Review: You Say It First

Title: You Say It First
Author: Katie Cotugno
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 16, 2020
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Meg has her entire life set up perfectly: her boyfriend Mason is sweet and supportive, she and her best friend Emily plan to head to Cornell together in the fall, and she even finds time to clock shifts phonebanking at a voter registration call center in her Philadelphia suburb. But everything changes when one of those calls connects her to a stranger from small-town Ohio, who gets under her skin from the moment he picks up the phone.

Colby is stuck in a rut, reeling from a family tragedy and working a dead-end job—unsure what his future holds, or if he even cares. The last thing he has time for is some privileged rich girl preaching the sanctity of the political process. So he says the worst thing he can think of and hangs up.

But things don’t end there.…

That night on the phone winds up being the first in a series of candid, sometimes heated, always surprising conversations that lead to a long-distance friendship and then—slowly—to something more. Across state lines and phone lines, Meg and Colby form a once-in-a-lifetime connection. But in the end, are they just too different to make it work?

You Say It First is a propulsive, layered novel about how sometimes the person who has the least in common with us can be the one who changes us most.


Meg has her life planned out. She has a great boyfriend and she’s ready to go to Cornell with her best friend. She works at a voter registration call centre. Everything changes after her boyfriend breaks up with her. She calls a man at work to help him register to vote, but she learns from his son, Colby, that he died from suicide months before. Meg does something she’s never done before, which is give Colby her personal phone number. Meg and Colby end up making an unlikely connection that changes the paths that their lives are on.

Meg made some bad decisions in this book, but they ended up working out for her. She struck up a relationship with a stranger who she had only spoken to on the phone. She also drove many hours to meet him, without telling anyone. Meg acknowledges that it was dangerous, but she did it anyways. It should have been more clear that she was putting herself in danger by doing this, even though it worked out for her.

Both Meg and Colby had difficult things that they had to face. Colby was still dealing with the death of his father. He found out some things about his father, which changed the way he saw him. Meg lived with her mother, and her father had a new girlfriend. She also had to take care of someone with an alcohol addiction. Suicide and alcoholism were both difficult topics in this story, but I think they were handled well.

I enjoyed this story.

Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

Have you read You Say It First? What did you think of it?

2 thoughts on “Review: You Say It First”

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