The Monday Girl
by Julie Johnson (Goodreads Author)
**The Monday Girl generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.**
5 "Thing about shadows is..."Stars
With The Monday Girl Julie Johnson kicked it back old school, for me. This book reflects on her roots as a writer when she debuted with the phenomenal, gritty YA story Like Gravity . This new book ups the ante with a contemporary offering where she takes a raw and vulnerable time in her adult protagonists life and exploits not only this characters deepest insecurities but valid fears of all women in their early twenties by thrusting her into the spotlight with a man she's not equipped to fall for. While the tone of The Monday Girl remains infused with the great wit and humor we see in Johnson's most recent RomCom stories, the plot and exploration of characters ranges deeper, a little darker, and uncharacteristic in terms of structure and story arc reminiscent of her earlier work. And yet still her chops as a writer highlight that she can add new twists and layers to her stories to keep them fresh and exciting.
Kat Firestone, above said protagonist, takes readers on a wild, questioning, and ultimately lonely whirlwind of an adventure that falls into her lap just by being her whip-smart, caustically charming self. As the new lead actress in a film, something else she's not equipped for, Kat moves the story seamlessly at the aid of Johnson's always engrossing prose. The funny thing about Kat though? The things she feels not prepared for are the things she wholly excels at doing. She's damaged yet strong. Broken thoughts coupled with unhealthy demons lurking in her shadows yet shows readers something so inherently confident and beautiful inside her you just want her to recognize and stand up shouting "I am me and I deserve everything".
Kat meets Wyatt Hastings, the facilitator of her big break into a stardom her overbearing, vile Mother always wanted, in the most unlikely of scenarios. Wyatt - friend, mentor, and extremely good flirt - landed on my favorite character list with his charm, confidence in Kat, swoon-worthy sentiments, and his smile so palpable through Johnson's words. The friendly chemistry between he and Kat melts the delicious prose of their scenes. He's the open book, the sunny day, the boy who slays dragons without a second thought for the woman he'll one day deem worthy. Wyatt will lift you up and the air won't ever taste as sweet.
Enter Grayson Dunn. Oh Grayson, you messy, messy man. Staunch anti-love believer yet romantic to his core. He shakes up the pages of this book in so many beautiful and tragic ways. There's something so innately magnetic about Grayson's presence. An air of mystery shrouds him leaving one to think he's not the master of his own puppet strings. He's the closed book, the enigma, the boy for whom you want to slay his hiding dragons. You'll drown in Grayson and savor the water as you go down.
With Kat's best friend and a quirky director abound there's plenty of characters and story to love in this book. Don't let the three main characters scare you - this isn't a love triangle in the sense your thinking. The angst is driven from Kat and the boy she falls for not from some extensional crisis of which boy is best. This book is Kat's awakening and aftermath of a life she didn't see coming. It's her reckoning. How she'll rise up will be a story I can't wait to read when it comes in Part Two of this duet.
Told strictly from Kat's first person point of view, you'll feel ensconced in her story from beginning to end where you'll want that Part Two right freaking now. But the wait will be sweet torture for an ending that's sure to satisfy. Julie Johnson introduced a new, fascinating trope into her writing repertoire with The Monday Girl once again proving her amazing writing style deserves to read again and again with her gift as an author continually evolving beautifully into addictive, spell-binding romance stories.