Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: Hung Up by Kristen Tracy

Review: Hung Up by Kristen Tracy
Release date: March 4th, 2014
 Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster)
Series: No
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss
Length: 282
Rating: Super cute, super breezy, and super fast.
It got more more emotional at times than I wanted, but the banter was aces.


Can you fall in love with a voice? This witty romance, told entirely through phone calls, chronicles the tale of a wrong number gone right.

It all started with a wrong number. The voicemails Lucy left on James’s phone were meant for someone else—someone who used to have James’s digits. But then when James finally answers and the two start to talk, a unique bond forms between the two teens.

Gradually Lucy and James begin to understand each other on a deeper level than anyone else in their lives. But when James wants to meet in person, Lucy is strangely resistant. And when her secret is revealed, he’ll understand why…

This book is the kind of book that will break you out of a reading slump. I happen to love books told in unconventional formats like emails, texts, or phone call transcripts, and I love how it all boils down to voice. I suppose if you don't love the voices of our two protagonists, James and Lucy, you might not lvoe this book, but I found them completely engaging and hilarious. Must you suspend a small amount of disbelief? Yeah, sure. I mean, who even uses phones to talk these days? Honestly.

And even if you did start talking to a total stranger, it's more likely that person would not be a non-dangerous person somewhere around your age. I mean, who knows what kind of creature could be at the other end of your call?

Dog Phone Call. found of a site. YES, THIS IS 'h

But you go with it. Let's say these two smart, witty teens, James and Lucy, meet by accident when Lucy calls the wrong number. Let's just say that, after that, they decide to keep talking, and a flirtation blooms.  And boy, was their flirting just what the reading doctor ordered. These two are hilarious, and the transcript format really let's you focus on that. There are no descriptions, no actions, no nothing but their voices. All the unimportant aspects are stripped away, leaving you only with their words. (And luckily, most of the time, I found their words pretty funny.)

Lucy: Yes, that’s it. Oh my god. You’re parking! 
James: Yes. It’s something I often do after I arrive somewhere by car.

Lucy: You’re acting like you’re the one who’s been saddled with the assignment. It’s my essay. 
James: What teenager uses the word “saddled”?
Lucy: I do. And teenage equestrians.

James: You need to lay off Helen Keller. 
Lucy: I didn’t realize I was on her.

Lucy: You should get a notebook and write your dreams down in it. Keep the notebook by your bed. A lot of people do this. 
James: I don’t have that many dreams. 
Lucy: How would you know? Maybe you’re just forgetting them.

So, yeah. Pros to Hung Up: James and Lucy and their positive interactions. They were adorable and flirty from the get-go and super fun to read. Cons to Hung Up: A major theme of the book is James and Lucy's willingness and hesitation to confide in each other, which I loved. BUT I think it would have been more impactful if their Deep Dark Secrets and Colossal Past Traumas had been less soap opera-y. It's not to say that people don't have those kinds of problems in their lives, and that they're not worth reading about, but the issues here are so over the top that they don't quite play. The more relatable tragedies of teenage existence might actually have gotten me to connect to James and Lucy more than their over-the-top life experiences.

Also: These kids attend the most varied, interesting high schools in America. I swear, no high school has that many unique classes and diorama building and churro-baking and writing-with-your-toes (no, seriously). Is this a Vermont thing? (Also, bonus points for unique setting.)

One thing I did really like that had to do with the Serious Trauma and Deadly Secrets what that terrible twist! I let out an audible moan of pain! It was awful and I should have seen that coming and nooooo, James and Lucy, you were doing so well!

I really liked their many misunderstandings, because it felt so real to life and how your words can be misconstrued. James and Lucy are definitely a couple I rooted for, because they felt so fun and varied and real. They had very different views about certain things, and I liked that. Plus, they're funny. And I just love funny characters with all my heart.


  1. Kudos for the Saved By the Bell gifs. It reminds me of this fabulous New Girl moment:

    I've seen mixed reviews on this one but I'm going to try it anyway. I like the idea of the "unconventional format" - it reminds me a lot of the instant messages in Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. She got the voice across SO WELL in those IM conversations and it sounds like Hung Up does that too.

    Now I'm going to be humming the Saved By the Bell theme song all day. FUN FACT: the guy that played Mr. Belding now makes a living by making "appearances" - as in, my university had a carnival one time and hired him to attend and take pictures with the students. It was awesome and weird.


    Okay now that I got that out of the way this seems like a total library book if I can make that happen. If Their conversation sounds cute and I like how this is told in such a unique manner, making it a quick read, but I hate exaggeration and things that could be avoided with common sense so your terrible twist hinting has me a little worried.

  3. Currently high-fiving your review in the face! You encapsulated everything that's good about this book so much better than I did. Also, this This Is Dog GIF inclusion made me giggle.

  4. Unconventional format and banter? I'm so in.

  5. I know where you got your love of oddly formatted books. *coughs in Meg Cabot's general direction* Not to mention epistolary and diary format books, but I bet you were thinking of Cabot.

    I might not completely "lvoe" this book? That's too bad.

    Also, I think I might want to read this. Maybe. This sounds a bit like the strange book I read about phone calls, but it was set in the 70s and people actually did call then.


    Okay, I am intrigued.


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