ARC Review: Going Bicoastal by Dahlia Adler

  • Title: Going Bicoastal
  • Author: Dahlia Adler
  • Publisher: Wednesday
  • Release Date: 6/13/23
  • Genre: Romance
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Publisher’s Summary: 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.

I recently read Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler, and I was excited to read her upcoming book Going Bicoastal. It is the perfect quirky and fun read for the summer.

The dual timeline is such an intriguing concept. The book starts with Natalya being unable to decide if she wants to spend the summer in California or New York, which makes it so cool to get to experience both scenarios play out. The most captivating element is noticing what the two scenarios have in common – the eclectic friend group, the repaired relationship with Natalya’s mom, the discovery of a career path. It supports the argument that there are many different ways to get where you are meant to be.

I loved both Adam and Ellie and their relationships with Natalya. Ellie encourages her to come out of her shell and helps her in realizing that she wants to become a graphic designer. In turn, Natalya and Adam support each other in their internship and help each other thrive in their strengths. Bisexual representation in literature is pretty limited, so it feels so important that Adler portrays Natalya in relationships with both a male and a female.

Jewish representation in books is so importnt to me, and I loved reading about the way Natalya relates to her Judaism. Shabbat dinners are very important to her and her dad. They have that weekly moment to slow down and connect with one another, and Natalya brings that to her mom when she goes to LA. I appreciated that both Ellie and Adam attend Shabbat dinners with Natalya and learn about the traditions. Adam even learns how to cook a traditional Shabbat dinner including soup, challah, roast, and kugel. Natalya also doesn’t eat non-kosher food like shellfish and in both storylines, her friends are very respectful and accomodating of her religious practice.

As someone who spent four years living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, I loved Adler’s portrayal of the neighborhood. I loved that the restaurants she mentioned had names that are close to real restaurants on the UWS, but the names were slightly changed. I also wish there was a Poe themed cafe like Nevermore in the neighborhood. Ellie even lives in the Dakota, an Upper West Side landmark where John Lennon lived. It felt like a loving tribute to the neighborhood I love so much.

Going Bicoastal is delightful, and I cannot wait to see what Adler writes next.

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