Sasha Deforest always seems to fall hardest for girls she can’t have. And she’s never fallen harder than she has for her tough, stubborn best friend Kinsey. Sasha can’t help all the outrageously flirty things that come out of her mouth when they’re together, even if Kinsey always plays it off as a running joke. Sasha doesn’t really mind, though. She likes that they’re just friends. It’s easy. Uncomplicated. And it means she has an excuse not to open up about her troubled family life back home.
Kinsey Han has been nursing one hell of a crush on sweet, sarcastic Sasha for the better part of the last year. Not that she’d ever let Sasha know it. Kinsey tends to express herself by frowning and ordering her loved ones around. Even if she thought Sasha meant all the flirty nonsense she’s always coming up with, Kinsey could never be the kind of cheerful, outgoing woman Sasha deserves to be with. It’s better for everyone if Kinsey keeps her true feelings to herself.
But when Sasha drops everything to drive Kinsey 600 miles to deal with a family emergency, things get complicated. The more time they spend together, the harder it is for Kinsey to keep her feelings for Sasha buried—and the harder it is for Sasha to remember why it’s so important to keep Kinsey at arm’s length. If they continue to conceal the depths of their feelings for each other, they’d be missing out on falling in love with the one person who could truly get them. But taking that chance also means opening themselves up to heartbreak. And neither is sure they’re willing to risk losing the other forever.
I finished this one yesterday on the train back from visiting my Mum for the weekend, and it was the perfect travel read to take me back to Melbourne – a fictional road trip for a ‘road trip’ of my own. The Map to You was such a sweet read which made me laugh, cry, and feel the need to close my eReader occasionally to take a breath when the characters were just being way too adorable (or at times frustrating) for me to cope.
In The Map to You Rachel Stockbridge has created a collection of vibrant characters all with their own unique perspectives and backgrounds. I loved getting to know the two main characters Sasha and Kinsey through their point of view chapters. Their differences in personality and interests, as well as the way that each character deals with their emotions is wonderfully written.
The dual narration was perfect for this story, with each narrator having a deeper insight into the thoughts and feelings of that character, and so making the complications throughout the novel even more impactful. Especially with a romance, knowing what both characters are thinking or feeling before the other character knows makes for an interesting and at times suspenseful read.
The plot for The Map to You was engaging and entertaining and played with some of my favourite romance tropes. It was also nice reading a queer romance where those involved were already out to those who mattered to them, and so the focus could be on the romance plot. Don’t get me wrong, I love a ‘coming out’ novel, but it was a nice change from what I usually read. This was especially as while the queer characters were confident in their sexuality and who they were, they still had similar, very human insecurities as portrayed in more mainstream romance stories.
This novel is about love, trust, and learning how to be yourself when all you want is to be anyone else. If you are looking for a sweet queer romance story with great characters, an entertaining yet emotional plot, and more wonderfully cheesy pickup lines than you can poke a stick at, this is for you!
Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for sending me this free eARC (eAdvanced Reader Copy). I am leaving this review voluntarily. This title will be published 25th January 2022.
You can find where to pre-order your own copy of The Map to You by Rachel Stockbridge here!