“You were about to turn away from me. I think that 99% of the time I would’ve just left it at that. I had a nice chat with a good-looking girl, and I hadn’t freaked her out. It was a win. But for some reason, this time was one of the only times where a win wasn’t enough. I needed more, even if I could end up losing.”
Author: Liam Hurley Published: 2017 Pages: 303
As the title suggests, the book is about three things: you, me and us. The ‘you’ is Jimmy, a slightly cynical and sarcastic person. He falls for Erin, who is ‘me.’ And as you might have guessed, ‘us’ is both of them. The prologue begins with Jimmy telling us how much he loathes Erin and when the book starts, it is the beginning of their story – how they met and how they became an ‘us.’ Their lives are pretty uneventful but, as they embark on a relationship, Jimmy finds out that something uneventful can soon turn into a storm you never saw coming.
Hurley wrote this book well. It was funny where he wanted it to be funny and the dialogue was extremely relatable and plausible. The characters were realistic and I found myself thinking I could easily bump into a group of people exactly like that in real life. I think he’s perfected how real relationships work and how people interact. I like Jimmy’s narrative in that it was honest and real and I like that he and Erin were crafted uniquely by the author.
As much as I loved his characters however, the plot left much to be desired. The problem was, nothing really happened. When I read a romance, most of the time the actual story of the couple meeting and getting together is actually just a sub-plot. Usually there’s some kind of other major event happening which is keeping the plot going. Maybe they both have cancer (The Fault in our Stars), or maybe they are in the middle of World War 1 (Birdsong), or maybe they’re in some dystopian future and band together to work out how to survive (any dystopian trilogy ever.) But I don’t think I’ve ever read a book before where the whole plot is just how two people meet and end up in a relationship.
Even if the whole of plot was just two people meeting, I need something more profound. Some revelation one of them has while they’re together, or some kind of statement they’re making by being together. And even if the whole point of the book is just to show something ordinary and mundane, something unexceptional, I need more than that. I need to see how this mundanity is either breaking them or how they revel in it. How, actually, being exceptional is overrated.
Overall, this book was harmless. It did nothing groundbreaking, nothing unconventional, and certainly nothing that would make me want to read it again. I will say though that maybe it just wasn’t to my taste. Hurley was definitely successful in creating relatable characters with plausible reactions to the things that happened to them, it was just a shame it was nothing more than that.
Thank you to the author, Liam Hurley, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.