Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist in this romp through the city that never sleeps from the New York Times bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone, Morgan Matson.
Two girls. One night. Zero phones.
Kat and Stevie—best friends, theater kids, polar opposites—have snuck away from the suburbs to spend a night in New York City. They have it all planned out. They’ll see a play, eat at the city’s hottest restaurant, and have the best. Night. Ever. What could go wrong?
Well. Kind of a lot?
They’re barely off the train before they’re dealing with destroyed phones, family drama, and unexpected Pomeranians. Over the next few hours, they’ll have to grapple with old flames, terrible theater, and unhelpful cab drivers. But there are also cute boys to kiss, parties to crash, dry cleaning to deliver (don’t ask), and the world’s best museum to explore.
Over the course of a wild night in the city that never sleeps, both Kat and Stevie will get a wake-up call about their friendship, their choices…and finally discover what they really want for their future.
That is, assuming they can make it to Grand Central before the clock strikes midnight.
Morgan Matson grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children's department of Vroman's Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.
Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she moved back East to attend the New School, where she received her M.F.A in Writing for Children.
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, inspired by Morgan's three cross-country road trips, was published in May 2010. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a PW "Flying Start" book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone's Book Prize.
In the meantime, Morgan moved back to California, went back to school again and in 2011 received an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.
Her second book, Second Chance Summer, was published in May 2012 and draws largely on her experiences spending summers growing up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
Her third book, Since You've Been Gone, was published in 2014.
Morgan currently lives in Los Angeles, though she loves to travel and does it whenever she can. She is currently writing another book, to be published in 2016.
I'm so happy to have another Morgan Matson book in my hands!! I've read all of her books now and they never disappoint. Even my least favourites are still highly ranked. So I'd say TMHT falls somewhere in the middle. Save the Date is the other Matson book that comes to mind when reading this one, and that one would be my least favourite but this one was a lot more enjoyable. Save the Date was too frustrating and anxiety driving for me, and for some reason this one didn't have the same quality although pretty much equally as chaotic. I think because it offered so much escapism it kind of negated that. New York is so vibrant in this book and you're completely swept away there alongside the characters. Stevie and Kat were both great leads with fantastic growth arcs. Stevie was really relatable for me. I loved seeing both of them learn more about themselves and what they actually want in life. I think the book captures all the up in the air decisions of high school really well. There are some cute romances in here, but I loved how the focus was on Kat and Stevie's friendship and also their individual self discovery. There's a side plot with Teri that is definitely kind of jarring and unbelievable, but I didn't mind it so much because I felt like it added a bit of comic relief and ridiculousness. This book did a good job of capturing the difficulties of high school friendships and that transformative period, but also managed to be really light and fluffy and easy to read. While it's one thing going wrong after another, I felt like the challenges helped the characters to develop and shine. Also there are some interesting cameos sooo, be prepared for that if you've read her other books.
Sometimes, to enjoy a piece of content, you have to suspend your disbelief.
I'm not very good at this even at the best of times - I'm far too much of a grump to be capable of the level of whimsy and imagination it takes to forget reality on command - but for this book, I had an even more difficult experience.
Maybe I could have suspended my disbelief for the sake of Morgan Matson, my most ride-or-die YA contemporary author.
But I can't also suspend my desire to be entertained.
This book was not good.
First, and perhaps most detrimentally, it's about theater kids, a subpopulation of people so irritating and loud that only those within their number can find them charming. I spent most of my high school years in a friend group of theater kids, and while I was able to tolerate and even like them at the time, my comeuppance was living out the rest of my days with a debilitating vendetta against them.
Relatedly, this book has two main characters, each of them more mind-bogglingly unlikable and not relatable than the last. The things these people do...nonsense.
I really appreciate the recognition in the last few years that teenage protagonists should be flawed, but I also believe there should be a scale. I will debut it now: The High School Emma Scale. See, no one could hate a teenager more than I hate my teenage self, so if I find any character even less likable than myself at their age, we've lost everything.
And I'd sign up for a sleepover with fifteen year old me before I'd get on board to hang out with either of these bozos.
I also really like when Morgan Matson's books focus more on friends or family than on romance. In fact, I prefer it: one of my favorites of her books doesn't even HAVE a real love story (but it does have approximately 62 family characters), and the other has a friendship plot that's way more tropey and romantic than its actual romance counterpart.
But this felt more like a (failed) attempt at two coming-of-age stories in one novel than it did a friendship story, a family story, or a romance.
In other words, a lose/lose/lose.
And do not even get me started on the kidnapping / FBI subplot.
Bottom line: Everyone cross your fingers Morgan Matson's new book comes out soon and we can all forget this ever happened.
---------------- tbr review
new morgan matson??? out now??? AND I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW IT WAS COMING?!
who am i? what have i become?
clear ur shit prompt 6: steal a book from someone's tbr follow my progress here
Another great coming-of-age story from Morgan Matson. Following Save the Date, it is another 'everything that can go wrong goes wrong' MM book. I loved how Morgan handled everything in this one and I highly enjoyed this adventurous story set in New York.
BUT I really don't understand what brought Morgan to bringing back this one character from her previous book like this. Like, I usually do love the cameos, but this one only made me sad. I'd rather it didn't exist at all because this way, Morgan just ruined one of my all time favorite books of hers. I cannot accept this. Just no. No, no, no. Morgan, take it back. Tell us you were only kidding, please. How could Morgan Matson have done THIS to us? I mean, I know everything can't be perfect, but it was not fair to do this WITHOUT ANY EXPLANATION.
Also, the beginning was a little bit slow (I can totally see why people stop reading it at the first 100 pages or so and do not finish it) but it does pick up later!
So, 4 stars it is.
This quote— “Honestly, if our teachers really wanted dates to stick with us, they should just make epic action-romance movies about all major world events.” OR WRITE EPIC HISTORICAL ROMANCE NOVELS LIKE THE BRONZE HORSEMAN sorry I couldn't stop myself
Take Me Home Tonight is Morgan Matson's latest contemporary novel, which centers on the themes of friendship and self discovery. This is the second novel that I have read by her, the first one being Save the Date. While I didn't love this book as much as her other one, and it did have its faults, this was still a pretty decent read.
What I love about Morgan Matson's content is that romance is usually never the focus of the book. This story follows Kat & Stevie, two best friends who, despite being very close, have been drifting apart for a while. They decide to spend the night in New York City with a clear plan in mind. However, everything starts to go wrong.
Since the protagonist and her best friend are in a rough patch at the beginning of the book, there's a lot of navigation of their friendship and discovering things about each other that they didn't know before. Kat was an interesting character to read about. I'm not gonna lie - she did annoy me for most of the book but she did have a character arc and became less annoying later on. In terms of the companionship angle, this book definitely gets an A.
However, I did find a lot of the things that happened too convenient? It was pretty wild but some of the things that happened were a little unbelievable and too far fetched. I mean, what are the odds that every crazy thing that could possibly happen, happened to them in one night? There was also the fact that the characters were, overall, pretty selfish and inconsiderate. I wasn't a huge fan of that.
So while it did have a few problems, it still had a very big plus point. If you ever do pick this book up, read it for the friendship?
'Think where man's glory most begins and ends, And say my glory was I had such friends.' - William Butler Yeats
While YA isn't my genre of choice, I always make time for Morgan Matson. She has been a consistent and solid author for me for years now.
Like all of her books, Take Me Home Tonight was cute, fun, and quirky. She is so good at characterization and writes characters readers can easily love and identify with. This book reminded me so much of the movies Adventures in Babysitting and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
My only grumble was Teri's storyline. It was...well...it was ridiculous. While I enjoyed Teri and the three children she was babysitting, I still found myself skimming that entire thread. It just didn't work, and honestly messed terribly with the flow of the story.
Oh, and Brad was the star of the show, but you'll just have to read this to find out who Brad is. :)
I can (and will) happily recommend Take Me Home Tonight.
Available May 4, 2021.
My heartfelt thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I haven’t laughed out loud reading a book in such a long time.
Two months in 2021, and my reading year has gotten off to a great start. Books like Take Me Home make me love the joy of young love, meeting cute boys and the like, AGAIN.
This book is so cute and so FUNNY, it actually lifted my moods.
Take Me Home is a story about two girls: Kat and Stevie, and how one night stranded in New York changed their lives. It all started when Stevie’s Dad suddenly cancelled Stevie’s birthday dinner. In order to cheer Stevie up, Kat decided to plan a trip into the city all by themselves, without their parents’ knowledge. See the thing is, both Kat and Stevie are in the theatre club and Kat is hell-bent on getting the role of Cordelia in a production of King Lear. The trip to New York wasn’t just about cheering Stevie up: it’s also so she can meet with her theatre teacher to put in a good word for the casting, which had yet to be posted. So the two decided to travel to New York from Connecticut and asked their friend, Teri, to cover for them. However, the night that is supposed to be time of their lives took a turn to what might be the worst night of their lives when an incident with Stevie’s stepsister led to an incident with a Pomeranian, which led to an incident in the subway that got them separated. Oh, they also got mugged, met cute boys, ran into celebrities, and cabs who won’t accept a hundred dollar bill. At the same time, Teri, who was supposed to be covering for them ended up with an adventure involving three toddlers, the CIA, and the FBI.
Yes, it’s as crazy as it sounds.
Do I think this book stands out from other YA books? It doesn’t, if you only judge it from the synopsis. But do I think so after finishing the book? Yes.
Personally, I haven’t read any Morgan Matson book other than Since You’ve Been Gone, which I didn’t finish, so I was quite unfamiliar with her books, but I do know that some of the characters from her other books made an appearance in this one (BECKETT!!!), so it’s really something to look forward to, if you’ve read her other books (aw man I kind of regret not reading the other books sooner but what’s done is done).
Morgan Matson highlights the ups and downs of the teenage life; it highlights friendship, cute romance, and then mixed them up with comedy. But most of all, this book is more about finding yourself, and figuring out what you really want. It’s entertaining, relatable, light, and also fun to read.
The writing of this book is very easy to get into. The characters are—despite making stupid decisions along the book—very relatable. While Kat and Stevie weren’t together for most part of the book, the POVs and what happened between these two girls are written in such a good way and I love how the plot interloped and everything comes into full circle.
The only downside of this book is that I really don’t like what happened to Teri. I can’t click with it and it feels more like an odd piece of the book. Though it was fun and matched the atmosphere of the book (it was wild!), it doesn’t add any depth to Stevie and Kat’s story and it feels so out of place. I feel like it would be better to just not include it at all.
I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I would make a mental note to check Morgan Matson’s other books! If you’re looking for a quick, light read, or if you just want to feel the New York atmosphere, this book is definitely recommended!
“It was snowing, after all, and I was in New York City. You couldn’t not take a moment to appreciate it.”
This was such a fun, adventurous YA book centering around friendship, following your dreams and finding yourself in a big city. Kat and Stevie, high school seniors and BFF theater kids, could have settled for a quiet Friday night in. Instead, Kat convinces Stevie to take a trip into New York City to grab dinner and possibly see their theater teacher’s play in an attempt to get in his good graces. What starts out as a semi-solid plan turns into a night of adventure when the girls get separated, phoneless, in the big city. Filled with twists and humor, this story brings the chaos of a November night they’ll never forget. This story definitely hit home for me as I myself grew up in suburban Connecticut just like Kat and Stevie. I’ve had a lot of my own experiences taking the metro north train into the city and I can still remember the rush of going for the first time without my parents. Although I actually had their permission unlike Kat and Stevie 🙈 I really enjoyed the format of this book. It was broken up into parts based on timeframes throughout the night and included both Kat and Stevie’s perspectives. Being able to read from the point of view of both girls added so much depth and understanding to the story. We also get short glimpses of the girls’ friend Teri, who’s back in Connecticut covering for Kat and Stevie, and oh boy, does she have quite the adventure of her own. I loved that the major focus of this book was friendship and dynamics of best friends when they’re approaching a future where they want to do different things. Both Kat and Stevie grow and change so much, even if it’s only over the course of one night. They both come to learn more about themselves and each other and this made for such a satisfying story overall. I would be totally remiss if I didn’t mention one of the biggest stars in this book, Brad the Pomeranian. He was a huge catalyst for a lot of the plot and also a super cute little pup! This book is perfect for anyone who loves New York City or for anyone who wishes to go there one day -this story captured the atmosphere and essence of the city so well and made me want to take the train in as soon as possible.
it's a morgan matson book.....do i need to say more?
but for real i absolutely loved the characters and the urgency of this book. I also loved what happens mid-way through (no spoilers but iykyk) because I feel like it brought more depth to the characters and made me care that much more.
ALSO THE EASTER EGGS. ALL THE EASTER EGGS. I SCREAMED SO MANY TIMES.
****THANK YOU RIVETED BY SIMON TEEN & GOODREADS FOR THE ARC****
This book got better the moment Kat and Stevie split up in New York. This forced them outside their comfort zone and made them grow separately. They gained perspective being away from one another.
Kat had a very black and white point of view on her passions and on people. She had to learn to be more flexible and reflective in this book to counteract that. First, she was so used to bull-dozing people and getting her way. However, she learned that she couldn’t force people or situations into what she wanted. She tried to push Stevie, but she pushed too hard, wanting Stevie to follow along on her master plan. . Second, she was used to casting her judgments without looking at another person’s perspective. She already judged Stevie assuming she left her behind, and she already judged Beckett was terrible because Stevie and him broke up. She learned to take a step back and think more about people’s perspective and feelings. She also realized that she was privileged with her wealthy family when she saw how hard Cary was working to pay for college. She began to see that a lot of people had it harder than her, while she complained about rather shallow things. Honestly, it was easy to be annoyed at Kat for most of the book because her selfishness really in her single-mindedness, judgment, and self-absorbedness. In particular, I hated that Kat chose kissing up to Mr. Campbell to get a part over Stevie (especially when it was Stevie’s birthday!). However, by the end of the book, I really did see her tackle these flaws and grow from them. It was good character development. I was relieved when she started apologizing to Stevie, taking accountability, and realizing her world was bigger than getting the next big part in her high school’s theater department.
Stevie, on the other hand, had to learn to speak up about her honest feelings and give her stepfamily a chance. It was frustrating to see her not be honest with her feelings, especially when she was clearly distraught. Her relationship with her dad was messy, but relatable. When she finally spoke up to him about what he was doing wrong, I was proud of her. Also, a surprising part of the book was seeing her spend time with her stepfamily. She was so focused on winning her dad’s affections and being jealous that she didn’t them a chance. They turned out to be really cool, friendly people. I was not expecting them to be honest. I loved Matty and Margaux. Matty was helpful throughout Stevie’s journey to get Mallory’s keys so she could grab her stuff. He was nice to her even when they barely knew each other, and it was obvious that Stevie was the one dismissing the chances to get closer. I really liked him.
It was fun to see these best friends go on separate adventures, and consequently, grow and become better people. Even though this whole adventure started with a mistake and chaos ensuing (mostly Kat’s fault), as I was reading the last bit of the book, I realized that I guess it was all meant to be. If Kat wasn’t selfish about going to the play… and if Stevie wasn’t such a pushover with her dad regarding her birthday dinner, this adventure wouldn’t have happened. They needed this catalyst to launch them to a new perspective without the crutch of the other person.
I also adored Cary, the love interest for Kat. He was sweet and loved all his many random part-time jobs. He was a hard-working guy, and he helped Kat many times throughout the book.
Teri – Originally, I didn’t care for her kidnapping story. It felt really random. By the end though, it was kinda fun, and I saw her growth too. That night also worked out the best for her, as she grew more confident in her decisions (and also found a new, better boyfriend).
3 stars. I love me some character developments. Both Kat and Stevie grew a lot through the course of one adventured-filled night. It got frustrating at times, but ultimately, I was proud of their growth. Their friendship also became healthier by the end.
Things that you might want to know (WARNING: Spoilers below) Happy/satisfying ending? Love triangle? Cheating? Angst level? Favorite scenes?
After a 9 month reviewing slump (ie. not a single review posted) I am finally- maybe- back! I got busy with school and work and life, and unfortunately reviewing books fell to the 'will do one day when I'm less busy' list (spoiler alert, nothing ever makes it off that list). In that time I have still been reading, although at a significantly slower pace, so have accumulated almost 40 books to review- which is to say the least- overwhelming.
But we've got to start somewhere! And unfortunately in my case that comes in the form of a 2 star book. As mentioned, I read this book a long time ago, but luckily I took some notes in the process which I will try to compile and make sense of for you!
I had relatively high expectations for this book. I had only read one Morgan Matson book, 'The Unexpected Everything' but I had really really loved it, so was I was hoping that 'Take Me Home Tonight' would follow along in that trend. But, alas, it not only disappointed me but also was generally an unpleasant reading experience.
This book took place in the space of 24 hours, but it took me over 7 times that length to actually finish it, which can definitely be partially blamed on myself, but also the fact that it was so needlessly long.
I never felt emotionally invested in the story, and instead was deeply aware of the fact that I was reading a book the whole time- a strange sentiment to express but one I think most people can relate to. I was reading for the sake of getting to the end, constantly checking how many pages were left... never a good sign. In fact, I was paying so little attention that it took me an embarrassingly long time to even figure out there were dual POVs going on.
The final note I took about this book was about a reference to 'baby shark'. Pop culture references have never been my favourite in books but this takes things to a whole new level of cringe and internal agony. And I not only had to experience it once, but after my brain purged it from my mind I had to be reminded while writing this review. And now I can share it with you! Joy!
I apologise for the lack of synopsis and actual substance to this review, but hopefully as I get more consistent writing reviews again they will improve in quality! Until next time, (hopefully not another 9 months in the future) Sarah
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for this ARC
So. Many. Adventures. I think the movie I was most reminded of was 'Adventures In Babysitting,' at least for one of our protagonists. This started out a wee bit slow. Who cares about the list? I was thinking -- get on the train already. Go to NYC -- the city that never sleeps. I don't for one second believe that you will make it back to Connecticut by curfew. Was I ever right. Kat and Stevie have their plans, but they are barely off the train in Grand Central Station when new variables come into play for them -- and for their good friend and alibi, Teri. In the end, I found this book to be such a satisfying blend of genres: mystery, thriller, romcom, and a friendship story. NYC does not disappoint and shines as the duo has to navigate her streets with old school technology. This is going to be on my short list of books I recommend to teens at my library if they are in a reading slump.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.
2.5 I am of the belief that a book should never take you longer to read than the amount of time that passes in the story. This is why I think books set over the course of 24 hours should NEVER be longer than 300 pages. This is how I knew after the first 20 pages were spent entirely on the main character walking to her next class that this book was going to test my patience and my love of Morgan Matson books. Unfortunately, I was right. This book was WAY too long, it went in so many weird directions that didn't make sense, it , and it required way too much suspension of disbelief for me to ever fully be on board with the plot. I didn't really like any of the characters, and I always forgot whose chapters I was reading because Stevie and Kat's voices were not distinct enough. This was just not it, which is disappointing because I've never not liked a Morgan Matson book. To be fair to the book though, I am an asshole who stopped caring about teenagers the second I turned 20, and I haven't really loved a YA book since then. I just thought that Morgan Matson was going to be the one author that could get me to love a YA at the old age of 22, but this book was just not very good.
It’s been almost a decade since I read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour back in middle school. And while I don’t recall any of the plot points, I do remember very viscerally how it made me feel: like I was encapsulated in the perfect summer. (In fact, this was the book that turned me on to road trip stories.) A few years later, I read Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson and also loved this one; its themes of grief and healing really struck a chord with me.
These were the only books I’d ever read by Matson, which is to say that up until now I’d had very positive experiences with her books. When I saw Take Me Home Tonight, I was immediately intrigued—by its premise, but also by the thought of delving into what would surely be an enjoyable contemporary YA story (a genre I have been struggling with lately).
Unfortunately, this book was not. it. for. me. Unrelatable—if not outright obnoxious—characters, a messy and confusing plot, PLUS utterly lacklustre romantic arcs made for a thoroughly disappointing and sometimes painful read.
In other words, Take Me Home Tonight was a slog to get through.
One major thing that exacerbated this was the length of the novel. I really don’t think this book should’ve been over 400 pages. Its length did the story a disservice, because the story—which only takes place over the span of ONE EVENING—became belaboured with details and dialogue that felt overwrought and unnecessary. Instead of adding richness to a scene or character, these details only served to hinder my reading experience; I was bored! I don’t want to read about your overcomplicated Starbucks order word-for-word! I don’t want 20 pages dedicated to you walking down a hallway! (This latter point was actually the very first scene in the book.)
Secondly, I found it hard to connect to any of the characters, who only engaged me superficially. These are wealthy white kids who decide to gallivant for an evening in New York City, only to be met with a series of pitfalls and detours that, supposedly, thrust them into a night of transformative revelations and exciting spontaneous encounters and shiny love interests.
On paper, I guess it was that. In actuality, though, my lack of emotional investment sapped any opportunity for poignancy; the detours felt scattered and distracting. I also found Kat especially hard to understand and engage with—she was an obnoxious and self-centred friend whose redemption arc felt a little too didactic and predictable to be authentic for me personally.
The last thing I want to mention has been brought up by several reviewers already. Besides the chapters that alternate between Kat and Stevie’s POVs, there were also random chapters about Teri, their friend back in Connecticut, as she’s roped into an impromptu babysitting gig that involves stolen diamonds, mafia scions, undercover CIA agents, and a shootout in Canada??? It was absurd and utterly incongruous; Teri’s chapters made no sense to me and only heightened my disappointment with this novel. Not to mention, all the stereotypes about Canadians (that we’re polite, etc.) were so tired.
BOTTOM LINE: I’m massively disappointed by Take Me Home Tonight. This was nowhere close to the type of story I’ve grown used to reading from Morgan Matson, with relatable and nuanced characters and believable yet still exciting storylines.
Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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!!
okay so i was super looking forward to this book and i was so obsessed with morgan branching out from her usual type of story! this is definitely different from her other books - partially because it's not set in the summer and partially because it has multiple POVs - and even though the vibe does feel a little different at times, it's also totally morgan. she does such a great job of creating a FEELING and writing about setting in a way that's transportive and immersive. i FELT like i was in new york and i spent the whole time wishing i was there with my own best friend. the different perspectives were really fun and interesting - although i didn't really love teri's pov ): - and i think it really did a lot for the two main characters to show their individual arcs. personally i really connected to stevie and her arc, and it was really cool to see her grow as the book goes on.
also can we PLEASE talk about the CAMEOS!!!! there were a few really juicy ones and even though the one at the end took me by surprise it was also really sweet! it's so great getting to see morgan's old characters brought back to life in a new light.
AND BRAD WAS SO STINKIN CUTE I LOVE HIM SO MUCH
i don't think this is my favorite morgan matson book (just because some of her others are SO GREAT), but i really loved what this book's core message was, that you shouldn't just accept life as you think it should be, you can take the time to change and evolve and try new things no matter where you are in life. and i think that's especially poignant after a year of living in a pandemic. even more so when it's set in the wonderful city of new york where everything is chaotic and cooky and fun.
i will always and forever be a morgan matson fan, and i'm so excited to see where she goes next now that she's exploring new types of writing!
IF YOU WANT TO GO INTO THIS BOOK COMPLETELY BLIND, DON'T READ MY THOUGHTS. There are not specific spoilers, but there are emotional spoilers/how I felt reading this.
This book hurt me like I never thought a YA contemporary (contemporary romance??) could.
Anyways. I love Morgan Matson a lot and this was just not it for me. It's messy and legit doesn't make sense in a lot of points.
I've always enjoyed the cameos from her other books, but this was just too much AND THE ENDING WITH THE MAJOR CAMEO? TAKE IT BACK.
I'm a bit hesitant to give this a star rating since I am an adult reading YA, but I also have been a huge MM fan for years so even though this book is aimed for teens, it also is written for her fans (due to the obscene number of cameos) and thus I feel comfortable rating it low.
Basically I finished this and then stared at my ceiling for an hour BECAUSE HOW DARE YOU MS. MATSON????
more thoughts to come maybe.
*Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review*
*Copy provided by Simon Schuster Books. All opinions are my own*
This book kept me on the edge of my seat and made me laugh out loud so much.
I never read a Morgan Matson book before, so I didn't know what to expect going into this. It took me a while to get into the story, but when I was about 100 pages in I was hooked. I seriously did not want to put this down.
Kat and Stevie are two great main characters and I loved seeing them grow throughout the book. Not to forget, their amazing friendship. It's great to see how two people with different views on things compliment each other so well. I really liked the multiple POV's even though I didn't really enjoy Teri's POV since I feel like it was a little rushed and didn't add much to the story.
Overall this is a great book and I will definitely recommend it to all the contemporary lovers.
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.
Take Me Home Tonight was my first Morgan Matson book, so I was really excited to dive in! I've heard wonderful things about this author their books, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour. I liked that this story was about Kat and Stevie's friendship, and enjoyed seeing the two of them become closer friends by the end. They had to take different paths, but both needed to learn certain truths about themselves. There were just a few things that irked me about the book, which is why I didn't give it more stars.
I think Kat was a crutch for Stevie and vice versa. Stevie never wanted to feel like a burden, so she always said things were fine even when they weren't. If Kat was around, she wouldn't let Stevie suffer in silence, and oftentimes forcefully took charge of a situation. Stevie's coffee was made wrong? Stevie says it's fine, but Kat ignores her and has the barista remake the drink. When Kat is obsessing over a casting or wanting to run lines for a play, Stevie indulges her instead of telling her she's being insane. I completely understood Kat's dedication, but hated how consumed she was by one thing. She didn't allow herself to have other hobbies or a life outside of theater.
Of the two characters, I preferred Stevie. Her problems were more relatable and she was easier to tolerate. They both were incredibly frustrating characters, and it took the better part of the book for them to grow on me. I think losing each other in the city was a much needed wakeup call for them both. They may have initially jumped to the wrong conclusions, but their experiences helped bring certain aspects of their lives into perspective.
Unfortunately, I had to suspend my disbelief for this book to work. Everything that happened was either too convenient or too unbelievable. I can understand certain things happening unexpectedly (like running into someone you JUST met at a bodega later on). It wasn't likely to happen, but still possible. However, there were a lot of these moments peppered in throughout the book. Like what happened to Stevie after getting off the subway (super weird and not at all believable), or how they both kept running into people they knew in a city that was as unfamiliar as it was large. The characters were confronted with coincidence after coincidence, and everything seemed to work out for the best.
I also hated Teri's storyline and wish it didn't exist. We don't know enough about her as a character for her to have this strange subplot. What happens to Teri is totally unexpected and hits you in the face like a foul ball off a broken bat. It was as shocking as it was painful to read. I cringed every time we flashed to what was happening with her while Kat and Stevie were off on their separate life-changing adventures. It made absolutely no sense and wasn't even remotely realistic. I would say more, but I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who want to read the book.
I always struggle with books when I don't like the main character(s) or have trouble relating to them. Kat and Stevie were interesting enough to read about, and I also think the author captured their ages and level of maturity really well, but there was something off-putting about them both. They're still young and figuring themselves out, and I think that's what this book is really about. Kat and Stevie have an authentic high school friendship, one that grows and changes over time. They aren't the same people they were four years ago, but they're also not the same people they were yesterday. They both say things to each other that cut deep, but that are also true and come from a place of love. It's hard to hear sometimes, but I have hope for their friendship after the end of this book. They've both learned so much about themselves in a single night, and hopefully that means certain changes will take place in the future.
I absolutely loved Cary and all of his various jobs! However, there's a REALLY BIG spoiler for Top Gun, if you haven't seen the movie. I also liked Mateo (Matty) and thought his friends were funny. I would've enjoyed seeing more of them.
Did I absolutely love and swoon over this book? No. Was it an authentic portrayal of teenagers lost in New York City? Eh. Was it fun to read? Mostly. I may not have liked Kat and Stevie, but I do think they are characters people will be able to relate to (especially people around their age). Additionally, the formatting for this book was weird, but you get used to it. The random flashes to Teri (ugh), the fact that we only get Kat's perspective for the first part of the book and then randomly get Stevie's POV (though much needed), made this book feel unorganized and all over the place. Again, you get used to it, but you really have to pay attention the the chapter headers.
I honestly can't say whether or not I would recommend Take Me Home Tonight, because I don't have strong feelings about it either way. I didn't love or hate it, but did enjoy it enough to keep reading. You should see my copy of the book - so many sticky notes! Maybe I'll post pictures later, haha. If you've liked the author's previous books, you might like this one, but I don't have anything to compare it to. If you've already read this one, I'd love to chat about it. (★★⋆☆☆)
As a theater kid myself, I always adore when characters are as passionate on the subject as I am! New York is also one of my favorite settings so I had to pick this up! Starting off with discussing the main characters of this story, I thought they were both characters that we got to see their good and bad side quite well. They both grow together and individually in this tale is a true coming of age fashion. But I did find Kat a harder character to love because I found her really selfish multiples times in the story and it really irritated me. She does get better further down the story.
Plot-wise, I thought the story constantly got better the more I was reading and I was entertained. The constant coincidences and mishaps keep the story going. But I really found Teri's side-plot unnecessary. It just didn't fit in with the rest of the book.
Due to Kat's initial personality and Teri's side adventure bothering me, I couldn't rate this higher than 3,5. But I can definitely see an audience that could fall in love in love with this book.
Thank you, NetGalley, Simon and Schuster and Morgan Matson for the arc!
I have been enjoying YA lately, so when I seen this on @netgalley and the synopsis sounded super fun, I knew I wanted to read it! Kat and Stevie are 2 best friends who live in the suburbs of NYC, and they sneak away for a few hours of fun in the Big Apple! This was a pretty fun read! It was like taking a little trip to NYC! 2 friends, lots of entertainment, adventure, boys, animals!! it was enjoyable and I always love a book set in NYC!
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the gifted copy! All opinions are my own!
i once declared myself morgan matson's biggest fan.
i take it all back. because i HATED take me home tonight.
i first started reading mm when i was in sixth grade and read since you've been gone. since then, i've read all of her books (unexpected everything supremacy), albeit out of order, and absolutely loved all of them. i even have a note in my phone of all the cameos i come across when i'm rereading.
yeah, that's all over now.
this book most similarly resembles save the date with the whole murphy's law thing- anything that can go wrong will go wrong. i loved std. i thought the law felt natural with the wedding and the family and while you had to suspend a fair amount of disbelief, it wasn't unreadable.
on the other hand, tmht requires a HUGE suspension of disbelief. i'm usually pretty good with that, but this book took it to a whole new level. there's a scene where stevie is about to get mugged before she tells the mugger that she lost her phone and he OFFERS HER ONE THAT HE MUGGED OFF SOMEONE ELSE. literally what the fuck. that's just not a thing that happens.
character-wise, i hated everyone. actually, not true. i hated kat the most. she was annoying and impossibly naive and convinced that everyone else was totally wrong and she should make the decisions for everyone in her life because of course she knows what's best for everyone!! stevie doesn't want to study theater in college but because kat thinks she should, they nearly ruin their friendship over an argument about it! kat's parents don't want her to go to a conservatory, but obviously she knows more about the options she has than they do when the only schools she's researched are conservatories! listen, i'm a music kid. i have so many friends in college who are studying music and theater. but none of them went to conservatories. they're going to state schools and liberal arts colleges that have highly ranked music programs but still offer them the opportunity to change majors if they suddenly realize music isn't all they want to do. THAT'S NORMAL! there's literally nothing wrong with that!
i liked stevie more than kat, but she's on thin ice. she was very quick to make judgements, but so am i so i can't really pick on her for that. also, i hated campbell. his behaviors are so similar to my school's theater director (who i despise), it's literally uncanny.
(also when they went "frand" "frond" literally wanted to puke every single time. adult authors, PLEASE TALK TO ONE SINGLE TEENAGER BEFORE YOU WRITE A YA BOOK. literally any one of us can tell you that NO ONE TALKS LIKE THAT)
the characters i LIKED: cary, matty, margeaux, beckett. can we talk about stevie and beckett?
unpopular opinion time, but the most interesting part of this book was the teri subplot. it was shitty writing and totally unneeded, but hell, if mm made that the whole book i would have been happy. it was so much more interesting than kat's fucking whining. teri was actually a likeable character and i love a good canadian stereotype so obviously i would have gladly read a whole book about her dating dustin alberta.
also, something kinda small that pissed me off, but this book kind of requires you to have a bit of knowledge about nyc and as a midwestern teenage girl, the closest i have ever gotten to new york was visiting my family in virginia beach. i understand that i'm kind of in the minority here, but it was still really annoying when the characters were throwing out all these streets and neighborhoods and i'm over here like... chicago! minneapolis! milwaukee! (bucks in 6 btw)
NOW for what has me the most heated. let's talk about the mf cameos. as i said, i have a note in my phone for all this. there were exactly two direct cameos in this book:
1. gelsey (scc) being mentioned as somewhat famous 2. amy of amy and roger fame
all i'm going to say is that i'm glad i read a+r before this because if i had read tmht first, i would have absolutely zero interest in reading a+r. i loved that book. but amy's cameo (can it even be considered a cameo if it was such a large portion of the book?) completely ruined it for me. that's one way to drive away new readers!
i'm totally cool with cameos in books. if they're small and chill (read: andie and clark showing up in std for about a page to confirm that they are still together) then whatever. if it completely tears down everything that has been set up in a previous book (read: AMY IN TMHT)??? that's some j.k. rowling shit. let the fucking readers imagine for themselves. once the book is out in the world, LEAVE IT AS IT IS. don't go pulling shit like this that only serves to piss invested readers off.
in conclusion, if you're a diehard morgan matson fan, skip it. literally skip it. i wish i had. i honestly don't think i'll read another book by her again. i love the old ones, i will always treasure them, but i don't know if i'm growing out of it or mm's lost her touch because this book was so incredibly not up to par.
the only thing that could have made this book bearable was a clark mccallister cameo and we didn't even get that. full rtc because i'm pissed
pre-reading: about to start reading this so tom and clark and djjj cameos plz and thank you?
I loved this book so much and didn't expect to!! It was a super fun, cute, and easy read, yet it still dealt with many important topics - friendship, teenage love, family, communication, figuring out your identity etc. The characters also definitely grew a lot throughout the novel which I liked! I did find the large amount of references and whole side plot with Teri both a little weird and unnecessary but they didn't bother me a whole lot and I was still able to enjoy the rest of the book. Overall, I would recommend if your looking for a great summer read!