“Told in a series of frantic emails and other methods of correspondence, the book chronicles the doomed love story of two men and their canny daughters. Informed by their single dads that they will soon be sisters (despite having never met), the outgoing Bett and the guarded Avery join forces to rend asunder their parents’ romantic plans. When the girls attend a summer camp together and bond, the book takes a right-hand turn toward “Parent Trap” territory. A fraught trip to China wrecks the dads’ relationship, but by then the girls want to force the incompatible couple back together.
Whether or not they’ve watched “The Parent Trap,” young readers who identify with Avery and Bett will want to see their fathers prove that true love conquers all. But a sneaky twist at the novel’s end makes it infinitely clear that sometimes the happiness we claim to want for others is instead a projection of our own wants and needs.
Built on a foundation of absurdity, coincidence and the occasional rather good one-liner, the novel manages the difficult balancing act of using increasingly ridiculous, and often funny, situations to drill home the idea that every close relationship takes hard work, particularly when things start going south. At the same time, the authors attend closely to the perceptions and interpretations of its young characters — so much so that when Avery extols stories told by unreliable narrators (“the person telling you what happened can’t be trusted with the facts and you have to figure it out”), you should pay attention.”
— NY Times, Elizabeth Bird