You Say It First

‘Such a particular romance.’


You say it first is not your typical romance novel. It follows two teens, Meg and Colby, who could not be more different. Meg has got her whole life in order: she’s got the cute boyfriend, the supportive best friend, the good grades, and an extremely busy political agenda. Colby, on the other hand, has already graduated high school and doesn’t really know what he wants in life. Nothing feels the same, himself included, ever since his dad died. So when Colby one night accepts a phone call from the phone banking initiative WeCount, asking him if his -dead- dad is already registered to vote, Colby is utterly baffled. Neither Colby nor Meg, the unlucky volunteer at WeCount that night, could have foretold what that phone call would set in motion. Soon, the two of them find themselves texting in the day, calling at night, sharing things they have never told a soul. Will this long-distance friendship one day grow into love? Or are Colby and Meg just too different, too far apart, or perhaps too broken for love?


You Say It First was my first read of 2021, yay! I do have some mixed feelings about this one, so let’s just dive right in. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book. It took me a week or two to finish this book, which, in this case, wasn’t a good thing. Meg and Colby are unique characters, for sure, but they were just… too different, I guess. I noticed that I was very indifferent towards their relationship. I didn’t care for them to get together. However, I did like reading about their personal lives and I guess that just interested me far more than their relationship.

I’d suggest you stop reading now (to avoid spoilers) because I’ll be going into detail to explain myself a little bit better. For starters, I did not like the way they “met” during that first phone call. But then I thought: oh well, it’s probably going to get better. But that was not the case. I found out what was bothering me soon enough: I felt like their conversations kept repeating themselves, because they were always arguing, always picking out something to get mad about. Now that I’ve read the book from start to finish, I feel like it’s safe to say that I did not like the characters when they were together. Their whole demeanor changed as if they switched personalities as soon as the other one was in the picture.

But I do want to say that this book was also very unique. Meg was this amazing teenager who was super into politics, which I found very refreshing. And Colby was such a surprising love interest that I did want to keep on reading, just to find out if it would work in the end. And I’m very happy that I did, eventually. The ending felt very satisfying to me.


So, as you might’ve noticed, I don’t really know how I feel about this book. On the one hand, I thought it was a very peculiar love story, built on way too many arguments. On the other hand, it was, after all, a love story like no other, with two amazing and unique love interests. I really don’t know what else to say. It certainly wasn’t a waste of time, but it won’t be a new favorite either.

Product information:
Written by: Katie Cotugno
Pages: 368
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 0062674129
Interested? Buy the book here