Series: This Girl Duet
Published by JOHNSON INK on December 6, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Famous, New Adult, Romance
Katharine Firestone is a bit of a mess.
Between an acting career that’s never quite made lift-off to stardom, a pathetic love life of online-dating-app losers, and a maxed-out balance on every one of her credit cards, things can’t get much worse. So, when she’s plucked from relative obscurity to land a lead role in Hollywood’s next big blockbuster, Kat is sure she’s finally on the right track.
Until she meets her co-star, Grayson Dunn… and all her plans are completely derailed.
Grayson is everything you’d expect the hottest actor alive to be — charming, disarming, and cocky as hell. As their characters slowly spiral into love on screen, Kat struggles to keep herself from falling for real. She knows handing Grayson her heart and expecting him not to break it would be the biggest mistake of her life. Yet the deeper she’s immersed in his glamorous world, the more blurred the boundaries between scripted affection and sincere passion become… and the harder it is to deny that their on-camera chemistry has crescendoed into a behind-the-scenes love affair…
What happens when you fall for someone who’s guaranteed to shatter you into pieces? Do you walk away? Or do you let him break you because, even broken, there’s simply no way you can’t stay?
THE MONDAY GIRL is a messy contemporary romance about a mixed up girl who falls for the wrong boy. It is the first part of a duet. The second installment, THE SOMEDAY GIRL, will be released a few weeks later, in early 2017. Each installment is approximately 85,000 words. Recommended for readers ages 17+ due to strong language, sexual situations, drug use, and other mature elements.
I would like to point this out at the beginning so fewer people than necessary think I’m crazy. I finished this book over 24 hours ago. One full day. And has anyone ever known me to not immediately pick up a new book after I’ve finished another? NO! That’s not a thing I do! I don’t have book hangovers, I refuse, but I can’t stop thinking about all of these characters! With that being said, I can’t even guarantee that 1. This review will make any sense or 2. That any of it will even be in an order that makes sense. This might just have a lot of jumping around from topic to topic as I think of them because well, I’m a little scatter brained because I don’t want to focus on one aspect of this book, I want to relive them all.
“Even the bravest of you will quake, shaken to your core, when you realize just how broken I am. That I am not a girl at all, but a collection of shattered pieces slung together with glue made of false confidence. Taped into a shape resembling feminine grace through sheer force of will.”
Just to start, this was my initial reaction within 5 minutes of finishing The Monday Girl:
“Oh my god. Are you serious? ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW? Oh my GOOOOOOOOOD!
But… Wait! Who… Why? No!
No, don’t worry, I’m not freaking out, I’m just FLIPPING A GASKET OVER HERE!
I need the next book within the next five minutes. Please. I’m not above begging.”
Yeah… Cause that sounds calm and reserved. Any who, moving on.
Can we start with the dedication? “To every boy who thinks this book is about him.”. Boom. I thought that was pretty cool when I read it the first time, but sitting back after finishing and digesting the book, that’s pretty effing powerful. I only hope that others can read this book too and find out why.
So my biggest revelation while reading, are you ready for this? Here it goes: I think Kat and I are the same person. I felt so connected to her, I appreciated the way she viewed life and relationships and stood up for herself in these aspects. She wouldn’t embellish, took everything with a grain of salt and thought independently of society’s norms or traditions. But wait, Kat is portrayed as a broken girl. Does that mean I’m broken? Don’t answer that. I actually didn’t find her as broken or toxic as we’re lead to believe in the beginning, but maybe this is because I felt so similar to her that I didn’t want to see it? I’m not sure, maybe there will be more answers in the next book or more reasoning as to why she feels this way. I found her candor more refreshing than anything. I mean, I kind of hated her a tiny bit at the end for her insecurities, but not even really. I wasn’t mad, I was just a little upset by the situation and her having so little faith in those closest to her. But I think I’m over it, so it’s all good. Kat Firestone is my home girl.
“Sighing, I bend and start to undo the laces. I can’t let him sleep in his shoes.
I may be a bitch, but I’m not a monster.”
I know it’s not marketed this way at all (and for good reason) but this story is actually hilarious. I LOVE Kat! She’s sassy and will speak her mind regardless. Plus her with the secondary characters come up with quite the comical dialogue that I was laughing along with nonstop. I love this group and how easy it all was. There’s times when you can tell an author has to inject humour to lighten up the mood but JJ (can I call her JJ?) does it in such an effortless fashion, it’s simple. It’s genuine. It’s funny. And I can only hope that one day, Jake from State Farm might call me too.
“You were just going to take off to Hawaii without speaking to me?”
“Well, I was going to ask if maybe you could water my plants while I’m gone but, based on the tone of this conversation, I’m guessing you’d probably be more likely to slaughter my succulents than nurture them according to a slow, regimented watering schedule.”
“Was that supposed to be a joke?”
“I never joke about succulents.”
Yes, this story is set in Hollywood (and a beach paradise, mind you), and yes the main characters are actors, but even so it felt so real! Like these are thoughts I could and do have. These are the same reactions I would have in certain situations. These are the conversations I would have with my friends. And you can bet your hat that if I had a burrito truck around the block from my house I would take advantage of that too.
I feel like some of these inner monologues are actually secret pieces of advice that girls need to know. Like you know when at a sleepover, you have that one really wise friend who just says the right things and has a solid stance on every topic? That’s Kat. Or better yet, Julie, cause I don’t see Kat as dishing out wise advice at a slumber party. I like to make notes in my kindle app while reading so I remember when writing the review, and in 3 separate circumstances I had the same note: Real talk with Julie Johnson. It felt like we could be having girl talk on the phone, or sitting on the bathroom floor eating Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia after a breakup. It’s like a divine mixture of Oprah and Ellen. She gets the issue and approaches it in a dynamic and at times, comical fashion. And I agreed with every single one.
Seriously, I loved Kat.
Flawed hero, check! Here’s my problem, I know you’re suppose to fall in love with the hero because blah blah blah ‘this is a romance book’, ‘you’re a girl, you need to fall for the main guy’, *continue on stereotype*. So the issue was that I didn’t WANT to like Grayson! Every girl knows that one guy, the one who’s trouble with a capital T. You know you should stay away because you’ll just get hurt but you go anyways. That’s what Grayson was. You know you should avoid him like the plague and yet… He just kind of worms himself into your heart. Now don’t get me wrong, this guy is definitely flawed but I’m quite intrigued to see what kind of background/answers/progress we can get from him moving forward. I’m especially interested in seeing everyone’s reactions when they get together for the movie tour.
“Perhaps I’m even more messed up than I realized.
Or maybe I knew all the shitty things he’d do to me, in the end… and I fell in love with him regardless.
Maybe love isn’t something you can control, or talk yourself out of just because it’s not convenient.
Maybe Grayson is a choice that was never mine to make.”
Wyatt is a freaking gem. How often do you come across guys like that? Every scene, every word, every nuance about him was just perfect and exactly what Kat needed in a close friend. To show that you actually can trust a man as long as it isn’t a dreaded #manchild.
I love Grayson. I love Wyatt. I know people will ask me about the chance of the heroine cheating since I’m talking about two different men but NO! One is the hero and one is a friend. No cheating happens on either man. All is fine in that sense. But regardless, I love both. So can I have Wyatt? Can I just call dibs now or… ?
In two parts, I really liked this story. It’s fresh and unique while still being approachable and easy to connect with. Could be because of the realistic writing or the flawed characters, but regardless it simply works. Second is that adding in the fact that the two MC’s actually had a connected backstory was a nice little surprise that I wasn’t expecting. Plus I loved how it added heat and resentment to those first few precious encounters. Careful ladies, because if a man like Grayson sees you want nothing to do with him, he’ll do everything he can to change your mind.
“Just come here,” Grayson says softly, eyes beckoning. “Would you, please? Things always make better sense when you’re in my arms.”
Because I always give in, when I’m in your arms…
I didn’t find that it had as much angst as I was expecting (the last few chapters were supreme). The beginning was significantly lighter than I had imagined but I feel like this is almost a false sense of hope gifted by the author, just to then break you down that much farther. I would’ve loved a bit more (especially in the last 30-40%) but I think that also has to do with the fact that I would eat angst for breakfast if I could. Seriously, I love it that much.
“With a kiss, I speak the thousand words I’ll never, ever let myself say to him. With my hands, I whisper secrets that will never pass my lips. With my body, I unequivocally declare all the things I want from him that he can’t ever give me.”
Jam packed with emotion, but like I said, not OTT emotional or irrational; it felt justified and the responses were reasonable and in my eyes, quite understandable. This is how real people would react in these situations.
This story is fuelled by lust and passion and I can’t even explain how potent each piece is when you get around to the title and how it relates. This describes every girl, every woman. Kat isn’t a just her own person, she’s all of us. We are her. She may be Grayson’s Monday Girl, but so are we.
“It’s strange, realizing something that meant everything to you meant next to nothing to someone else. That you cared more, invested more, loved more.
I was one of many. I was mundane.
The safety net. The safe bet. The sure thing.
The one you call after a weekend spent chasing other women, because you know she’s so caught up in you she’ll always answer the phone.
I am his Monday girl.”
I mentioned on our social media accounts after finishing this book that it was confusing (and amazing and heartbreaking and lots of other goodness) but that really wasn’t the right word. I’m not confused, I just want more answers! I have so many questions and I can’t even begin to form theories because I don’t have enough fact to go on yet. Everything is speculation and it’s driving me NUTS (in a good way).
I need it to be February now. Just saying.
That ending. Dear lord. I need an answer and I’m not above begging. Please, just give me a name. That’s all. Just one little name so I can take my crazy brain and come up with some theories to occupy myself until February. I just need to know! I need The Someday Girl not now, RIGHT NOW! *but of course, I’m asking in the sweetest and most polite way possible.*
Julie’s goal here was to make you feel. Whether it’s happiness or sorrow, anger, heartbreak, fury, hope, just allow yourself to feel whatever the characters are feeling. It’s such a rush to experience the story that way and bravo JJ, you definitely made me feel EVERYTHING.
“I like playing games with you, Kat,”
I wish I’d realized then —he wasn’t just talking about chess.
Is it perfect? Wait, let me stop there. That’s such a silly question. A lot of times when I really like a book, I’ll do a “is it perfect? No but I loved it anyways!” type of deal. But I can’t think like that for this story because I honestly can’t think of anything I want to see happen differently. Every scene made sense to the story and it’s development. Even the uncomfortable ones, the ones that broke both the reader and heroine alike, everything is needed and important. Sometimes you just have to sit back for a day or two and digest why.
“Just remember —even if you’re a little bit broken, it’s okay. Without those cracks in that impenetrable outer wall of yours, I’d never see the beautiful person you are inside.”
I find that there’re two types of book ruts. The first being where you can’t read anything because you just can’t find something to catch your attention. The second being where you’re still reading but not finding anything super enjoyable or that you’re really excited about. THANK YOU Julie J for taking me out of this second type!! I’ve been so discouraged lately just feeling bleh and like I was reading average over and over. The Monday Girl changed that, it’s extraordinary.
The Monday Girl perfectly captures a witty yet broken heroine as she falls in love with a man she shouldn’t want. It’s real, it’s honest, it’s heartbreaking. I could not put this book down, it’s tangibly captivating and incredibly written. This amazing story will take you on a journey through the highs and lows of insurmountable euphoria and crushing heartbreak as the author tactically confronts the way we look at today’s dating world along side its morals and values. The Monday Girl is a dynamic read that will force you to burn through the pages and leave you on the edge of your seat shamelessly wanting more. I don’t just want to read The Someday Girl, I NEED to read it! And soon, I hope. The Monday Girl is a top book of 2016, hands down.
“Fate may be determined to fuck me over, but I’m going to have some fun before she does.”
*An ARC was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.