Also by this author: The Ones Who Got Away, The One You Can't Forget
Series: Say Everything #1
Published by Sourcebook Casablanca on March 2, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Tropes: Neurological Disorder, Love Triangle
Source: Netgalley, Sourcebook Casablanca
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Audible
Narrator: Desiree Ketchum
Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
Everyone knows Miz Poppy, the vibrant reviewer whose commentary brightens the New Orleans nightlife. But no one knows Hollyn, the real face behind the media star...or the fear that keeps her isolated. When her boss tells her she needs to add video to her blog or lose her job, she's forced to rely on an unexpected source to help her face her fears.
When aspiring actor Jasper Deares finds out the shy woman who orders coffee every day is actually Miz Poppy, he realizes he has a golden opportunity to get the media attention his acting career needs. All he has to do is help Hollyn come out of her shell…and through their growing connection, finally find her voice.
I love when an author takes a condition not commonly used in books and writes a story around it. So far I’ve read this authors THE ONES WHO’VE GOT AWAY series. YES & I LOVE YOU is very different from that series.
Fear is there to protect us, but fear is also what gets us stuck.
Hollyn, a mystery reviewer writing as Miz Poppy, has Tourette’s. Past bad experience made her withdraw from the world and only now she’s, albeit fearfully, stepping back into it. A huge challenge is talking to people. Best case scenario is that she makes it to her office in the office building without being talked to. Andi, a true crime podcaster (and heroine of book 2), doesn’t let Hollyn’s tics and her closed-off-ness scare her away. For the first time in a long time Hollyn has a new friend.
There is also the new barista, Jasper, who thinks Hollyn hates him without realizing at first that scrunching her nose are her tics. Jasper is also an improv actor and I really loved to learn more about how they work. Hollyn’s professional challenge to review on camera eventually brings these two together.
“Just be you. Because you are pretty damn spectacular, Hollyn Darling.”
She is so brave, giving herself pep talks, gathering courage and coming out of her shell, step by step. Ultimately, Hollyn learns through her new experiences, with the help of her new friends and by taking a risk that her condition doesn’t have to define her, that she has the power to define her new comfort zone.
People always saw Jasper as a little flighty, head in the clouds, going for the impossible without a proper plan and being too impulsive. Meeting Hollyn, spending time with her, falling in love with her he learned that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing but he also learned that following an impulse isn’t the same as listening to what your heart tells you. He made some major progress and I was happy how he passed his final test.
“Life is one big improv stage anyway. You’re only as good as the people standing there with you. And you, Hollyn Darling, are the very best.”
If there is one thing I had a niggle with, it’s the introduction of a love triangle that didn’t really add anything necessary to the story. I’d loved Hollyn’s best friend because he was always there for her and after that I didn’t like him much anymore. I also didn’t feel any chemistry beyond friendship from either side so why the author introduced it…your guess is as good as mine. I thought it was a shame to make a perfectly good character look bad for no good reason.
Overall, this was a very cute story with quirky characters that’ll grow on you fast. The tenderness between Hollyn and Jasper made my heart gooey – I marked so many beautiful quotes, I wish I could share them all. Niggle notwithstanding, I whole-heartedly recommend this first installment of Roni Loren’s new series.
“Love isn’t rational. It’s a risk. It’s always a risk.”