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Meg has her entire life set up perfectly: her boyfriend Mason is sweet and supportive, she and her best friend Emily plan to head to Cornell together in the fall, and she even finds time to clock shifts phonebanking at a voter registration call center in her Philadelphia suburb. But everything changes when one of those calls connects her to a stranger from small-town Ohio, Meg has her entire life set up perfectly: her boyfriend Mason is sweet and supportive, she and her best friend Emily plan to head to Cornell together in the fall, and she even finds time to clock shifts phonebanking at a voter registration call center in her Philadelphia suburb. But everything changes when one of those calls connects her to a stranger from small-town Ohio, who gets under her skin from the moment he picks up the phone. Colby is stuck in a rut, reeling from a family tragedy and working a dead-end job—unsure what his future holds, or if he even cares. The last thing he has time for is some privileged rich girl preaching the sanctity of the political process. So he says the worst thing he can think of and hangs up. But things don’t end there.… That night on the phone winds up being the first in a series of candid, sometimes heated, always surprising conversations that lead to a long-distance friendship and then—slowly—to something more. Across state lines and phone lines, Meg and Colby form a once-in-a-lifetime connection. But in the end, are they just too different to make it work? You Say It First is a propulsive, layered novel about how sometimes the person who has the least in common with us can be the one who changes us most.


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Meg has her entire life set up perfectly: her boyfriend Mason is sweet and supportive, she and her best friend Emily plan to head to Cornell together in the fall, and she even finds time to clock shifts phonebanking at a voter registration call center in her Philadelphia suburb. But everything changes when one of those calls connects her to a stranger from small-town Ohio, Meg has her entire life set up perfectly: her boyfriend Mason is sweet and supportive, she and her best friend Emily plan to head to Cornell together in the fall, and she even finds time to clock shifts phonebanking at a voter registration call center in her Philadelphia suburb. But everything changes when one of those calls connects her to a stranger from small-town Ohio, who gets under her skin from the moment he picks up the phone. Colby is stuck in a rut, reeling from a family tragedy and working a dead-end job—unsure what his future holds, or if he even cares. The last thing he has time for is some privileged rich girl preaching the sanctity of the political process. So he says the worst thing he can think of and hangs up. But things don’t end there.… That night on the phone winds up being the first in a series of candid, sometimes heated, always surprising conversations that lead to a long-distance friendship and then—slowly—to something more. Across state lines and phone lines, Meg and Colby form a once-in-a-lifetime connection. But in the end, are they just too different to make it work? You Say It First is a propulsive, layered novel about how sometimes the person who has the least in common with us can be the one who changes us most.

30 review for You Say It First

  1. 5 out of 5

    Romie

    the aesthetic of this cover said romie rights and i'm so here for this

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    I didn't even know this was a thing until I started browsing through Edelweiss looking for e-ARCS and stumbled upon this. I've never read a Katie Cotugno book before, but this sounded so up my alley and I couldn't pass on it. Oh, and EDELWEISS CAME THROUGH FOR ME AND APPROVED ME FOR A COPY OF THIS YEE-HAW!!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    I’m always interested in reading stories with complex characters, and Meg and Colby are both prime examples of that. They’re young and they’ve got their own perspective on the world at the start, and it’s interesting to witness how that perspective gets challenged as the story continues.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

    I'm very excited that the premise of this meet-cute hinges on the importance of voting. I've phonebanked before too. Voting is very important!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    I received an ARC from Harper Collins Canada in exchange for an honest review. While I can say I'm a fan of Katie's books, I can also say that some are a huge hit and some are a huge miss. It's always the ending that frustrates me the most but definitely the characters can really irritate me as well. You Say It First is marketed as YA novel that deals with the importance of youth voting and taking part in the election process. If you're worried about politics in this book, you really don't have t I received an ARC from Harper Collins Canada in exchange for an honest review. While I can say I'm a fan of Katie's books, I can also say that some are a huge hit and some are a huge miss. It's always the ending that frustrates me the most but definitely the characters can really irritate me as well. You Say It First is marketed as YA novel that deals with the importance of youth voting and taking part in the election process. If you're worried about politics in this book, you really don't have to be because there's hardly anything in it. And if you were excited about this book because of the aspect of politics, then sorry, it will disappoint you. YSIF was a weird one for me. For one thing, the writing seemed a bit off. It had a lot of flowery metaphors that borderline didn't make sense or seemed pretentious and it came off chunky a lot of the times. I can't say that I really understand the relationship that developed between Meg and Colby as every time they talk, their differences in opinions seem to get in the way, and they end up having screaming matches over the phone or across from each other. Colby is prejudice against Meg because he thinks she came from a spectacular upbringing with supportive parents and money to spare. While Meg, never really looks down at Colby except for a few parts but Colby becomes very protective of himself and his upbringing to the point that his arguments always circle back to their different financial backgrounds. It gets very old, very quick. These two incompatible characters meet when Meg calls Colby to ask him if he registered to vote in the upcoming election. It is there where their relationship begins. Through endless phone calls in the middle of the night and through text, this couple learns more and more about each other. I did appreciate the characters and their backgrounds. Meg's parents have recently gone through a divorce that has left her life upended and in pieces. She's trying her best to look normal in front of everyone even though she secretly is scared of losing her best friend and that her mother is actually an alcoholic. Colby's life seems like he has it worse after his father committed suicide when he was younger. He's dealing with grief, his older brother being a jerk, and the possibility of living in the small town he grew up in with no plans to ever move up and onwards. One thing that really annoyed me was Meg's best friend. She's a jerk. If you read this book, you'll know why. She has no redeeming qualities. Goodbye. MY RECOMMENDATION Read this if you're interested in an angsty YA romance.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rida Quraishi

    This was such a nice, heartwarming story and the characters really drive the whole story for you. I loved the character development in this book. The story between Meg and Colby was lovely and so comfortable ❤️ I loved it!

  7. 5 out of 5

    menna

    let me start off by saying this wasn't a bad book, i just didn't give a shit about any of the characters, plot or anything at all in this. first of all, i honestly have no idea why even meg and colby were together, other than the fact that they were the person the other could be honest with (and even that wasn't always the case), they were very judgmental towards each other and always arguing and assuming things about the other. i wasn't even rooting for them to be together. their arguments gets let me start off by saying this wasn't a bad book, i just didn't give a shit about any of the characters, plot or anything at all in this. first of all, i honestly have no idea why even meg and colby were together, other than the fact that they were the person the other could be honest with (and even that wasn't always the case), they were very judgmental towards each other and always arguing and assuming things about the other. i wasn't even rooting for them to be together. their arguments gets very repetitive very fast and they both have no development as characters or as a couple until the very end of the book. secondly, all i could think through out the whole book was how annoying the characters were? if i started to list all the things the characters did that annoyed me we'd be here all day. There were some cute parts though that i enjoyed, other than that it really didn't do it for me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    3.5 Stars As always, Katie Cotugno delivers realistic and grounded characters in dramatic and unlikely situations. I love Cotugno's books because that strike a great balance of escapism and authenticity that makes the situations feel heightened and deliciously dramatic, but the characters always act in believable ways - even if it's not what I would do, I can understand their choices. Meg and Colby instantly connect after Meg's canvassing call for Colby's recently deceased dad goes awry. But the 3.5 Stars As always, Katie Cotugno delivers realistic and grounded characters in dramatic and unlikely situations. I love Cotugno's books because that strike a great balance of escapism and authenticity that makes the situations feel heightened and deliciously dramatic, but the characters always act in believable ways - even if it's not what I would do, I can understand their choices. Meg and Colby instantly connect after Meg's canvassing call for Colby's recently deceased dad goes awry. But the two challenge each other and are honest with each other in ways they're not with the other people in their lives, because sometimes talking to someone without expectations is easier. The romance is sweet but does have two personalities that often butt heads, but are not afraid to listen to someone who challenges their point of view. Overall, You Say It First is a quick read with great characters and development. I don't think you'll be disappointed. I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lacey

    3.5 stars Review coming soon

  10. 5 out of 5

    The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)

    This book does give me some Morgan Matson ThUnexpected Everything Vibes. I am curious to find out how the long distance relationship works out. Also, that cover is super cute.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This story was a DELIGHT. I so appreciated how Meg and Colby’s perspectives are shown in a way that doesn’t idealize one over the other. It’s interesting because politics are mentioned but not in a direct this side vs this side. It was more that Meg really cared about progressive movements and Colby was just indifferent. This was a smart choice, I think, that allowed for more debate and productive ideological battles. Everything was handled so thoughtfully. As someone who struggles to always voi This story was a DELIGHT. I so appreciated how Meg and Colby’s perspectives are shown in a way that doesn’t idealize one over the other. It’s interesting because politics are mentioned but not in a direct this side vs this side. It was more that Meg really cared about progressive movements and Colby was just indifferent. This was a smart choice, I think, that allowed for more debate and productive ideological battles. Everything was handled so thoughtfully. As someone who struggles to always voice their opinions openly, I loved seeing Meg’s journey. Deep conversations are my JAM, and this romance was so much fun to follow. A stellar opposites attract contemporary!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    3.5/ 5 stars You Say It First is my sixth book by this author. This book is a Young Adult contemporary book. This was a quick YA read. However from the cover I was expecting a sweet, cute romantic YA love story. To me this book was not that at all. It was more YA realistic fiction with some romance. The book deals with a lot of hard subjects (like divorce, suicide, alcoholism, socioeconomic status...). So it was more serious than I was expecting. The book has alternating 3rd person POVs: Meg and Co 3.5/ 5 stars You Say It First is my sixth book by this author. This book is a Young Adult contemporary book. This was a quick YA read. However from the cover I was expecting a sweet, cute romantic YA love story. To me this book was not that at all. It was more YA realistic fiction with some romance. The book deals with a lot of hard subjects (like divorce, suicide, alcoholism, socioeconomic status...). So it was more serious than I was expecting. The book has alternating 3rd person POVs: Meg and Colby (both 18 years old). Meg lives in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Colby lives in Ohio. Since the two teens live in different states I was a bit confused as to how they would even meet or have any type of relationship. I guess that is why the cover shows them on their cellphones. Meg is a high school senior who likes politics and who is obsessed with getting people to vote (she works at a voter registration call center). She is planning to go to college the next year with her best friend. Colby is much more rough around the edges. He lives in a much poorer neighborhood. He does not have a lot of money. But works full-time. It took me a while to like either narrator. They were both fine. But the 3rd person POVs made me feel slightly detached from them both. For readers expecting a fairy-tale story where they meet and fall in love ... well this isn't that at all. They fight and they each have a lot of issues to deal with at home. I think that a lot of teens will be able to relate to so many of the issues discussed in this book. And that is amazing. This book is very difficult for me to rate. There were parts that were cute and romantic. But this book deals with such difficult topics. It was just really not what I was expecting at all. Thanks to edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for allowing me to read this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    a_strange_bookworm

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ⭐⭐⭐½** It was a good book, however, Meg was a little bit too much at times. She believed that her opinion alone was right. Don't get me wrong, I love determined characters with strong opinions but Meg believed that anyone who had their own opinions that were different from hers was stupid or less than. I believe that you can have your own opinions while still respecting the opinions of others and in my opinion, Meg was incapable of doing so. Meg was the reason that an entire star was taken away. Co ⭐⭐⭐½** It was a good book, however, Meg was a little bit too much at times. She believed that her opinion alone was right. Don't get me wrong, I love determined characters with strong opinions but Meg believed that anyone who had their own opinions that were different from hers was stupid or less than. I believe that you can have your own opinions while still respecting the opinions of others and in my opinion, Meg was incapable of doing so. Meg was the reason that an entire star was taken away. Colby was a slightly above average character. He wasn't great but he wasn't awful, either. I get why he did the things he did at times but sometimes he said and did things that just annoyed me. Emily was just so annoying. I don't even think I need to explain. Once you read you'd get it (I also don't wanna write an entire essay on why I strongly dislike her). We also need to get a second part because they both realized their feelings went deeper than they thought and never voiced it... Plus I wanna know how their meeting went and what their far future together held. Does Meg get her happily ever after? The one her parents never had? And how does her dad feel about her mom's drinking? Does he help out? Do they come to a civil agreement???

  14. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 4.5* I both love and hate when a book makes me feel stuff. Especially when it was stuff I wasn't trying to feel! But regardless of whether I like feelings, it does mean it was clearly a damn good book. So let's talk about why I enjoyed it so much!  ►The relationship just felt so honest. Meg and Colby are so wonderfully flawed, so messy as individuals, and that is just plain rela You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 4.5* I both love and hate when a book makes me feel stuff. Especially when it was stuff I wasn't trying to feel! But regardless of whether I like feelings, it does mean it was clearly a damn good book. So let's talk about why I enjoyed it so much!  ►The relationship just felt so honest. Meg and Colby are so wonderfully flawed, so messy as individuals, and that is just plain relatable. Then, they bring their messy selves into this relationship, and they actually have to like, choose whether they want to make it work. Obviously they have great chemistry and such, but in a relationship like this, where they live hundreds of miles apart, and have no prior connection, it would be easy to give up. Sometimes, each of them wants to because it gets hard sometimes to be open and work at something. And that is just real as anything. ►Both characters grow a lot during the book. One of the elements of this book that I loved the most is that both characters had to work through their own crap. It wasn't like "oh look they found each other and everything is perfect", no. It was more that they needed to grow as individuals before there would even be a chance for them to work as a couple. ►Voting! Meg volunteers for an organization that registers people from all over the country to vote over the phone. This of course is how Meg meets Colby, which the synopsis tells you. But more than that, there is a ton of great discussion on why it is so important to vote! ►The characters each have their own strong relationships outside the romance. Family and friendships play a huge role in both of their stories, which is as it should be. They had to navigate growing and changing friendships, and how family dynamics change over time. It was great to love each character in their own "home world" as well as when their worlds collide. ►There were feels. Which I said, and sometimes it is rude when books make you think about stuff that you don't want to think about, and hit you right the heck in the feels. Which this one did. But how can I be mad when it felt so honest? Alas, I cannot. Bottom Line:  It's a feel-good story that still somehow feels incredibly realistic and relatable. Basically, a huge win.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nia •ShadesOfPaper•

    Thank you HarperCollins and Balzer+Bray for the ARC. Blog | Twitter | Instagram | BlogLovin’ Thank you HarperCollins and Balzer+Bray for the ARC. Blog | Twitter | Instagram | BlogLovin’

  16. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    **Thank you to HarperCollins Canada on Edelweiss for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review.** I enjoyed this book! I liked the premise and the characters and the ideas were really interesting. I think that this was closer to a 3.5 for me, as there were parts that were frustrating. The true testament to how much I enjoyed this book is how quickly I ended up reading it. (Trigger warning list included at the end) I really liked the characters of Meg and Colby, and that we got to see th **Thank you to HarperCollins Canada on Edelweiss for sending me this eARC in exchange for an honest review.** I enjoyed this book! I liked the premise and the characters and the ideas were really interesting. I think that this was closer to a 3.5 for me, as there were parts that were frustrating. The true testament to how much I enjoyed this book is how quickly I ended up reading it. (Trigger warning list included at the end) I really liked the characters of Meg and Colby, and that we got to see the story from both of their perspectives. And I love how they initially start talking! That both are going through difficult parts of their lives in different ways, and it kind of brings them together when they can talk to a stranger candidly. There is something so endearing about the idea of being vulnerable with a stranger, and having it turn into something more... I liked the banter that happened between Meg and Colby. How they would challenge each other, but also show this vulnerability that they felt they couldn't show to anyone else in their lives. It gave them someone else to turn to for the things that upset them or made them excited. And it felt realistic that they would have all of these conflicting opinions and life experiences, how they would need to work to understand each other and listen to what the other person thought or had experienced. They help each other through difficult situations, and overall have so many incredibly cute interactions. I will say that I thought there was just a bit too much of the back and forth, the idea of on and off again and again. It seemed liked they kept coming together and apart, together and apart. And it started to seem a bit frustrating instead of realistic and endearing. It got to a point where I just wanted to shout "come on, already!" I think because you kind of have an idea for where the story is going, that it feels like it takes a bit to long to get there at so many parts to it. There were also some scenes that felt slightly unnecessary. All of the scenes with Meg's ex didn't really have a lot to help drive the story - there was a lot to unpack without that being a part of it. And the scene where Colby and his brother fight? It didn't feel needed. You can already tell that it is a tense relationship. I do think that the story dealt with some very heavy topics really well. There were so many things that were intense in this book. I had originally thought that it would be a lighter and fun YA contemporary, but it really packed a punch with all of the serious (and triggering) topics that it covered. I was surprised that it dealt with them so well, even if it did feel like it might have been too many things thrown at the reader to be dealing with between two characters. I think all in all that this was a great read! In some ways I could liken it to the YA version of Colleen Hoover, and it was well paced for the majority of the read. Trigger warnings: Suicide, swearing, alcohol, sex, alcoholism, addiction, depression, sexist jokes, fighting.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Belcher

    I think this one sits at about a 3.5 for me. Colby and Meg meet when she calls him to ask if he's registered to vote as part of her phone banking job. They get off on the wrong foot and when Meg calls to apologize, it kicks off a series of calls, texts, and meetings where the two butt heads but ultimately start to fall for each other. He thinks she's just a spoiled rich girl from the suburbs and she thinks he's just a dude from "nowheresville" who isn't living up to his potential or dreaming big I think this one sits at about a 3.5 for me. Colby and Meg meet when she calls him to ask if he's registered to vote as part of her phone banking job. They get off on the wrong foot and when Meg calls to apologize, it kicks off a series of calls, texts, and meetings where the two butt heads but ultimately start to fall for each other. He thinks she's just a spoiled rich girl from the suburbs and she thinks he's just a dude from "nowheresville" who isn't living up to his potential or dreaming big enough. I think there was some level of truth to each of their preconceived notions and I liked how they challenged and pushed each other in that regard. But, I actually thought that they could have examined their own ideas and biases a little more to bring that aspect of the book full circle. This is definitely an opposites-attract romance. I liked both main characters separately (though they could both be frustrating at times), but I don't think I was totally sold on them as a couple. The whole premise rests on them being the one person each other can be completely honest with, but I feel like they were just so out of sync most of the time. And I know that's the whole point, kind of, but it didn't feel like there was enough to the relationship to make me root for them especially hard and to believe that they will make it work post happy-for-now ending. I was rooting for Colby and Meg as characters separately though. Both are at crossroads in their lives and are still grieving/trying to heal from really traumatic past experiences and I was really interested to see where their storylines would go. Overall I enjoyed reading this. It's a kind of angsty YA romance and a pretty quick read. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins) through Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*

  18. 4 out of 5

    theresa

    so we have this *gorgeous* cover,and then we have that *beautiful* story-it’s a win win💫

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sanna

    7 October 2019 Nooo... I have to wait until June 2020. It’s only October. This sounds soo interesting and I want to hold this book in my hands. You can never get to much of romance-contemporary. Well, that’s at least my thought. The cover is soo cute as well.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary (bookstorevibe)

    I’m in love with this cover! And the synopsis sounds so fun!!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andi (Andi's ABCs)

    This review was originally posted on Andi's ABCs I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. When I see Katie Cotugno has a new book coming out I immediately add it to my TBR without even knowing what it is about. She is an auto read author for me and she has never let me down. So when I read what You Say It First is about I was even more intrigued. It was a subject that is current and relevant This review was originally posted on Andi's ABCs I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. When I see Katie Cotugno has a new book coming out I immediately add it to my TBR without even knowing what it is about. She is an auto read author for me and she has never let me down. So when I read what You Say It First is about I was even more intrigued. It was a subject that is current and relevant and something I knew Katie was passionate about. I was really excited to read it and once again Katie did not let me know. You Say It First was a solid, solid read. You Say It First is about Meg and Colby, two 18 year olds that meet under unexpected circumstances. Meg is a girl from Philadelphia with a plan. She is has the perfect boyfriend and is supposed to go to Cornell with her best friend Emily. She is passionate about politics and makes calls to encourage people to register to vote. But when Mason breaks-up with her plans are starting to come undone. And then Meg makes a chance call to a small town in Ohio and “meets” Colby. Colby is having his own personal problems so when Meg calls he says something mean and hangs up. Unfortunately guilt is a terrible thing and Colby can’t let it go. Instead he and Meg start a friendship and something more over the phone. The problem is how different they both are and it might not be so easy to get past those differences. What I really liked about You Say It First was how real it felt. Both Meg and Colby were searching for something in their lives. Colby was dealing with a tragedy that destroyed him and Meg was dealing with be upfront with what she wanted out of her life. They both needed something can they were brought into each other’s lives at the right time. And because they met over the phone they were able to be more honest than usual because they had the comfort of some anonymity. They were not the perfect couple by any means. Even on paper they weren’t even destined to be friends. But even with their differences they were really good together. They made me laugh and cry and general enjoy all the emotions they were both dealing with. It was exactly what I have come to love from Katie’s writing. It was believable. So why didn’t I give You Say It First 5 stars? The simple answer is I needed it to be longer. If it was even 50 pages longer and dealt with some of the smaller storylines I think I would have found it to be a perfect book. But whether it is a 4 star read or a 5 star read the important thing is…it is a MUST read. Add this book to your TBR and do it today.

  22. 4 out of 5

    mika

    loo-look at the cover of this book. it said mika rights

  23. 5 out of 5

    Krysti

    A YA contemporary novel that will inspire young people to get out there and vote. Meg and Mason come from very different socioeconomic and political backgrounds. The two meet when Meg calls Mason by chance during her shift at a voter registration center, and something instantly sparks between them. Through a series of heated phone calls and in-person meetups, Meg and Mason discover that their similarities may be more important than their differences, and that their feelings for one another are m A YA contemporary novel that will inspire young people to get out there and vote. Meg and Mason come from very different socioeconomic and political backgrounds. The two meet when Meg calls Mason by chance during her shift at a voter registration center, and something instantly sparks between them. Through a series of heated phone calls and in-person meetups, Meg and Mason discover that their similarities may be more important than their differences, and that their feelings for one another are more complicated than they ever imagined. I'm a fan of Katie Cotugno's books, but this might just be my favorite of hers yet. I was utterly engrossed by these two characters and this timely story. This book is such a smart exploration of what it's like to be young and politically engaged in our society. I loved the commentary on finding common ground with people we disagree with. And the romance was, of course, adorable and captivating. Highly recommend this one!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    I had so much fun with this story! I admit, the characters were a bit awkward and the romance as well every now and then (these two could switch moods faster than light), but what got me the most was nostalgia. Good, sweet, funny nostalgia, that is. The fact is, before the internet got to be this very big thing (at least in my country) and people started having online friends (probably even granny and her dogs have facebook accounts these days), I did have one or two of these so called "phone pal I had so much fun with this story! I admit, the characters were a bit awkward and the romance as well every now and then (these two could switch moods faster than light), but what got me the most was nostalgia. Good, sweet, funny nostalgia, that is. The fact is, before the internet got to be this very big thing (at least in my country) and people started having online friends (probably even granny and her dogs have facebook accounts these days), I did have one or two of these so called "phone pals" (one I never actually met in real life - hey there, stranger!) and it was funny reliving those moments. I used to spend hours talking someone's ears off about all sorts of things and I had so much fun sometimes. It's liberating not to feel judged (and, in this regard, I understand why these days teenagers have so many online friends - it's sad, but understandable) and though you will never really know or trust the person on the other side, you can freely be yourself in a way you can not with some people in your (real) life. Then again, I guess this can turn dangerous real fast in some instances, so kids, like the cartoons say: better not do this at home all! LOL! Back to the story, it made me smile a lot. There was something addictive to it, something that managed to pull me in - and after all this time of not being able to read (as I didn't feel like it) it felt incredible to simply get lost into this light, cute, funny romantic story. Then again, this is not all too fluffy and cute, as it it also tackles some very important subjects which gives it and its characters quite some depth. Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read an ARC, it was an absolute delight and I can't wait to read more from this author! PS: is it only me, or other people think too that voices on the phone are so much interesting and deep (and why not, at times damn sexy too) than in real life?

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    CW: (view spoiler)[suicide, alcoholism (hide spoiler)] You Say It First is one of those messy, complex contemporaries that manages to maintain a fluffy sort of feel to it, the sort of vibe that fits the cover. It's much sweeter than the other Cotugno books I've tried, much more romancey. Obviously the base of this is fairly political, but to me it was remarkably withdrawn on that aspect. Meg's an activist liberal, and she works for an organization that helps get people signed up to vote. She figh CW: (view spoiler)[suicide, alcoholism (hide spoiler)] You Say It First is one of those messy, complex contemporaries that manages to maintain a fluffy sort of feel to it, the sort of vibe that fits the cover. It's much sweeter than the other Cotugno books I've tried, much more romancey. Obviously the base of this is fairly political, but to me it was remarkably withdrawn on that aspect. Meg's an activist liberal, and she works for an organization that helps get people signed up to vote. She fights against microaggressions and calls people out in a way that we all need to be doing. However, there's very little actual political discourse. Colby's clearly from a more Republican town, but, aside from a reference to Fox News, there's really no reference to the parties. Everything's coded and held at a remove. I'm honestly not sure if that will make this book more popular and influential with the target audience or not. I thought it was kind of weird how this avoided taking a hardline stance on politics in some ways, but I also appreciated how much more subtle it was than a lot of the political YA I've tried. This book is set up like a cross-party romance, and I think it's as far that direction as can be done effectively. Colby's politics are an unknown, because he's one of those jaded types who thinks voting is pointless. Honestly, that's how I was at that age; I voted in the major elections, but I definitely didn't see the point of it for a lot of similar reasons. The argument between Meg and Colby isn't Republican vs Democrat but about whether voting is important. It's timely, but, as I said, slightly weird to not have the party battle in a book about politics that comes out in 2020. Though I don't know if I ship Colby and Meg or not, their dynamic is definitely compelling and they feel real. After their meet cute, where she calls him to get him to register to vote, they begin talking on the phone regularly. There's something about the freedom of not really knowing each other IRL that allows them to question one another and argue in a way that they both really need, because they've both fallen into ruts in their normal lives. Again, these are the kinds of intense discussions people need to be having more of. The family and friend aspects are largely sad, but they're kept more as background, needed for character development of the MCs. In some ways, I like that choice, but I also feel like there's so much raised there that doesn't end up being handled. I wanted more from the conversations with Mason and Emily, and there was no resolution whatsoever of Meg's relationship with either mom or dad. I did like the small moment where Colby called someone out for saying something douchey at the end, because it shows how he's changed as a result of her influence. There's a lot this book does well, and some readers will adore the subtle handling of everything. While leaning liberal, this is a book that takes the party aspect out and focuses on the importance of voting and trying to make a difference. I'd recommend this for readers who want something political that isn't preachy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    anna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time. Okay, maybe not a long time, but at least two months. And now that I did, I don’t really know what to say. Meg and Colby are very complex characters. And each of them has their own personality. Their relationship is a long-distance one, since Meg lives in Philadelphia and Colby is from Ohio. What I REALLY liked about this book is that the main characters are real. They are SO relatable. And that’s the catch. It’s really hard to analyze someone I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time. Okay, maybe not a long time, but at least two months. And now that I did, I don’t really know what to say. Meg and Colby are very complex characters. And each of them has their own personality. Their relationship is a long-distance one, since Meg lives in Philadelphia and Colby is from Ohio. What I REALLY liked about this book is that the main characters are real. They are SO relatable. And that’s the catch. It’s really hard to analyze someone so similar to you. But here’s the thing: Meg is a white rich feminist. I’m not critizing her, I’m only stating a fact. I can’t criticize Meg for being something that I am. However, Meg does think ANYONE who doesn’t agree with her is a dumbass. Even people whose reality she can’t even begin to comprehend. I get it, she means well. But oh my God, I was THIS CLOSE to losing my shit really often while reading You Say It First. Not only because Meg is the human embodiment of white privilege (and I have to say I was a little disappointed she doesn’t even seem to realize that), but because she’s so… passive? I can’t say more without giving spoilers, but I will say her best friend is a weenie (I just did, in a fact, say the word “weenie”. Sue me). I’m not buying that “we’re feminists, so you can be a bitch whenever you want to. SORORITY YEY!!!” speech. I mean, you CAN dislike women if they suck. It’s not against the Feminist Bible. Also, I didn’t buy Meg’s reason for being the way she is. Sorry. As for Colby, he’s… pretty sad. Yeah. I loved him. I think maybe Colby is a little depressed. He’s so sad, so angry. He’s so sad all the time he doesn’t even allow himself to appreciate things. Because if he does, he will be disappointed. And he can’t stand being sadder than he already is. You know what I mean? And, unlike Meg, when he does meet her friends, he doesn’t call their bullshit (even though they’re full of it and they’re AWARE of that). Please, I’m not saying Meg shouldn’t call Colby’s friends on their bullshit, but like… she’s a rich white woman, for God’s sake. She can’t “educate” poor people as if they’re savages. So whatever, I really did love Colby. And I hope he finds closure someday. That being said, the end sucked. Really bad. I mean, is Katie Cotugno really saying we have to read over 300 pages and in the end we don’t even get a freaking I LOVE YOU??? WHAT THE HELL???? I do have my needs, you know. I need fluffy or I might die. So, I guess You Say It First deserves a 3,5/5 stars. I was hoping for a little… more. I can’t really explain it. When you know, you know. (This was my first review EVER. Please don’t hate me).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melannie :)

    Well, there was that. As I sit here dumbfounded, I can’t help but reminisce about my first Katie Cotugno experience, 99 Days. Because after that masterpiece, I didn’t believe (though I really tried to) that she could do it again. But she did, and the giddiness I’ve been feeling since I first cracked this book open is proof. I mean what is not to like about a couple of teenagers, total opposites in so many ways, coming together to realize their differences could make them better. I felt this book w Well, there was that. As I sit here dumbfounded, I can’t help but reminisce about my first Katie Cotugno experience, 99 Days. Because after that masterpiece, I didn’t believe (though I really tried to) that she could do it again. But she did, and the giddiness I’ve been feeling since I first cracked this book open is proof. I mean what is not to like about a couple of teenagers, total opposites in so many ways, coming together to realize their differences could make them better. I felt this book was important in so many levels. It’s about a lot of the current issues in the world: feminism, sexism, politics, depression, suicide, and so many feelings that keep our brains reeling. It explored both sides of every coin without being preachy, for all the Megs and the Colbys out there (and the ones like me, that alternate between both). And like the mastermind that she is, Katie Cotugno managed to develop a nail-bitting, heart-racing romance in between all of that. The story is deliciously intricate, with twists and turns galore, so much so that I was glued to the pages from start to finish without stopping. And when I did, because the book ended, all I wanted to do was groan and ask for more. I can’t wait for all of you to dig in and discover it for yourselves. Meanwhile I am going to be ordering a couple of copies for my shelves.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Meg was passionate about being part of the political process, and put her money where her mouth was by dedicating her time and effort to many causes she was believed in. One such cause was voter registration, but she never thought her phonebanking would lead to an unlikely friendship and so much more. I always lament being a lonely moderate in this VERY politically polarized environment. So, I will admit, I approached this book with trepidation. However, it was a pleasant surprise, and not what Meg was passionate about being part of the political process, and put her money where her mouth was by dedicating her time and effort to many causes she was believed in. One such cause was voter registration, but she never thought her phonebanking would lead to an unlikely friendship and so much more. I always lament being a lonely moderate in this VERY politically polarized environment. So, I will admit, I approached this book with trepidation. However, it was a pleasant surprise, and not what I was expecting at all. I should have just trusted Katie Cotugno. I definitely knew where Meg stood, politically, but Colby didn't seem to have too much conviction either way. He seemed more fed up with or disappointed in the political process, while Meg was a firm believer, that change was possible via this avenue. I thought the idea of being part of the process was such an important one, and I also liked that Meg spotlighted local politics. The federal government does not make all the rules, and I, therefore, appreciated the focus on getting involved locally. For me, the beauty of the relationship, that blossomed between Colby and Meg, was how they challenged each other. Things were great at school for Meg, where everyone agreed with all her views, but along came Colby, and he had her questioning multiple aspects of her life. Meg also pushed Colby, and she dared him to see more possibilities, to believe that change could happen. They debated, they discussed, and they forced each other to see things from a different point of view. It was that change in perspective, which resulted in a lot of personal growth for them both. I found myself fully absorbed in this story. I sped right through it, and overall, was pleased with what I read. I was a bit conflicted about the ending, though. I found it symbolically beautiful, but would have loved to have seen beyond that point. I will say, that I knew enough about the direction in which the characters were heading. However, I was somewhat excited about these developments, and greedy me wanted the story to go a wee bit longer, so I could see how it all worked out. Overall: I throughly enjoyed this blend of romance, personal drama, and politics. It was about embracing differences, and seeing them as a way to refine and examine our own beliefs. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  29. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    I really really enjoyed this story. I feel as though it is very realistic in which high school romance is not smooth sailing. Meg and Colby have a very strong yet different connection from the beginning. When reality plays a part, friends, family, and the 8 hour dive between them, it gets tricky. Love can put a lot of pressure on teenagers and this book shows it all. The first story I read by Katie Cotugno was actually a short story in the book "Meet Cute". This book was an anthology of "meet cu I really really enjoyed this story. I feel as though it is very realistic in which high school romance is not smooth sailing. Meg and Colby have a very strong yet different connection from the beginning. When reality plays a part, friends, family, and the 8 hour dive between them, it gets tricky. Love can put a lot of pressure on teenagers and this book shows it all. The first story I read by Katie Cotugno was actually a short story in the book "Meet Cute". This book was an anthology of "meet cutes" and Katie's story definitely stuck out to me. I love her writing style and I have read a couple of her other books. I love seeing her progress as a writer. Her character development is also so detailed and on point. This book is one of my favorites that I have read this year and will be staying on my shelf for a long time.

  30. 4 out of 5

    michelle (magical reads)

    3.5 stars cw: mentions of past suicide I liked the first half (mainly the "finding the person you can vent to about literally everything") but idk once they met, the magic was a little lost to me

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