(Full disclosure: I received a complimentary digital review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Book links in this post are Bookshop.org affiliate links).
When I read the synopsis for Andie J. Christopher’s Thank You, Next, I clicked that request button on NetGalley so hard I’m surprised I didn’t break something. Here’s the one line description that got me hooked:
“Alex Turner is never The One — but always the last one an ex dates before finding love — and now she’s determined to find out why in this hilarious new rom-com.” —NetGalley synopsis of Thank You, Next
I can’t quite explain why, but I’m a sucker for the “always the one before they find the one” trope, even more so when it involves a quest through the past to try and figure out why. And if the would-be love interest decides to tag along on the quest? I’m so there.
I’m thrilled that Berkley gave me the green light on an advanced review copy so I could settle my curiousity about this title ASAP and participate in the publication day blog blitz. Happy pub day to Thank You, Next and thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for the chance to read it in advance.
You already know I was excited to read this one, so let’s get in to how I felt about it once I did.
What I Liked
Alex and her friends are strong, independent women, as is her star of a grandmother. I loved seeing them interact with one another, and that they each lived a life of their own making that still allowed them to be their full selves.
Alex is a little prickly and standoffish, which I loved to see in the female protagonist of a romance. So often, they’re cast in the sunshine light, and women are allowed to be complicated, smart, and sexy, too.
I already mentioned that I like the premise here, of a journey of self-discovery sparked by the realization that you’re the last stop before your romantic partners find bliss.
There’s also some good diversity in the cast of characters, with a wide range of sexualities and gender identities present as well as racial diversity. This made the world feel refreshingly real and present because reality also contains these multitudes.
If you’re a fan of on-the-page spice, this book delivers a good amount of that, which I appreciate especially in a romance that features years of accumulated sexual tensions between the couple.
Finally, I enjoyed the mature, adult way that the central conflict was ultimately handled. Our protagonists showed they had learned and grown through their previous missteps in love with how they handled things when the going got rough on their way to HEA, which I enjoyed.
What I Didn’t Like
Because I was so excited for the tagline premise of the book, the way it actually played out on the page fell short for me. Not that much space on the page is actually dedicated to the quest to interview Alex’s exes, considering it’s the primary plot driver in the synopsis. I wanted more awkward conversations and a longer parade of exes, and that just didn’t end up actually being the driving force of the book.
What was the driving force of the book was the somewhat repetitive contrived reasons why Alex and would-be love interest Will think getting together would be a bad idea. I wish we’d spent a little less time focusing on this, because several chapters felt like we were stuck on replay with some of the thoughts that Alex and Will rehashed, respectively. While that can be the way these things go in our heads IRL, it didn’t make for particularly smooth reading and just felt frustrating when I wanted to get to the good stuff (see previous paragraph).
Ultimately, while there was a lot to love here, I felt let down by this book simply because I didn’t feel like it delivered on the premise that made me excited to pick it up in the first place. If I hadn’t gone in wanting more of that, I probably would have liked this book better.
I recommend this book to fans of an enemies-to-lovers romance, on-the-page spice, and watching flawed characters work to figure out their issues to find love. Thank You, Next came out today, June 14th.