Camille Baker’s debut, Have We Met?, is a delightful read with a cast of memorable characters and a thought provoking look at grief and how it carves its own way through our lives.
Corinne has recently moved back to Chicago, a city that was once her home during her childhood, and is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to do with her life. When car trouble and a muddled phone result in a new app appearing on her phone– one she never downloaded– claiming to send her four potential soulmates from her past, she must decide if she’s ready to move forward. With a new friend group by her side, she begins tackling the ghosts from her past and the promise of her future, all while the Met app messes with her mind.
Narrator and main character Corinne is relatable in her flaws, as she struggles to move forward while nostalgically longing for her past and mourning what could have been. As she bounces between temp jobs while struggling to decide what career path to follow, Corinne is working her way back to herself. After a devastating loss, Corinne is striving to learn who she is and what she wants. While she works through these difficult emotional processes, her relationships with her family and friends are highlighted.
I love the representation of familial relationships and friendship in this novel. A fulfilling life isn’t just based on solely your career or romantic interest, and Baker shows this beautifully. As Corinne opens herself up to new friends, we see her grow and flourish with them by her side. We also get to glimpse the power of simply being there for one another, whether its during a breakup, while frustrated at work, or by supporting one another’s goals and dreams. This novel is a love letter to friendship and the positive impact it can have.
The Met app sends four love interests Corinne’s way, but the emphasis of the novel isn’t on Corinne finding love. A romantic partner is a bonus, a plus, a wonderful component of her life– but not the sole one. Her burgeoning friendships and career are just as important, and I love reading books where there is a great love story plot line that isn’t the only focus of the character.
That being said, the Met app adds a level of romance and also keeps Corinne on her toes. As Corinne questions the app’s choices, it’s a rollercoaster of a journey with her friends and herself puzzling through what’s going on. The chemistry between characters is laid out well, setting the stage for interactions later in the book. The chemistry between Corinne and her primary love interest is super steamy, though the majority of intimate scenes are behind closed door and don’t get too detailed. It’s a great balance of making the reader cheer for the couple without giving a complete play-by-play of every moment.
I adore books that represent the world as it actually is. Have We Met? integrates a fantastic range of characters, with a great diversity of abilities, race, and sexualities. The scenes with sign language were well-written, painting a clear picture of the scene. The ability to be bolder in sign language, and to have coded messages, felt realistic and added more depth to the characters.
This novel has excellent pacing, neatly interweaves the potential magical realism aspects, and deals with grief realistically. The characters are likable and memorable, with relatable flaws. They’re the kinds of characters you cross your fingers and hope for a sequel with them as the main character, as you just want more time with them.
Have We Met? was an Amazon First Reads pick for June and is currently available on Kindle Unlimited and wherever books are sold. This is an enjoyable read with depth that I’d love to see as a movie!