Review by Booklist Review
Natalya Fox loves her life in New York with her mathematician dad, but she has a much more distant relationship with her L.A.--dwelling, career-focused mom. So when she's is handed a choice for the summer, she's not immediately sure what to do: Stay in New York, where she's happy, comfortable with her friends and her bisexuality, and maybe even working up the courage to talk to the redheaded girl she's always running into? Or head to L.A. for a maybe-awkward, maybe-fruitful summer as an intern at her mom's company? Well, in Adler's nod to Sliding Doors (or Netflix's Look Both Ways), she does both. Dual time lines depict Natalya's summers in New York (as she falls for redheaded Ellie) and in L.A., where, after a rocky start, she connects with fellow intern Adam. Each narrative is propelled not by fate but by Natalya's choices, and Adler manages to make a tricky, high-concept premise look easy, grounding the stories in character and culture. Some things happen in both: Natalya connects with her Jewish identity through Shabbat dinners, and puzzles through turning art into a career. The New York narrative is drenched in music, the L.A. narrative is full of food, and the ending lets readers make a decision of their own. Some things are fate, some things are choice, but love is everywhere you look for it.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
White, Jewish 17-year-old Natalya Fox must make what she feels is an impossible decision in this summery, Sliding Doors--inspired rom-com about risk-taking and second chances. Nat's relationship with her mother has been strained for three years, ever since her mom moved from New York to California to pursue a life-changing career opportunity. But when her mom offers Nat a summer internship, she's torn between going to L.A. to patch up their relationship and staying with her dad in N.Y.C., where she's been attempting to drum up the courage to make a move on the cute redheaded girl she keeps seeing around the Upper West Side. Adler (Home Field Advantage) forgoes forcing Nat to make a choice by structuring the book across two simultaneously occurring timelines. Instead, alternating chapters chronicle Nat's life in L.A., where she and her fellow intern--a frustratingly charming boy--bicker constantly, and in New York, where she learns that the redhead is cooler than Nat imagined. Though the dual story lines occasionally rehash the same material, leading to few surprises, Adler's enticing prose teems with a vibrancy born of intimately realized bicoastal settings and titillating romantic possibility. Ages 13--up. Agent: Patricia Nelson, Marsal Lyon Literary. (June)
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Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 10 Up--Rising high school senior and proud bisexual Natalya Fox gets to choose between two options for the summer: staying with her math professor dad on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where she's always lived, or going to Los Angeles to live with her semi-estranged high-powered businesswoman mom and intern at her PR firm. After a couple of chapters, the narrative diverges into two parallel arcs: one in which Natalya stays in New York but vows to push herself out of her comfort zone, and the other in which she spends the summer in LA. Her NYC time line sees her finally connect with the crush she keeps running into, a redheaded young woman named Elly. Natalya is whisked into her edgy punk rock world and a quick friends-to-lovers journey unfolds. In LA, she has a brief enemies-to-lovers journey with the other intern she shares a desk with, a somewhat curmudgeonly young man named Adam who moonlights at his brother's taco truck. In each path, she finds ways to connect with her mom and also discovers a possible career. Judaism is at the center of the narrative, with weekly Shabbat dinners and Jewish comfort food playing a central role in Natalya's life. The book ends with a choose-your-own-adventure style, offering a conclusion with Elly or with Adam based on reader preference. While the parallel time lines are innovative, they are also a bit dizzying, and the many characters can be hard to track. VERDICT The inventive narrative devices are not entirely successful, but a fun and affirming story of a bisexual Jewish teen embraced and celebrated for both identities by her family and peers make this book a necessary purchase.--Mallory Weber
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
Natalya Fox is ready for change but afraid of making the wrong decision; luckily she doesn't have to choose in this parallel-timelines rom-com à la Sliding Doors. Seventeen-year-old Natalya Fox has been given the choice of spending the summer at home with her father in New York City or moving in with her mother in Los Angeles. Manhattan is the safer option and would keep Natalya in her all-too-familiar comfort zone, but it does come with the possibility of romance with the girl Natalya has been crushing on for ages, known to her only as the Redhead due to Natalya's inability to introduce herself. Los Angeles offers an internship and a chance to reconnect with her mother, and the other new intern, a boy her mom describes as cute, could be an unexpected perk. So Natalya makes her choice--and then she makes her other choice. Split between two parallel timelines, the novel shows readers Natalya falling in love, exploring her post-graduation plans, and finding new ways of connecting with her parents in both cities. Each of the timelines is exciting and heartwarming, although the Los Angeles love interest reads as more complex than the one back East, and the New York storyline lacks significant conflict, giving the West Coast one more depth overall. Bisexual Natalya is Jewish, and subjects such as keeping kosher, being queer and Jewish, and observing Shabbat are thoughtfully woven in. A sweet and joyful romance times two. (Romance. 13-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.