I received this book for free from Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill
Published by Ballantine Books on February 24th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Ellie Cahill is poised to coin the term “sorbet sex” with her charming twist on the age-old ‘friends-with-benefits’ story.
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.
One of my favorite author discoveries in 2014 has to be Liz Czukas – I loved Ask Again Later and Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless – so when she announced a new adult book under a pen name, it was pretty much at the TOP of my wishlist. When Joss Met Matt is banterfluffy perfection, with plenty of swoony sexiness, which all made for the best refreshingly addictive read.
So When Joss Met Matt is the quintessential friends-with-benefits romance. Joss and Matt meet in college, and after Joss gets dumped by her loser boyfriend, they come up with the idea of sorbet sex. Their theory is that you need a good lay after a break up – but it’s best if you know that it’s going to be good. Having a one night stand could just fill you with more regret and disappointment if the guy/girl ends up being really creepy. So.. they have no-strings-attached sex! After any time either of them breaks up (so long as the other is single). There’s no way this could go wrong! Right?
It’s a premise that fills me with glee, to be honest, because even though it’s predictable and you know that they’re going to end up feeling more for each other and one side might get dumped, their relationship is so awesome. They’re such good friends, and their dialogue is 100% banter. They actually make rules – a binding contract – relating to the sorbet sex, one of which being that right after the sex, they have to start teasing each other and giving each other a hard time. I was cracking up all over the place – they’re HILARIOUS. And adorable too – cuddling is also mandatory. Say it with me, “AWWWWWWWWWWW!”
But that sex, man. There’s a lot of it, and it’s plenty hot, because Joss and Matt have a palpable chemistry – but it’s not gratuitous either. It’s not, say, Cora Carmack-levels of explicit hotness. In fact, young adult readers would do fine with this book – I’d argue that it’s more classed as “new adult” because it covers a wide age range, from 18 – 25. It goes through these seven years of Joss and Matt’s friends with benefits relationship and nods to different situations and issues that people in this age range face. There’s college with parties and roommates, deciding what to major in, coping with new jobs and new cities to live in, going to friends’ weddings… As someone who could be considered a new adult, I liked seeing all of these things while simultaneously getting a super adorable, hilarious, hot romance and not having any of the tragedy or heavy issues that are usually featured in this genre.
It is heavy on the romance, though. Both Joss and Matt go through their fair share of relationships and it may seem like their lives revolve around romance. But I could relate to them feeling pressured like they had to be in a relationship and sometimes making some pretty shitty choices. It’s realistic. I loved Joss’s voice, actually, and her sex positivity was really admirable. I wish I could be as confident as her. But more than anything, what I love is that we got to see both their friendship and their feelings for each other growing over the years. In their adult years they have a standing brunch date every Sunday – I love that kind of thing! They can tell each other ANYTHING, so it took next to no time for me to SHIP IT LIKE BURNING and wanting them to finally take the relationship plunge. But taking that step obviously carries quite some risk when you’re SUCH GOOD FRIENDS – best friends even – so I appreciated the realistic hesitance on both sides (albeit asdfjkl; frustrating and that tiny bit cliché).
I also have to take a moment to praise the hell out of the strong female friendships in the book. Nellie and Joss are flipping amazing together. They have almost as much banter between them as Joss and Matt – though there’s more emotional heartfelt stuff in between. But seriously, Nellie’s so supportive and hilarious at the end. She made me giggle, and I loved how she was just a straight shooter, telling it like it is, and making Joss see sense. ALSO Joss has a cat, Darwin, who is cute and hilariously loves Matt more than Joss. That has to be mentioned, because every detail of this book was just that charming.