This was a bit off the beaten track for me, since contemporaries really aren't my thing. And, okay, at least 20% of the reason I picked it up was because I really like the cover and title.
This was a pretty interesting read! One of my favourite parts was getting to see how the lives of our two main characters touched effected the little stories about those around them, and the coincidences that ended up bringing different people together and pulling them apart.
(My other favourite part was Natasha mentioning how she had to prove to her teacher that favourite was spelled with a "U.")
In a way, this reminded me a lot of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares and maybe a bit of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. It's about two people who meet (through a series of random chances) and sort of... learn each other over the course of less than 24 hours, through a series of questions and misadventures. I also remember reading about the study they mentioned in passing a while ago. It's a little less fluffy than either of those books though, with the main characters both struggling with some tougher stuff, especially in Natasha's case. While the relationship did seem a little strange (possibly because of how fast it was), I felt that it kind of found it's footing more toward the end.
I've mentioned how my favourite parts of this book was how intertwined with Natasha and Daniel's lives were with other people's, and seeing the ripple effect that even the smallest actions had. These glimpses into everyone else's lives really gave the story a unique and almost whimsical feel. The word sonder, which means the realisation that the people surrounding you have lives as complex as your own, that comes mind. It was so fascinating to see some of those stories come full circle.
While this book is mostly a contemporary, the degree to which the universe seems to be invested in the meeting and relationships of the two main characters lends it a somewhat surreal and borderline magical quality. It wasn't something I disliked- it was definitely another thing that made this novel stand out, and almost pushed it outside of being a standard realistic fiction novel. It was so neat watching all the coincidences that let them find their way to each other.
Touching on the stories of other people was what made this book stand out for me. While the relationship between the two main characters felt... strange, probably because of how quickly it developed, I still enjoyed seeing them get to know each other. Though I'm not much of a contemporary reader, but I did quite enjoy this one!