I had super high hopes for A Lot Like Adiós after absolutely loving You Had Me at Hola last year. I initially resisted because the names are just, the cheesiest. I can’t even. But the story was actually wicked cute, and I was kind of obsessed with the fact that I had done enough Duolingo to actually pick up on some of the dialogue in Spanish? Is that stupid?
Gabe has spent his whole adult life trying to escape what his family thought of him. He’s worked his ass off to start his own gym in Santa Monica, and now, it’s expanding to New York: unfortunately, in his hometown. When his business partner can’t go, he has to fill in and fly out to tour property and meet with his childhood best friend, aka his new lead marketing staff…
Michelle has stuck closer to home, running her own freelance marketing business from her couch. When she gets a random email out of the blue from her childhood best friend, who abandoned her without a backward glance at age eighteen, she’s equal parts angry and intrigued. In the end, curiosity wins out – and she ends up working with Gabe on his gym’s expansion while the sparks fly and big questions about their past finally get some answers.
I’m not going to lie, this one just didn’t hit the same for me as You Had Me at Hola. I dragged myself through A Lot Like Adiós, unfortunately. I just didn’t love the characters the same way, and I don’t think they had the same ~sizzle~ that Jasmine and Ashton had. Gabe and Michelle’s friendship felt genuine, built on real trust and shared experiences, but their current-day relationship seems so reliant on their geographic proximity, instead of on their actual love.
I really related to Michelle…or I would have, at like, age 17. I loved her job, her passion, her cat… but both Michelle and Gabe had this really stunted version of emotions that feels more reminiscent of teenagers. There’s a lot of secrets and hiding emotions even from the people who care for them and they care about, like Michelle’s Primas of Power (her cousins/best friends). I tend to wonder if it was intentional, as both Michelle and Gabe really had their hearts broken by one another in their youth, and likely would’ve held onto that feeling. But, that said, it was so annoying. Can’t we just talk to each other like adults?! I felt Lyssa Kay Adams, screaming about how half the nonsense in this story wouldn’t have happened if two adults had had a reasonable conversation about expectations.
Further, and I really hope this doesn’t sound like a spoiler, I don’t like their “happy ending”. Ug, that is a spoiler. Sorry, I suck today. Anyways, Gabe and Michelle’s happy ending wasn’t my idea of a happy ending! I didn’t relate to the wants and needs of these characters in a way that made me feel good about the way things were left. Yes, I understand it was their ideal, but it certainly wasn’t my ideal, and that lack of relating bled into my love of this story… or lack thereof.
As you can see, I gave this read 3.5 stars, but I guess I’m not really recommending it? I’m writing this a few days after finishing it, and I guess I’m realizing even more that I just didn’t *love* it. Certainly not like I loved You Had Me at Hola. If you loved her debut, just skip over this one. I’ll keep giving Daria a try, but this one fell flat in my book.
A copy of A Lot Like Adiós was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It will be released September 14, 2021.
Have an awesome week friends!
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