Long time listeners of the podcast will know that I didn’t figure out that I was bisexual until I was 30 freaking years old. The signs were all there y’all, I just couldn’t read them. So it should surprise exactly zero people that I will jump on absolutely anything with bisexual representation immediately. And that is how I found myself in possession of an ARC and ALC of Going Bicoastal by Dahlia Adler.
Natalya Fox has been given a choice for the summer: stay home with her dad in NYC or visit her estranged mom in LA. She knows that she has to get out of her routine and explore the city, repair her relationship with her mom, and figure out her future. But is she going to do that while chasing the girl of her dreams or falling for the guy she never saw coming?
This book felt like the perfect depiction of the “why not both?” meme and I absolutely loved every second of it. Going into the story knowing only that it was “a queer Sliding Doors YA rom-com” and not knowing what Sliding Doors was or even having the foresight to look it up, I definitely stumbled a bit in the beginning once the split between the New York and Los Angeles timelines happened, but I caught up really quickly and fell in love with the way in which Dahlia was able to so effortlessly not only flow between the two but to also weave elements of one timeline into the other.
I’ve always been a believer that people have more than one soulmate, that timing really affects who is the right person for you. And that’s exactly the same vibes that I got from this story. Natalya lives out two very different paths, but even though they happen on opposite coasts with different groups of people, they both made sense for the person she was becoming in their respective timelines. There isn't so much a wrong choice as a different choice with a different outcome.
Anyone who lives off vibes or moods will be happy to find that this book’s release is very timely. All the summer vibes are there in both timelines and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this book is going to be one of the books of the summer. I want to pull up a lounger by the pool with a fruity umbrella cocktail in one hand and this book in the other and just relive the experience over again. Oh, and please add in some tacos. Speaking of which, do not go into this book on an empty stomach. All the food talk had me salivating and wishing I was actually living the story instead of just reading it.
The audiobook is narrated by Mara Wilson, who was perfect as the voice of Natalya. The differentiation between characters was subtle but noticeable and she was able to bring the story to life with her ability to emote with just her voice. Even at 2x speed (which is the speed at which I religiously listen to audiobooks), every bit of the narration hit its mark and never felt stilted or awkward.
Going Bicoastal by Dahlia Adler hits shelves on June 13, 2023 and you can preorder your copy here or get a signed and personalized copy from Books of Wonder. Don’t forget to submit your receipt to get the amazing preorder goodies that come along with it!
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book and audiobook from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."