Please tell me I am not the only one that ended up on the booktok side of TikTok earlier this year without having picked up a book in years. Before January of this year, I hadn’t picked up a physical copy of a book and read it all the way through since my freshman year of high school – and I am entering my senior year of college now. It seems as though a lot of people have ended up on booktok despite peoples’ lack of interest to read. Although, if something’s going to go viral and spark some interest on the internet – it may as be reading, right?
Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman (only published earlier this year in April 2022) has taken booktok and romance readers by storm. This story is the epitome of right person, wrong timing. Chani Horowitz is in her late-twenties trying to make her way in the journalism world. While interviewing and writing about celebrities’ lives is not what she planned on doing when she graduated college – it turns out she is really good at it! Gabe Parker, the small-town-guy-from-Montana-turned-famous-Hollywood-actor, just landed the role of a lifetime playing the James Bond in a series of Bond films. The Bond film fanbase is in an uproar, completely sure that the casting is all wrong, so it is up to Chani to write a compelling article about Gabe Parker to convince the Bond fanbase that Gabe was in fact the right decision for these movies. Fast forward 10 years, and Chani is given another article assignment for Gabe Parker and tensions are palpable when they meet again. It’s obvious something happened between them all those years ago – but the question is what exactly happened and how did it effect their dynamic?
The first TikTok I saw relating to this book was posted on May 4th of this year by TikToker @vivafalastinleen telling anyone who’s a fan of romance that it needs to be the next book they read. Not only was this book blowing up on TikTok practically overnight because of the dual-timeline-will-they-won’t-they storyline…but the cover of this book is probably the cutest, most aesthetically pleasing, cover I’ve ever seen. The title is bold, and all of the reds and pinks makes it feel like the perfect book to read when Valentine’s Day is approaching – I’m obsessed.
As mentioned before this book does have a dual timeline, so part of the book is re-telling Chani and Gabe’s past, and part of it flips back to present time when they finally reconnect after ten years while also including some sporadically placed news articles throughout that lets readers keep up with what Gabe has been up to during the ten year gap.
At times, you may ask yourself, “Was that article really necessary for the readers and to interrupt the flow of flashbacks and fast forwards?” And sometimes the articles were superfluous, and some of them only make sense to be in there toward the ending when everything is wrapping up, and sometimes they weren’t articles from news sources, but entries from Chani’s online blog that Gabe has secretly kept up with and read every single entry from over the past ten years – these were my favorite. While Chani read every news article available on the internet about Gabe, he had a much more intimate way of keeping up with Chani – her personal blog that served more as a personal diary (and she had convinced herself basically no one took the time to read).
Chani had thought that Gabe had publicly rejected her after their weekend spent together all those years ago. Why, you ask? Because after they spent the weekend together (and totally obsessed with each other) Gabe flew to Las Vegas to marry his costar Jacinda Lockwood. After left feeling like the past weekend meant nothing to Gabe, Chani settles with her boyfriend, and eventual husband, (often referred to as “The Novelist”) and their paths only cross once more over the years until the day they reunite hoping for another infamous article to turn his career around again. So, if you ask me, most of this book is based around heavy miscommunication, or lack thereof.
While this story technically takes place over the span of ten years, Chani and Gabe are only really spending a total of around five days together before the end when Gabe asks Chani to marry him. Yes, you read that correctly. Five days together over the span of ten years and they were engaged!
This story is adorable, and these two do seem to be made for each other, but wrapping up the ending of the book with an engagement did not sit right with me. I enjoyed the book the entire way through, but the last ten pages made me feel like I was living inside of a Lifetime movie waiting for the predictable and very unrealistic ending.
Despite my desire for an alternate ending (and my rating of 3/5 stars on Goodreads) – Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman has been the most entertaining, witty, and enjoyable book I’ve read all year long. I think it’s the fangirl in me that finds reading love stories between a famous actor/musician and a person that has never had a moment of fame so riveting. I highly encourage everyone to pick up this book the next time you’re at Barnes & Noble or Target – you won’t regret it.
Ways to purchase Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman: