Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson

*Spoiler free*

When a guy named Martin Nathaniel Munroe II texts you, it should be obvious who you’re talking to. Except there’s two of them (it’s a long story), and Haley thinks she’s talking to the one she doesn’t hate. A question about a class project rapidly evolves into an all-consuming conversation. Haley finds that Martin is actually willing to listen to her weird facts and unusual obsessions, and Martin feels like Haley is the first person to really see who he is. Haley and Martin might be too awkward to hang out in real life, but over text, they’re becoming addicted to each other. There’s just one problem: Haley doesn’t know who Martin is. And Martin doesn’t know that Haley doesn’t know. But they better figure it out fast before their meet-cute becomes an epic meet-disaster . . .

I had seen this book around and never payed much attention to it. A lot of people seemed to be really excited for it, but I never really took the time to figure out what it was about. I then found out that one of the MCs is demisexual and I basically wanted to devour the entire book right there. And then I found out it’s told entirely thought text messages. I love digital love stories and this sounded like it would be a really unique take on that! I’m so, so happy that I was able to get an ARC at BookCon, I basically wanted to cry (or jump into haha) into the giant pile of them when I saw it.

I really, really liked this book. It felt like I was reading Haley’s and Martin’s text messages. I know that should be obvious, but it felt like two people texting. It was just two people chatting over the phone, but I was able to get the scope of the story just throughtout what they said to eachother. Johnson is honestly brilliant with how she wove this story together. She managed to put so much into this book just through text messages.

I was also able to see and feel the character development, the emotional side, and honestly everything else. Because of the format, you have to actually think about how the characters development instead of it being right into front of you, but it’s completely there. They grew and they changed and they learned. Just through messages to each other, I was able to get to know Haley and Martin. I was able to fall in love with them. I was able to connect with them. I don’t know why I’m so surprised that I was able to get so much of the emotional development out of this book. I guess I think it’s really, really hard to do that with this format, but this book managed to do it so wonderfully.

I loved the queer rep. Haley is demi and Martin is bi! They actually have long, solid conversations about their sexuality and I found that so cool. It was two teens talking about how they felt and trying to figure some things out. It felt really real and I just really enjoyed that scene.

For a bit there, I had a hard time figuring out who the side characters were and how they fit into the story. Since Martin and Haley kind of know each other, there’s no hard explaining where everyone fits in. I had a hard time keeping track of who was who and what was happening with certain people. Though, as I went along, I was able to sort everything out. I also don’t think I was able to get the full scope of some of the drama that went down, but that’s just because of the format and I don’t feel like I can blame it too much! I generally got what was happening and I think that was enough!

I loved this book a lot. It’s really different from other stuff that I have read in the best way. The format is used in such smart ways and it doesn’t allow the story to skimp on anything. It feels natural for all the conversations to be happening, and it doesn’t feel like things are explained just for the sake of the plot. It has such fantastic characters. I just really loved it.

Technically, You Started It comes out June 25, 2019! You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order a copy in the meantime!

Thank you for reading!


2 thoughts on “Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson

  1. I got a copy of this book from BookCon as well! I actually didn’t know it was told purely over text before I read it. But I ended up really enjoying it! I totally agree with you! The nuance and the characterization and just about everything was masterfully done!

    Liked by 1 person

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