Book Reviews, Books

Book Review: Going Bicoastal by Dahlia Adler

A queer Sliding Doors YA rom-com in which a girl must choose between summer in NYC with her dad (and the girl she’s always wanted) or LA with her estranged mom (and the guy she never saw coming).

In Dahlia Adler’s Going Bicoastal, there’s more than one path to happily ever after.

Natalya Fox has twenty-four hours to make the biggest choice of her life: stay home in NYC for the summer with her dad (and finally screw up the courage to talk to the girl she’s been crushing on), or spend it with her basically estranged mom in LA (knowing this is the best chance she has to fix their relationship, if she even wants to.) (Does she want to?)

How’s a girl supposed to choose?

She can’t, and so both summers play out in alternating timelines – one in which Natalya explores the city, tries to repair things with her mom, works on figuring out her future, and goes for the girl she’s always wanted. And one in which Natalya explores the city, tries to repair things with her mom, works on figuring out her future, and goes for the guy she never saw coming.

Title: Going Bicoastal
Author: Dahlia Adler
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: digital arc
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Date Published: June 13th, 2023 
Rating: 4//5 Owls

This book is absolutely adorable. I was a little confused at the beginning when the perspective shifted to an alternative timeline, but it was really easy to feel the switch between the two stories.

Natayla can’t decide between staying in NYC for the summer, or going to see her mother in LA for an internship, and to try and mend their fractured relationship.

In NYC, Natalya goes by the nickname her father gave her, Tal, and is determined to finally talk to the cute redhead girl she has a crush on, and figure out a plan for her future, and maybe a summer job.

In LA she goes by her mothers nickname for her, Nat, and gets off to a rocky start with her fellow intern Adam, and struggles to find her place with both work and her mom.

I loved the fact that although the stories were different, Natalya stayed true to herself in both timelines. She grew as a person, grew more comfortable with herself, her relationships, her passions, and so much more in both timelines. I also really loved the way her relationship with her mother blossomed in both timelines, although they did grow at different rates based on where she was in the country.

I was hoverer, not the biggest fan of Elly. She didn’t seem to have a big personality outside of “quirky girl who likes music” and Natalya seemed to try and change to fit what Elly wanted instead of being fully comfortable with herself. With Adam, it felt like that both grew and changed together as people instead.

Natayla is Jewish, and I really liked the way her religion factored into both of her lives. With her father, religion played a much larger role in their day to day lives, but it was interesting to see how being around her mom shifted both of their views on it as well.

There was also the aspect of Natayla discovering her passions, and it was really interesting to see the way that this played out in both timelines, once again she did reach a similar realization and dream, but it played out at different speeds and moments.

The book ends with the reader being able to pick which ending they want to read – Elly or Adam, which of course I did both, but there definitely was one romance I preferred to the other. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the one I thought I would have preferred.

Last note, I LOVED the fact that Natalya was fully and surely bi in both storylines. When she was with Adam she still was bi, and he was aware and supportive of that fact, but at no point in the storyline was she suddenly considered straight. Bi erasure is still nauseatingly present in both literature and real life and I’m so happy to see it.

So if you like cute romances, or novels about finding yourself and your passions, then this is a must read. It is the perfect cute summer read!

Going Bicoastal comes out June 13th, so there’s still plenty of time to preorder your copy!

Thank you NetGalley and Wednesday books for the chance to read this book, all my opinions are my own.

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