Kerry Winfrey has done it again, my friends
Have you ever been so excited for a new book to come out that you were inevitably disappointed?
I felt that way back when the final Harry Potter book came out, because I couldn’t handle holding it in my hands and knowing it was the end. No matter what lived between those covers, it couldn’t live up to the anticipation of a new book, that midnight release party feeling.
When Kerry Winfrey’s Very Sincerely Yours landed on my doorstep on release day, though?
Yeah, that was an entirely different story.
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Reading Winfrey’s first New Adult Contemporary Romance novel, Waiting for Tom Hanks, was, for me, an experience in being seen. The main character in that book is a 20-something Ohioan who grew up obsessed with romantic comedies, dreaming of her own rom-com worthy love story.
You could say the same about many prior iterations of myself. So naturally, that book felt less like a book and more like a hug, or a long conversation with a friend.
It was one of those reading experiences that immediately solidified the author as an autobuy (that’s Bookstagram speak for… well, I think it’s pretty self explanatory).
In spite of my trust in a fellow rom-com loving Ohioan’s ability to create absolutely delightful novels, I confess the premise behind Very Sincerely Yours gave me pause.
A woman working in a toy store? Falling in love with a man who has a children’s show?
That’s a lotta kids for someone who is, well… not very good with kids or interested in becoming good with them. But, the combination of Kerry Winfrey being one of my favorite authors and the pre-publication buzz convinced me to set aside my reservations and pre-order the book.
(Twice, accidentally. Again. I gotta come up with a system for these things).
When it arrived, in its 300+ page glory, I hugged it to my chest and immediately sat down to read.
Were this a just and fair world, things like “my favorite author released a new book yesterday” would be grounds for a day off work, no questions asked. Alas, this is not that world, and I instead had to take three late evenings (okay, and early mornings) to read it. It’s probably a good thing in the end, since that gave me more time to savor the reading experience.
Very Sincerely Yours very much lives up to the hype. I did not believe that “sexy Mr. Rodgers” could be a thing. Admittedly the on-the-page steam is minimal, yet… somehow, this book with a premise that made me shake my head and say “huh” completely works.
Teddy and Everett’s email exchanges are witty and vulnerable, completely making you fall in love with them together before they ever meet in person. That meeting, as you can imagine, is hilarious due to the fact that Everett’s face is on TV on a regular basis while Teddy’s is… not.
I’ll even forgive Winfrey for playing to trend and doing a dual perspective because a) it fits with the homage to You’ve Got Mail and b) Everett is a sweetheart, so I’m okay with spending some time in his point of view.
This book is a delight from start to finish. I love the fact that Teddy doesn’t know what she wants out of life and is trying a bunch of new things to try and recapture her spark. As someone who is nearing 30 and having a bit of a career crisis of identity herself, this felt oh-so-relatable.
Teddy and Everett are two people trying to figure out what they want out of life, and how to fit each other into that equation.
If you’ve been around for Winfrey’s other two adult romances, there’s a brief visit with a friend from another one of Winfrey’s books, which is always a delightful surprise.
In all, this felt like the perfect book to read as we hesitantly begin to re-enter in-person communication after a year of being — like Teddy and Everett — fully virtual.
There’s something so comforting about the security of a promised Happily Ever After (or at least Happy For Now) when so much else about the world is big and looming and overwhelming.
For me personally there’s the added bonus with this book of getting to hang out in Ohio, which I’ve not gotten to do as much with travel restrictions, etc, the past year.
In all, I recommend this book to fans of You’ve Got Mail, people who love a good romantic comedy, and of course, anyone who has ever lived and loved in the great state of Ohio.
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