I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 4, 2021
Also by this author: Since You've Been Gone, Second Chance Summer, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, Save the Date
Format: eARC (416 pages) • Source: Publisher
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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.
Generally speaking, Morgan Matson can do no wrong. She always writes amazing friendships and cute romances surrounded by fun plotlines. And, best of all for me, they usually take place in Connecticut! TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT is no exception to that rule.
This is a classic “one night in New York City” kind of story. Kat and Stevie are secretly off to the city to have a fancy birthday dinner for Stevie after her dad bails. They’ve been best friends forever even though they’re complete opposites. Kat was… very annoying to me in the first third of the book. She absolutely steamrolled over everyone else and didn’t seem to care (or notice) that Stevie had different opinions than her. She just went for whatever she wanted and assumed Stevie would always go along for the ride. To be fair, Stevie didn’t always stick up for herself or let Kat know when something wasn’t working for her. I think their friendship got into a comfortable routine of Kat deciding and Stevie following… until they finally had the inevitable fight about it all.
As the synopsis suggests, there are a ton of shenanigans involving cute boys, dry cleaning, bad plays, and an adorable pomeranian. I enjoyed the journey both of the girls went on, especially when they weren’t together. Kat without Stevie was WAY less insufferable. I liked following along with multiple people as the night progressed because everyone was having a very different kind of evening – Kat begins a budding romance and Stevie gets to know her stepsiblings better… while their friend (and alibi for the night) Teri is at home…. dealing with a lot of stuff. That plotline didn’t need to be in the book at all IMO – I kind of see how it fit based on how they described Teri and her wild stories about how she meets/dates new people, but it wasn’t necessary to the story at all. It didn’t really fit. Honestly, that didn’t affect my feelings on the book itself, but still worth mentioning how out-of-place it kind of was.
There was an underlying “theater kid” element to the story – Kat wants to go into the city to show their teacher she supports his new play, they’re both trying to take their minds off the fact that the casting list will be up after the weekend, and they’re both also deciding if theater/acting is in their futures/college plans. I definitely can’t relate to this but it was really fun to learn more about that high school life.
I did really like this one in the end. Around the 40% mark, I was half “I hate Kat and don’t want to read about her” and half “why is this happening to Teri right now” – this didn’t feel like it would be a winner for me. I ended up sitting there and finishing the final 60% of the book in one sitting, staying up way too late. That’s always a good sign. I grew to like Kat and appreciate what she brought out in Stevie, and saw some genuine character growth and realizations from everyone involved. It was pretty heartwarming.
Overall, this is definitely another solid story from Matson. It won’t be at the top of my favorites list but it’s so enjoyable if you like her books and/or fancy a night out in NYC.