Thanks to Berkley Romance for providing a digital review copy of Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey. Read on for the official synopsis and my thoughts.
Teddy Phillips never thought she would still be spending every day surrounded by toys at almost thirty years old. But working at a vintage toy store is pretty much all she has going on in her life after being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend. The one joy that she has kept is her not-so-guilty pleasure: Everett’s Place, a local children’s show hosted by Everett St. James, a man whom Teddy finds very soothing . . . and, okay, cute.
Teddy finds the courage to write to him, feeling slightly like one of the children who write to him on his show. He always gives sound advice and seems like he has everything figured out—and he pretty much does: Everett has a great support system, wonderful friends, and his dream job. But there is still that persistent feeling in the back of his mind that something is missing.
When a woman named Theodora starts writing to Everett, he is drawn to her honesty and vulnerability. They continue writing to each other, all the while living their lives without meeting. When their worlds collide, however, they must both let go of their fears and figure out what they truly want—and if the future they want includes each other.
I really wanted to love this book, having enjoyed Winfrey’s previous two books and adoring the premise of this one, but unfortunately Very Sincerely Yours just didn’t work for me. A lot of it has to do with the tone of the book; it just felt a little too perky and simplistic for me (almost like an initial draft versus a polished finished book), and I couldn’t connect with it.
And as much as I really wanted to love Teddy and Everett, they felt more like caricatures than fully realized characters. There was just something about both of them (and their friends, and the overall tone of the book) that felt a little too glossy and false. I couldn’t buy into their lives or their stories. I know this is fiction, but I want to buy into the story and the characters, and I never could with this book.
Things that stood out in particular was Teddy’s wonderful friends, whom she admits to having neglected for almost the entirety of their friendship. How could they possibly be so close if she ditched them for a terrible boyfriend almost as soon as they’d met? Plus, so much of the book focuses on Teddy’s need and desire to find her own passions in life — and she comes so close, but ultimately this part of the story is left totally open and unresolved. I don’t need every aspect of a book to be tied up neatly at the end, but as this was such a major part of the book, I expected a little more at the end.
I know plenty of readers will enjoy Very Sincerely Yours. It’s a sweet premise; the execution just fell short for me. Look for it in stores June 15th.