February felt like a perfect time to read Jackson’s adult romance debut. I’ve enjoyed Jackson’s past books like Yesterday is History, so when I saw this book AND the charming cover? I was in. And what a fun book this was – it’s perfect for February! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
It’s been months since aspiring journalist Kian Andrews has heard from his ex-boyfriend, Hudson Rivers, but an urgent text has them meeting at a café. Maybe Hudson wants to profusely apologize for the breakup. Or confess his undying love. . . But no, Hudson has a favor to ask–he wants Kian to pretend to be his boyfriend while his parents are in town, and Kian reluctantly agrees.
The dinner doesn’t go exactly as planned, and suddenly Kian is Hudson’s plus one to Georgia’s wedding of the season. Hudson comes from a wealthy family where reputation is everything, and he really can’t afford another mistake. If Kian goes, he’ll help Hudson preserve appearances and get the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in media. This could be the big career break Kian needs.
But their fake relationship is starting to feel like it might be more than a means to an end, and it’s time for both men to fact-check their feelings.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Immediately I was struck by I’m So (Not) Over You‘s wry narration. Kian is a character I knew I was going to love immediately. Using humor to defuse a serious situation as a coping mechanism? Sign me right up. Having friends that you love and that give good advice…which you end up ignoring because that twitch in your heart tells you to? I felt called out. Kian manages to balance not only the traits which resonated, but also some I wasn’t even aware of.
But besides absolutely falling in love with Kian’s character – I laughed so much while reading – I loved how I’m So (Not) Over You refuses to pull its punches. How Kian tries to hold back, but ends up pushing and making Hudson, and his family, aware of his privilege. I wish I had that bravery! Kian can be real sassy when he wants to be. At the same time, Kian’s struggle with the potential second chance was fantastic to read. How second chance romances bring up pieces of a relationship we think we’ve forgotten. Up until we see habits we fall into, then the tsunami crashes over us.
We can think we are over someone, that we have taken back the ability for them to hurt us, but that’s not often how it goes. I loved that Jackson unpacks what broke between them, who they are now, and the issues that linger. In I’m So (Not) Over You, Kian and Hudson’s story explores familial expectations, the need for boundaries, and the difficulty of having a sibling. There’s a well maintained balance between conversations about the fear of vulnerability, with witty and crystal sharp banter.
While there were a few plot elements that bothered me towards the end (including a tad hasty conclusion) – which I can’t figure out is just my own indignation for my faves or just also personal taste – I’ll never get over how many hot takes Kian and I have. I’m So (Not) Over You celebrates the layers of people underneath the surface. The necessity of finding the strength in yourself to confront your own mistakes, the limits you set holding yourself back, and our dreams. Find I’m So (Not) Over You on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.