"Warm, original, funny and heartbreaking, this novel made me drop everything so I could read it in one lovely afternoon. When You Read This is inventive and witty, but more importantly it's honest and wise. I adored it." -- Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses and The Hopefuls
For fans of Maria Semple and Rainbow Rowell, a comedy-drama for the digital age: an epistolary debut novel about the ties that bind and break our hearts.
For four years, Iris Massey worked side by side with PR maven Smith Simonyi, helping clients perfect their brands. But Iris has died, taken by terminal illness at only thirty-three. Adrift without his friend and colleague, Smith is surprised to discover that in her last six months, Iris created a blog filled with sharp and often funny musings on the end of a life not quite fulfilled. She also made one final request: for Smith to get her posts published as a book. With the help of his charmingly eager, if overbearingly forthright, new intern Carl, Smith tackles the task of fulfilling Iris's last wish.
Before he can do so, though, he must get the approval of Iris' big sister Jade, an haute cuisine chef who's been knocked sideways by her loss. Each carrying their own baggage, Smith and Jade end up on a collision course with their own unresolved pasts and with each other.
Told in a series of e-mails, blog posts, online therapy submissions, text messages, legal correspondence, home-rental bookings, and other snippets of our virtual lives, When You Read This is a deft, captivating romantic comedy--funny, tragic, surprising, and bittersweet--that candidly reveals how we find new beginnings after loss.
"Adkins brilliantly captures the rhythms and cadences of the epistolary format in the digital age through a delightful cast of quirky, imperfect characters, both dead and alive. Tart, sweet, poignant, and rich with humor; completely irresistible."--Library Journal (starred review)
"Delightful... An epistolary novel for the 21st century, When You Read This
sparkles with a perfect blend of humor, pathos and romance.... Adkins has managed to paint an authentic and nuanced portrait of grief and the various ways people attempt to cope and continue on with life when the worst has happened. Inventive and irresistible, When You Read This
is a tender and uplifting story about love, loss and the resilience of the human heart that will have you laughing and crying in equal turns."--BookPage
"I found the romantic comedy -- about a man trying to fulfill his late friend's last wish -- both completely wrenching and hilarious. I mean like, crazy funny. The offbeat story about love, family and mortality really sticks with you. The ideal summer read."--Cup of Jo
"Stellar. . . witty, entertaining and at times heartwrenching. . . . When You Read This
is an outstanding addition to contemporary literature that effectively addresses the issues people face today in a poignant and cleverly insightful manner. It is a true standout and should not be missed."--BookReporter
"It's a risk to write a hilarious novel about grief and regret. It's a bigger risk to tell the story solely through virtual communication. Mary Adkins succeeds on both fronts in this epistolary novel . . . . A story of flawed people who have connected under the worst of circumstances. It's a quick, worthwhile read."--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"An uncanny novel that hits the zeitgeist."--Thrillist, "The Best Books of 2019 (So Far)"
"When You Read This
checks all the essential boxes of Up Lit--though-provoking, tear-jerking, funny--and adds a delectable epistolary twist."--Refinery29
"[A] heartfelt page-turner . . . A natural readalike for Maria Semple's Where'd You Go Bernadette
and Rainbow Rowell's Attachments
"A touching, funny, and life-affirming tale."--Publishers Weekly
"Deeply moving but also uplifting, Mary Adkins' debut novel is easy to read but hard to forget."--Anne Youngson, author of Meet Me at the Museum
"I loved every word of this sweet little gem of a book. It was a quick, humorous--but ultimately touching--read that I couldn't put down!"--Meg Cabot
"This inventive and hilarious novel has it all: Mid-life crisis sufferers denying their regrets, a lawless intern with alarming email etiquette, poetic online therapists and a moving message about the resiliency of the human heart. Read this book--I loved it!"--Courtney Maum, author of Touch and I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You
"Warm, original, funny and heartbreaking, this novel made me drop everything so I could read it in one lovely afternoon. WHEN YOU READ THIS is inventive and witty, but more importantly it's honest and wise. I adored it."--Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses and The Hopefuls