Tuesday, March 31, 2015

review: read bottom up by neel shah & skye chatham

After a brief encounter with a woman at the restaurant where he works, Elliot tracks down her email (via the PR person for the restaurant event) and reaches out. And what does Madeline do? What anyone would do of course. Checks in with her best friend and tries to check him out on Facebook. And so the scene is set for Read Bottom Up.

Composed entirely of texts and emails, Read Bottom Up is hilarious and engaging. I read straight through without stopping as the insecurities and misunderstandings of Madeline and Elliot’s relationship played out in the messages between each other and their respective best friends, Emily and David. Given the format, there can be no action--the reader hears about dates afterwards which positions the reader as one of the best friends; the rapid pacing of the texts and emails makes the lack of action barely noticeable. The messages are realistic too with no rehashing of events between the couple for the sake of the reader.

This couple seemed to be either headed toward marriage or an explosive end, but this is not the typical romantic comedy. The authors make that clear in their opening note. Not to worry though because Read Bottom Up is definitely not a downer. In fact, with the reader in the best friend role, the ending is absolutely perfect.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Dey Street Books.

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