One of the joys of this book are the way the two writers trade pen sketches. Here's one where Gus, having asked what 'baby January' was like and having been told, 'She was a lot' spontaneously spins this:
'Let me guess. Loud. Precocious. Room full of books organised in a way that only you understood. Close with your family and a couple of tight-knit friends, all of who you probably still talk to regularly, but casual friends with anyone else with a pulse. A secret over-achiever who had to be the best at something, even if no one else knew. Oh and prone to juggling or tap dancing for attention in any crowd.'
I can hear the joy and the danger in that kind of statement, where things come out of your mouth unedited, partly playful, partly true, partly catching you by surprise even as you hear yourself say them. It sparkles. Then January's response grounds it, without rebutting it, making it clear that words have edges and need to be thrown with care.
I also like how Emily Henry plays with the form while still delivering something satisfying. You know how there's likely to be a chapter in a romance book where the girl dreams of the boy or vis versa and suddenly understands the depth of their attraction? Well, this book has that chapter. The fun thing is that it's called 'The Dream' and it's one sentence long.
'I dreamed about Gus Everett and woke up needing a shower.'
That made me laugh.