Review: Technically, You Started It by Lana Woods Johnson

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Haley Hancock receives a text from fellow classmate, Martin Nathaniel Munroe II. With a name like that, you’d think she would know who she was texting. Except, there are two Martin Nathaniel Munroe IIs in her class and Haley mistakenly believes she is texting the Martin that she doesn’t hate. While on the other hand, Martin believes that Haley knows exactly who she is talking to.

One text message about history class turns into an everyday back and forth between the two. For a while, they are able to talk like total strangers, objectively listening to each other’s problems. They quickly realize that despite both having friends, they aren’t able to talk to them about important things. The duo even jokingly refers to each other as “Francis,” a fun person to text from Canada.

Despite how much they want to create a solely text based friendship, drama between their friends causes problems. Martin shouldn’t talk to Haley because his best friend has a crush on her. Haley shouldn’t be friends with a Munroe because one of the cousins dumped her friends Sarah and Chloe. Things get more complicated when the two find themselves thrown together in public. Whenever Martin tries to get closer to Haley as himself, she thinks that maybe the Munroe’s aren’t as bad as her friends would like her to believe. 

Their love story isn’t exactly smooth sailing. Martin tries throughout the book to get Haley alone, but things keep getting in the way. Hoping Haley will love the real him, Martin comes up with a plan. Unfortunately, his plans keep getting ruined and an accident might keep Haley from learning the truth. Haley and Martin are forced to figure out if their screen chemistry translates into real life.

Told entirely in text messages, this unique book is fast paced and quick to read. Haley and Martin’s banter captures the reader immediately. It’s a sweet story about how there is more to people than meets the eye. Martin and Haley thought they knew each other, but there was more transpiring under the surface.

It was sweet how they became each other’s safe space. Martin opened up about his family problems, while Haley discussed how vindictive some of her friends could be and her struggles with anxiety. The chemistry between them is obvious from the beginning. Over text, the two have no problem discussing strange facts and weird obsessions. Haley and Martin will have you laughing through the whole book.

The book also had a great ending. Johnson wrapped up the story at the right time and left the reader feeling both satisfied and wanting more. The relationship between Haley and Martin moved along at the right pace and never felt rushed. Even though it’s obviously a romance, Johnson had a few surprises at the end.

This is a light and fluffy read perfect for summer. The story mostly focuses on mistaken identity. If you need a breather from heavy and dramatic books, Technically, You Started It is perfect for you!

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 thoughts on “Review: Technically, You Started It by Lana Woods Johnson

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