"How about we collect perfect moments? ... Life doesn't have to be perfect to collect perfect moments."
Unlikely Match is another freebie I luckily got approved for through NetGalley. The blurb definitely had me hooked, but then I saw another Bookstagrammer say how good this book was, and I was so happy to get started reading it. Although I will say I was a little worried, because a romance with the main character needing a liver transplant was giving me A Walk to Remember vibes, and I was majorly scared. But anyways, let's get on with the review.
In Unlikely Match, we have Jules and Tom. They are both CEOs of tech start-ups that are sharing an office space. They appear to be completely different, and they immediately start off on the wrong foot. He's talking shit on her company, and she overhears him. She calls him out, like a badass, and he's stunned. They eventually become frenemies and then a fling. Throughout all of this, Tom is unaware that Jules is battling a life-threatening disease and is waiting for news of a possible donor for a liver. Tom eventually becomes enlightened about her situation and they have to deal with a complicated relationship to both find their happily ever after...if Jules doesn't run out of time.
Ok, so there are so many things I loved about this book. So much so that I flew through it pretty much in one day. I was laughing, I got all misty-eyed, I was just all up in my feels. I also loved how raw and real this book was. These are not characters who have petty problems or are unrealistically perfect. They are both real and are both very flawed. Yet they both are such amazing people and are willing to better themselves and face their fears for the other person. They also acknowledge that the other person cannot be perfect and that working to better themselves is not a linear progression. They know there will be ups and downs, but as long as they communicate and do not take on the responsibility of "fixing" one another, they can work through things together.
The romance between Jules and Tom is just *chef's kiss.* Like I mentioned earlier, it's real, and just, ugh, I love it. Despite very different traumas, they both just get one another. Some quotes about their relationship that just made me sigh, and if I hadn't felt these things with Derek, I wouldn't have believed them to be things that you can feel in real life.
"It felt like sitting in front of a roaring fire under a soft blanket, sipping a good cup of hot coffee." Ok, so I don't even like coffee, but in my head I just swapped that out with, like, hot cocoa or something.
"Could love and learning thrive side by side too?" Yes, unequivocally yes. As the majority of people in this world, I've had some bad relationships. Having to learn to work past those experiences to truly have a happy and healthy relationship with Derek has made me realize that this is what makes a relationship. You learn together, and that sets up the foundation for a strong, sturdy relationship.
The thing I did not like about this book...Jules's family. They are horrendous. Like legit pieces of shit. Their interactions in this book made want to go absolutely unhinged. And what's even worse is that there really are people like that. I try to see the best in people, but they're just awful. Good for Laura Bradbury to invoke such emotion with her writing (and that is not sarcasm!).
Now to move on to Jules's true family...her friends. I am so happy for Jules that she has created such a warm family for herself. Her best friend, Alan, is a true friend and family member. You can tell how much they each care for each other and truly want what is best for each other. Their relationship was very comforting to me. And while maybe not part of her chosen family, her Dr. Abebe and Stewart are such comforting characters. You can just tell their hearts are golden.
And a few more parts I highlighted and just loved from this book.
"Oh bless! I forgot how ridiculous men are. Thanks for reminding me why I'm married to a woman." I legit laughed out loud at this part. It's a very serious part of the book, and poor Tom is just not clued in as to why Jules is sick. He makes a statement that is just so endearing, and this person's reaction just cracks me up.
And these quotes on pity - they hit home and may be why I hate being pitied. I was just never able to put those feelings into words (the joy of books, right? They help us express ourselves in ways we never thought we'd be able to). "Once they decide you are one thing, it's almost impossible to change their minds, yet nobody can be defined by just one thing. Not ever." and "And they always made me feel like a stranger to myself-like pity blinded people to who I was inside."
And for anyone who has ever been through some type of trauma or mental or physical illness, this one will probably speak to you like it did me. "You've earned your black belt in surviving; the hard thing is remembering how to live."
Overall, I gave Unlikely Match five stars. I actually had planned to do this blog on another book, but loved this one so much, and had so much to say, I needed to give this book a whole blog instead of just a short review on social media. I really hope you'll pick this book up. It's free on Kindle Unlimited and is worth the $5 Kindle version.
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