Monday, December 21, 2015

Review: When Joss Met Matt

Title: When Joss Met Matt
Author: Ellie Cahill
Release Date: February 24th 2015
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 368 pages
Rating: 5 Cows

Goodreads Description:
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.

            Sorbet is usually [a] fruit flavored ice served as a dessert or between courses as a palate refresher. In “When Joss Met Matt” though, the idea of sorbet takes on a whole new meaning.  Having met during their freshman year of college, Joss and Matt hit it off as friends right away. Initially, there appeared to be some chemistry between the two, but at the time Joss was still dating her high school boyfriend named Ben.  Fast forward a few months and Ben and Joss’s relationship end after a particularly long weekend Ben and Joss spent holed up in her dorm room making up for lost time.  Determined to get revenge and cleanse herself of Ben, Joss goes out on Halloween.  By the end of the night she leaves with Matt and they have a heart to heart about exes.  What works to get over them?  What doesn’t?  How do you get over sex with them and move on to someone else?  Enter sorbet sex.
            At first, it seems to work ok.  In fact, it works so great that this whole sorbet thing lasts for 7 years between Matt and Joss.  They even have rules for how it should work, written down on a piece of paper they jokingly wrote in college.  Every time Matt or Joss gets out of a bad relationship, that person calls the other and asks them for sorbet.  Cleansing the pallet, right?
            I thought this whole concept of sorbet sex was hilarious, because I have plenty of friends who have done something similar to this with a friend when getting over a bad breakup.  I was surprised to see how long Matt and Joss were able to pull it off though, considering most times this sort of thing (also referred to as friends with benefits) seems to end badly.  I liked that Ellie Cahill included opinions from others about Joss and Matt’s relationship from time to time, because it was a pretty accurate portrayal of how I think people normally view this sort of arrangement in real life.  Often times I’ve heard people call their friends whores for participating in something like this and that they’re better off having a one night stand and moving on.  Which brings me to my next question: Is it better to hook up with a complete stranger in order to cleanse your pallet or do it with someone you feel confortable with and already know? 
            One of my favorite aspects of “When Joss Met Matt” is the way in which it was written.  Not only is it downright hilarious at times (Joss and Matt’s banter is absolutely hysterical and keeps things interesting) but the chapters are also separated into scenes from the present and their past.  As Joss and Matt are starting to realize (after 7+ years of doing this) that sorbet sex is getting in the way of their relationships, the book flashes back to specific instances in their friendship that they’ve helped each other out and talks about the relationships they were in at the time.
            Honestly, if you read Wholly-Books frequently you’ll know NA is a relatively new genre I started getting into this year.  As a college senior I love this genre because I can relate to it the most and I love a good romance story from time to time.  As far as NA books go though, this is by far my favorite this year. Matt and Joss’s story is fun to read about and quite steamy at times, but not so much that it takes away from the story itself.  I’ve often felt that with NA the sex scenes can get so out of hand at times that the story ends up feeling like a bad retelling of Fifty Shades of Grey.  With “When Joss Met Matt” though I didn’t feel that way at all.  Fans of Dahlia Adler and Kristy Centeno’s NA books will undoubtedly love Ellie Cahill’s book!  I might also add that the author, Ellie Cahill(who also goes by Liz), is just as awesome as her book is! I met her for the first time two weekends ago at Liza Wreimer’s Novel Cusine Luncheon (for more details read Heidi’s blog post here) and I was so excited to find out she brought copies of this book! 



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