me for today. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.

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