Better Together by Christine Riccio

Contemporary, 448 pages, published in 2021

Jamie’s an aspiring standup comic in Los Angeles with a growing case of stage anxiety.
Siri’s a stunning ballerina from New Jersey nursing a career-changing injury.
They’ve both signed up for the same session at an off the grid Re-Discover Yourself Retreat in Colorado. When they run into each other, their worlds turn upside down.
Jamie and Siri are sisters, torn apart at a young age by their parent’s volatile divorce. They’ve grown up living completely separate lives: Jamie with their Dad and Siri with their Mom. Now, reunited after over a decade apart, they hatch a plot to switch places. It’s time they get to know and confront each of their estranged parents.
With an accidental assist from some fortuitous magic, Jamie arrives in New Jersey, looking to all the world like Siri, and Siri steps off her flight sporting a Jamie glamour.
The sisters unexpectedly find themselves stuck living in each other’s shoes. Soon Siri’s crushing on Jamie’s best friend Dawn. Jamie’s falling for the handsome New Yorker she keeps running into, Zarar. Alongside a parade of hijinks and budding romance, both girls work to navigate their broken family life and the stresses of impending adulthood.
[Goodreads]

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Content Warnings: divorce, gaslighting

This book…was so bad. I had enjoyed the over-the-top cringey nostalgia of Christine Riccio’s first book, but the cringe factor of this book was not balanced out by anything good.

The story follows two sisters, Siri and Jamie. Siri was a ballerina facing an injury that ended her dreams, so she was interesting to follow. She was kind of lowkey. Jaime, on the other hand, was an aspiring comedian and she was just too much. Everything she did gave me second-hand embarrassment.

The sisters meet at a retreat after being split up by their parents Parent Trap style. They decide to switch places, but ~magic~ happens and the switch bodies, a la Freaky Friday. I’m not sure how they tricked anyone, because neither was very good at being the other.

Both sisters had developing romances in this book, as well as a relationship to mend with each other and with their parents. It just felt like too much, but at the same time, this whole book felt like build up to the event I actually wanted to see.

The writing….was not good. I’m not one to normally crave pretty writing, but this was so noticeably simple. Also, one character does not swear, so she uses “intercourse” in place of swears. It got so old so fast, and again, the second hand embarrassment. There were also a lot of weird Game of Thrones references that just did not do anything for me.

I thought the relationship between Siri and Jamie, as well as their parents, was so interesting, but it really wasn’t dealt with until the end. The title is ironic, given that the sisters didn’t spend much time together.

I do think this book had a ton of potential, but the execution fell so very flat.

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One thought on “Better Together by Christine Riccio

  1. The premise sounds dumb. I could totally read a book about two long-lost sisters discovering each other, but I can’t suspend disbelief enough to make the ‘switching places’ trope work. Great review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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