I picked this one up as a little break from the heavier fantasy novels I’ve been reading lately. I didn’t want to slump and luckily, this did just the trick!
Teddy Phillips never thought she’d still be spending every day surrounded by toys at almost thirty years old. But working at a vintage toy store is pretty much all she has going on in her life after being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend. The one joy that she’s kept is her not-so-guilty pleasure: Everett’s Place, a local children’s show hosted by Everett St. James, a man whom Teddy finds very soothing . . . and, okay, cute.
Teddy finds the courage to write to him, feeling slightly like one of the children who write to him on his show. He always gives sound advice and seems like he has everything figured out–and he pretty much does: Everett has a great support system, wonderful friends, and his dream job. But there’s still that persistent feeling in the back of his mind that something’s missing.
When a woman named Theodora starts writing to Everett, he is drawn to her honesty and vulnerability. They continue writing to each other, all the while living their lives without meeting. When their worlds collide, however, they must both let go of their fears and figure out what they truly want–and if the future they want includes each other.
You can always rely on Kerry Winfrey’s writing to pull you from the edge of a slump. Seriously, her stories are always interesting, entertaining, and so laugh out loud funny that I found myself turning a little red in public with how loud I was.
Teddy reminded me a lot of myself when I was younger. Having been dumped by a guy who never appreciated me or how I helped him, I felt exactly where Teddy was. It was also that period in my life where I wanted to find something for myself and figure out my next step. While my “Teddy Time” list was a little bit different than the main character, I definitely resonated with her lost feelings and wanting to do things I wouldn’t normally do.
I also struggled with holding back a lot of who I am in public and with friends. I would always put other people first and put my feelings aside because they weren’t as important. Or so that’s what I thought. It was lovely to see Teddy go through the same kinds of struggles especially after a pretty heinous breakup that made me lose sight of what really matters.
Everett was such an interesting character that I could relate to as well. I’m a bit of a workaholic, so I can relate to him always trying to figure out how to make things perfect. But I will note that this book felt more about Teddy finding herself and helping out Everett than it was Everett figuring out his next steps and helping Teddy out. In fact, I don’t think Everett did much to help out Teddy aside from giving her the space to be herself. She took the initiative to try new things, say no to him, and figure herself out.
I absolutely loved that the email theme kept running throughout the story. I was worried it would be one of those elements that would get the story going and then it would fall off by the end. So happy that it was even used in the epilogue and that really helped to keep that theme (and the title of the book) threaded throughout.
I also really liked how Teddy’s ex was an antagonist that kept on showing up like some indigestion after eating a giant burrito. It reminded me a bit of Kate Winslet’s character in The Holiday and how she tried so hard to push him away, but kept being lured back. It made for an interesting component to the story.
I kind of wish Gretel played a much bigger role in the book. It seemed a bit strange that she was introduced in the beginning of the story, but nothing really came from it other than being a vehicle to connect Everett with Teddy. I wanted more especially when she’s a self-proclaimed “old woman” at the age of twelve. I also wish there was more conflict. Granted, I know the struggle to find oneself and overcoming the obstacles of perfection are tough, but I would have personally enjoyed it more if there were some higher stakes.
Overall, this was such a fun and entertaining book to read. It definitely took me out of my slump and perfect for those hot summer days when you don’t want to get too involved in a story.
I received a copy of Very Sincerely Yours from Berkley for free. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.