Saturday, May 29, 2021

Book Review: "Take Me Home Tonight" by Morgan Matson

In Take Me Home Tonight, Morgan Matson's new YA novel, when two best friends sneak out for a night in NYC, they get an evening they never imagined.

Kat and Stevie are best friends. They couldn’t be more different from each other in many ways, but they’re both theater kids, and their lives often revolve around the fall play and the spring musical. And they mostly tell each other everything. Right?

When Stevie’s plans to celebrate her 18th birthday in NYC fall apart, Kat decides that they should go into the city anyway. They’ll go see a play, go to the restaurant Stevie was supposed to, and have an incredible time. (Of course, Kat has an ulterior motive beyond doing something nice for her friend, but whatevs.)

So they sneak into NYC (their parents would never let them go to the city alone on a Friday night) and get ready for a memorable night. And that’s what they get, complete with family drama, a dog that likes to wander, broken phones, and even the possibility of romance. At the same time, they’ll have to confront their fears about the future and explore the rough spots in their friendship.

I grew up about an hour outside of NYC so I love stories that take place there, and as a theater kid, I stan books about them. This was a cute story, balancing serious and silly (there’s an awesome joke about Paul Rudd, whom I’m obsessed with). The characters aren’t perfect—Kat, in particular, is fairly ridiculous—but there is growth in their arcs.

While there definitely were some coincidences and situations that made me say “Really?”, the one thing that didn’t work for me in Take Me Home Tonight was a secondary plot line involving the girls’ other best friend, Teri. If it had been removed, I don’t the book would have missed it.

Having been a YA fan for so long I can’t believe this is my first Morgan Matson book, but I’ll definitely remedy that!!

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