**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Please Send Help for review purposes from NetGalley. Thank you to the publishers for this opportunity.
Please Send Help by Alison Raskin and Gaby Dunn is the follow up novel to I Hate Everyone But You. It takes place three or four years after the initial story, and continues to tell us Gen and Ava’s story. Gen and Ava are best friends and have been since high school. They went to different colleges and so their friendship became long distance and both books are told through text messages and emails. The first is their first year of separation, and Please Send Help is the story of them being fresh out of college and working their first jobs. The girls are older and wiser, sort of, and navigating the world of adulthood.
Here’s the summary from GoodReads:
In this hilarious follow-up novel to the New York Times bestseller I Hate Everyone But You, long distance best friends Ava and Gen have finally made it to the same time zone (although they’re still over a thousand miles apart).
Through their hilarious, sometimes emotional, but always relatable conversations, Ava and Gen are each other’s support systems through internships, relationship troubles, questionable roommates, undercover reporting, and whether or not it’s a good idea to take in a feral cat. Please Send Help perfectly captures the voice of young adults looking to find their place in the world and how no matter how desperate things seem, you always have your best friend to tell it like it is and pick you back up.
I loved, loved the first book. It’s a quick read because the texts and emails make the story move quickly. The first one made me cry and I rated it an easy 5 stars. However, Please Send Help was not quite as good as the first book, in my opinion. I still really enjoyed the books, and I really liked revisiting Ava and Gen’s characters. I liked seeing them grow up and trying to navigate the foibles of adulthood and navigate a different kind of world. It just felt like the story had less of a climax than the first book.
I really love the way the book is written. I like the text message/email style of writing. It brings about a story that is pretty much just as detailed in characterization as you might find in a traditional prose novel. You have a very good idea of who Ava and Gen are and you get a really good depiction of their friendship, which is strong, but not without arguments and drama. They love each other unconditionally and try their best to support each other, but sometimes that comes across in the wrong way and they argue. It makes the friendship feel realistic and I really like that.
The contrast between the two characters is very interesting. They’re both very unique and different. They definitely remind me of the authors of the book, because I used to watch their YouTube videos all the time. I personally don’t have an issue with that, but I can see where that might be off putting for some readers. Both Ava and Gen have aspects of their characters that deserve more representation in books as Gen is bisexual and Ava has severe anxiety. Both of these things factor into the story, though not as much as in the first book. I liked the growth in their characters and in their friendship, because while both Ava and Gen still have a lot to learn, they are older and know more than they did in the first book. The character growth was beautiful.
I don’t want to get too into the specifics because it is a sequel, but just know that I fully recommend this series. It’s a fast, easy read that hits you straight in the feels and makes you really care about the characters and whether they succeed. So read I Hate Everyone But You, and then pick up a copy of Please Send Help after it comes out. I don’t think you’ll regret it!