Monday, March 8, 2021

ARC Review: Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson
Published: May 4th, 2021
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 416 
Series: N/A  
Source: Netgalley eARC 
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.

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’s Take Me Home Tonight was utterly charming. I absolutely loved the book’s message about expanding your horizons and trying new things. I think it’s a really common storyline for high school seniors to freak out about not knowing what they want to do and then “find” themselves, and it was refreshing to see the exact opposite happen in this book.

Stevie and Kat start out so sure of themselves and their world until it shatters around them. These two best friends realize how big the world truly is and how many opportunities they truly have available to them. This is such an important message to be sending, and it’s what I would go back and tell my younger self if I could. Maybe you love something you haven’t even considered yet. Before one thing becomes THE THING that pays all of your bills, try as many things as you can and find out what makes you happy. What makes you happy doesn’t have to be one thing, it can be lots of things, and just because you don’t think you can “make it” professionally doesn’t mean that you should cut whatever that is out of your life. You don’t have to be the best, you don’t have to do everything professionally, you just have to enjoy your hobbies and your free time.

Another component that made Take Me Home Tonight so special, was that it centered Stevie and Kat’s friendship and highlighted important platonic and familial relationships that they have and/or struggle with. It was especially endearing to watch Stevie navigate interacting with her step-siblings. Whether ‘traditional’ or ‘blended,’ families are complicated. Suddenly having three older siblings can be daunting and there are good and bad ways to cope with that change. Stevie isn’t perfect, well, really none of the characters are perfect, but their faults don’t define them. Their faults show them where they need to grow.

Lastly, The Teri Timeline, as I like to call it, was such an unexpected and fantastic twist and I can’t wait to be able to talk about it with others!

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