ARC REVIEW: Technically, You Started It💭 Adorable Fluff But In Text


Title: Technically, You Started It
Author: Lana Wood Johnson
Pages: n/a

Release Date: June 25th 2019
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Hardcover

Genre: Contemporary
Goodreads Rating: 4.14 (of 80 ratings)


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When a guy named Martin Nathaniel Munroe II texts you, it should be obvious who you’re talking to. Except there’s two of them (it’s a long story), and Haley thinks she’s talking to the one she doesn’t hate.

A question about a class project rapidly evolves into an all-consuming conversation. Haley finds that Martin is actually willing to listen to her weird facts and unusual obsessions, and Martin feels like Haley is the first person to really see who he is. Haley and Martin might be too awkward to hang out in real life, but over text, they’re becoming addicted to each other.

There’s just one problem: Haley doesn’t know who Martin is. And Martin doesn’t know that Haley doesn’t know. But they better figure it out fast before their meet-cute becomes an epic meet-disaster . . .


Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Scholastic. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. 

Um, never in my wildest childhood years would I have ever imagined a book working solely in text so well – but here I am, in 2019, telling you it actually really worked. I can’t believe how completely captivated I was just reading like 200 – 300 pages of text messages. 

This book is a fun contemporary with an adorable and intriguing premise. Haley receives a text from a Martin – except with two Martins with the exact same name, she’s really not sure which Martin she is corresponding with. And as Haley starts developing more and more of a relationship with the one Martin – sharing with him things that she doesn’t even tell her friends – she realizes that she really needs to clarify which Martin she is talking with because feelings are getting complex fast.

I did enjoy the characters. Haley and Martin were quite complex, and had facets to them. I did want to root for them, and I was invested. I will admit that there was a bit of a disconnect for me, because it was only told through text. However, the amount of characterization that did come through was far more impressive than I honestly thought. I wanted just a bit more, but it was a bit limited since you had to convey it all in a text messages – and we all know how hard it is to read a text sometimes.

The plot is definitely a very character driven plot. This story is really just focusing on the growing relationship between Haley and Martin – mixed in with a coming of age story for both of them. Haley is facing friendship struggles and Martin is facing issues in his home life. They develop a friendship, and you’re going along with their story. There is the whole mystery of which Martin is Haley texting, and I’m not going to lie, like, it’s super obvious from the beginning. It was still kind of fun, but it never had me guessing, like, ooooh maybe it’s the other one!! I didn’t mind with how character driven it was because I was somehow completely suckered in.

It did get a bit slow at parts. Since there was not a lot of huge plot twists/points, it’s just you reading all their texts. Some of the texts could get a bit boring. However, the writing and flow was so so easy to read that I was able to knock this book out in two settings, and I was completely mesmerized. I was so into the flow that even in the boring parts, I was still able to binge read it all and enjoy it.

The romance was cute, too. I enjoyed how Haley and Martin interacted with each other, and it wasn’t instalove or too fast. It was believable and not overwhelming at all. I enjoyed it and thought it was super sweet.

Overall, this was a cute read that did get a bit slow in parts, but with the flow and rootable characters, it’s definitely a perfect quick summer read that will bring on some adorable fluff. Plus, it is perfect if you’re looking for something new in your contemporaries!


ariel tag

rating: Ariel rating because while I loved being part of this world, there were some gaps for me
representation: demisexual main character, bi love interest
content warnings: divorce, cheating (mentioned for other characters, not shown)

What do you think? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

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13 thoughts on “ARC REVIEW: Technically, You Started It💭 Adorable Fluff But In Text

  1. The cover of this book looks so cute!! The premise as well! I’m all for cute romcoms, and this one is told through texts so I may have to check it out sometimes! I also love how you guys do your rating systems. It’s so cute and I love how you incorporate disney princesses in them! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok first off a book told entirely in text messages actually sounds amazing!! I’m so intrigued and I’m glad this worked for it! And second– I am loving this cover!! *heart eyes*
    I am definitely interested in this book as a quick read for the summer– it sounds fun and cute. And I do love a character driven plot. This sounds perfect for after a heavy fantasy. Great review. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES. I wasn’t sure how it would go officially, but it really worked. And that cover was so good. Loved the brilliant, vibrant covers on it.

      YES. It’s definitely the perfect palette cleanser after a heavy fantasy and onto other things. Hope you enjoy if you decide to pick it up. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad to hear you enjoyed this. I really hope to read it (someday). I like character driven stories, and it sounds like these two are interesting enough to keep me enthralled.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just finished this book and I really enjoyed it! I think it was my favorite book that I’ve read told only in texts! (In this category I’m including books that take place over email and other media formats.) I actually liked how clueless Haley was about he whole Martin situation. It kept me entertained. (Mostly because I was laughing at how clueless she was.) I love character driven stories, and so I was more than happy for it to be slow but filled with characater development.

    I also think that this was the blog that put Technically, You Started It on my radar in the first place! Thank you for that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!! It was so seemless. THe others made it a bit forced in a sense sometimes, but this worked so well. And LOL agreed. I kept going, but like seriously, Haley??? How did you not know?? But I love those the best too.

      And oh I’m so glad!! This book is so underrated, and it certainly deserves getting out more.


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