Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★
Thanks to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for providing me with an eARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
Adam and Whitney used to be friends, but now they exchange jabs online. Adam, working at his late father’s Pinball Arcade and Whitney managing the social media for her father’s gaming cafe. Each of them weighed down with the expectations of their fathers, Adam unable shake himself free from the things that his father loved and Whitney doing her best to garner some attention from hers.
It only takes one snowstorm, trapping them in the arcade to let go of the past that kept them so firmly at odds and find their futures, possibly together.
This is a friends to adversaries to lovers book, y’all. Just throwing that out there first of all. Second is that when you read a book by Eric Smith, you will learn something. I know way too much about pinball machines between Adam and the little quotes from “Zen and the Art of Pinball Repair” or something similar to that. Which, in fact, is not a real book. I checked. I didn’t expect it, but was going to be pleasantly surprised if it was.
Eric mentions in his acknowledgements that this book became something entirely different than the story he set out to tell and it really comes across in the writing, not in a bad way. There is so much depth and personality oozing from the book, you know these characters are an amalgam of experiences, loves, friends and memories. There was so much here that I related to as a millennial, from myself going to the alternative concerts, which the characters went to the second time around. Many of the bands mentioned, I actually saw in the late 90’s and early 00’s in their prime. And, I just aged myself.
That said, the feeling behind the novel of growing up, letting go of your past and going your own way, transcends generations. The way that I felt growing up, there was another teenager in the 70’s going through the same motions just as there is one here in 2021 that might pick up this book and be introduced to all the great pop culture references. (I need to listen to Fleetwood Mac now and I blame you, Eric.)
As the title states. You Can Go Your Own Way.
Masterful work, Mr. Smith. I can’t wait to read your next book.