4 out of 5 stars ★★★★☆
Madeline and Elliot meet at a New York City food event. Flirtation, online, ensues. A romance, potentially eternal, possibly doomed, begins.
And, like most things in life today, their early exchanges are very public, available to be scrutinized and interpreted by well-intentioned friends (aka amateur love doctors) who are a mere click away. Of course like all good email trails, this one reads from the bottom up.
Madeline and Elliot’s relationship unfolds through a series of thrilling, confounding, and funny exchanges with each other and with their best friends. The result is a brand new kind of modern romantic comedy, both in format and in content. Read Bottom Up is a brilliant, fresh portrait that captures how enchanting, exciting, and downright confusing falling in love twenty-first-century style can be.
What a sweet book! I really enjoyed the format and structure. It made for a really quick read, I finished it in one sitting! For face value, and no literary criticism, it was a fun read. I could especially relate to how much online communication rules romantic relationships; everything from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, text messages, and regular old email were mentioned as forms of communication. It’s really easy to get sucked into thinking these are all important things for communicating in relationships, and while I am a huge advocate for communication in these forms, nothing beats personal interaction. That is what was missing with Madeline and Elliot’s relationship in the book.
I want to delve a little deeper. These were pretty flat characters. They had singular motivations, they was not any developments or sub-plots beyond the online relationship. If there were other things happening in each of their lives, it was only touched upon briefly (Madeline’s publishing obligations, Elliot’s restaurant opening). This book was ONLY about the relationship. But we didn’t even see their relationship develop, we were on the sidelines reading emails or looking at text messages, like we were their friends Emily and David. It was an outsider’s perspective into a relationship that could have been pretty cute if we were privy to their dates or sleepovers. A winky face [ 😉 ] is not going to cut it for an implied sex scene.
Though I really loved how quick the book was and how much I could relate to online dating and communication, it was hard to get a feel for the real characters. *le sigh* Dating is hard.