Hung Up by Kristen Tracy
Published Mar 4th 2014 by Simon Pulse
Summary: Can you fall in love with a voice? This witty romance, told entirely through phone calls, chronicles the tale of a wrong number gone right.
It all started with a wrong number. The voicemails Lucy left on James’s phone were meant for someone else—someone who used to have James’s digits. But then when James finally answers and the two start to talk, a unique bond forms between the two teens.
Gradually Lucy and James begin to understand each other on a deeper level than anyone else in their lives. But when James wants to meet in person, Lucy is strangely resistant. And when her secret is revealed, he’ll understand why…
Review: Ahhh… what could have been. Hung Up started out great — it was funny, witty and I enjoyed both characters tremendously. Unfortunately, it didn’t end as great as it started. Hung Up is written in a series of phone conversations, which was interesting and was what hooked me into the story.
The premise of this book isn’t exactly unrealistic. At this day and age, it’s expected. It’s kind of like keeping a pen pal after accidentally leaving a million annoying voice mails. There is a sense of realism, where this sort of thing happening is plausible, but maybe not to the extend of being able to leave a really long message. But I digress.
I really enjoyed both characters at the start. I enjoyed seeing them “feel each other out” and trying to get around the idea of being “phone friends” with a complete stranger. Lucy doesn’t text — ever, which makes things the book a little more “personal”, because these are actual conversations and not text messages or emails. The book goes back and forth with them leaving each other voice mails then later having a proper conversation.
They soon develop a great friendship with each other and talking a lot more often and that’s where I slowly began to feel disconnected with Lucy. Lucy was secretive and bossy — she didn’t want to tell James too much about herself, but she didn’t want him to keep things from her. She was forceful in that aspect, and wasn’t really very nice after a while. I couldn’t really relate to her “jokes” and her insensitivity, especially after you learn what happened to Lucy. You’d expect her to be more sensitive and understanding about people, but it felt like she didn’t really care that much.
The relationship began to strain and you saw signs that James was single-handedly putting in more effort than Lucy was. After Lucy’s dream, James really tried to step up and be a friend to her but all she did was push him away which made me like her a lot lesser. I couldn’t connect to her at this point, she felt so far it felt as if I was James.
Unsurprisingly, when Lucy finally tells James the truth, her character didn’t come back to life. She still felt distant and disconnected and that the friendship still remained one-sided despite her efforts to fix things back to the way it was. It felt that their friendship became secondary to Lucy.
I did like the ending, where they prepare plans to finally meet up. It almost felt real again, like they’re starting over and their characters resembled who they were at the start. I did like that it ended as they’re about to meet. I felt that it was the right way to end the book, seeing out the friendship started through a phone conversation. It’s like they’ve full circle now, and starting a whole new relationship where they’re not just “phone buddies” but they’re going to be friends outside of their comfort zone.
Overall, while I did feel some disconnection with Lucy, I was really engaged by James and I was still sucked into the story because of the phone conversation format. The book was pretty fast paced and it was all in shorter chunks so it made me want more. I’ve never read a Kristen Tracy book before, but I think I’m going to check some out soon. Hung Up was a pretty cute contemporary. Could have been better, but still a good read.