Monday, February 9, 2015

Title: When Joss Met Matt
Author: Ellie Cahill (Liz Czukas)
Series: stand-alone
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Source: received from publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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.

For someone who's not the biggest fan of new adult in general, I've had some pretty awesome luck picking out great reads in this genre. In this case, it does help that I've already read -- and mostly adored -- a book by Liz Czukas, and When Joss Met Matt is written under her new adult pen name. Also, I'm a huge fan of the friends-to-lovers trope, and though this story is more "friends with benefits", it definitely falls under that category.

I'm also a big fan of banter, and this novel had it in spades. I loved the easy friendship between Joss and Matt, the witty repartee…and, oh my, that chemistry. From the very beginning, you know that these two should be together, and it's fun but painful to read as they fall in and out of love many times as they ultimately work toward that end result.

This novel read like the montage episode of your favorite show, where something that's happening on the show in the present results in a lot of flashbacks. I enjoy a story told in this manner, as long as the segue isn't jarring and the flashback makes sense in the scheme of things. It's handled well in When Joss  Met Matt, and the flashbacks were definitely necessary to the story. They give the reader a sense of the evolution of Joss and Matt's relationship, and they put what's happening between them now into perspective.

The only reason I didn't give this book five stars was because of the ending. It left something to be desired, especially with all of the build-up leading to it. Also, it was due a bit earlier and it felt like the author was prolonging it for bigger shock value. Aside from that, though, I really enjoyed this novel. For the most part, it was light-hearted and humorous, and I thought the spin on the standard "friends with benefits" storyline was refreshing. Cahill/Czukas definitely got my attention with this book, and I can't wait to read more from her, whether it be YA or NA.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

Liz Czukas is the author of fun YA romances like ASK AGAIN LATER (HarperTeen '14) and TOP TEN CLUES YOU'RE CLUELESS (HarperTeen '14). She also writes fun New Adult romances like WHEN JOSS MET MATT under the name Ellie Cahill.

Find Liz:

Website | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads | Tumblr | Instagram


  1. I am not much into NA, but I love a good banter and I am in love with stories that go from friendship to romance, so this might actually be my cup. I'll keep an eye on it, thanks!

  2. I wasn't a huge fan of this, to be honest. I thought it was a bit too drawn out for me. 7 years? Yeah, I think it could have been shortened and had more scenes where they bonded, etc, without the sorbet. Overall it was a nice story, though. Great review!

  3. Whoa, I've seen this book around the internet a lot lately but I didn't know it was by Liz Czuckas! Now I have to read it! I love NA books, so I have a feeling that I'll like this one too. I can't resist a good friends to romance story!
    Ariel @ Bookish Confessions

  4. Just finished this last night -- it was cute but not the best NA for me. I agree about the ending that it was kind of flat after all the build-up and all the years!

    Great review!


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