A Lot Like Adiós is the sexy sequel to Alexis Daria’s You had me at Hola, and I expected this book to be similar. But wow, A Lot Like Adiós blew me away and has made me reconsider my stance on the friends-to-lovers trope.
The summer after high school graduation, Gabe and Michelle were on the cusp of something new, and during a hot make-out session, Michelle learns that Gabe is leaving for California the next day. She’s heartbroken, and she never sees him again.
At 31, Michelle Amato’s runs a successful graphic design business and has everything she could want: an apartment in the city, her family close by, and a snooty cat to welcome her home. But then Gabriel Aguilar emails her asking if she will lead his gym’s new marketing campaign and Michelle’s nostalgic about the days she called Gabe her best friend.
Of course, Michelle says yes- determined to keep things professional- but once she sees Gabe again, old feelings resurface, and she can’t help but think they need to finish what they started all those years ago.
While I enjoyed You Had Me at Hola, and I thought the sex scenes in that novel were hot, this book is on another level. Not only is Gabe and Michelle’s chemistry hotter than boiling oil, but their love story is 13 years in the making. The longing! The YEARNING! It’s all present in this sequel.
Additionally, the writing and style feel more refined than in You Had Me at Hola. Unlike other novels with the friends-to-lovers trope, A Lot like Adiós doesn’t force the characters into a romance. In my experience, books with this trope have love interests that don’t have much chemistry, but because Gabe and Michelle had a hot make-out sesh the last time they saw each other, that attraction only built the years they were apart. And this works for the characters because it doesn’t feel fake.
Like the first novel, A lot like Adiós revolves around family but more specifically on a broken family. Gabriel left home at age 18 for UCLA and to get away from his father’s failing stationery business. Gabe breaks Michelle’s and his parents’ hearts. With this kind of emotional baggage, I expected Gabe’s trauma to get in the way of his romance with Michelle. And while that plays a part in the story, it’s not the main reason. And Gabe ends up confronting his parents early on despite his best efforts. I liked this because the plot could have turned boring quickly if this point dragged. This plot point ends up resolved towards the end, and its resolution is sweet and healing.
While this book is written in the dual POV of our two protagonists, it also features flashbacks in the form of fanfiction. This element sounds a bit unconventional, but it works for this story. Michelle and Gabriel began writing fanfiction together in high school, and it’s interesting to watch their dynamic as friends as they plot their story.
You Had at Me at Hola had a similar plot device via a telenovela, but I preferred the goofiness of the fanfiction. If anyone is curious, their fic is a space adventure about latinos traversing the galaxy. The little glimpse of the story we get has me convinced that Alexa Daria is plotting a Space romance. I will have no choice but to gobble it up. Please publish it soon.
Moreover, A lot like Adiós also features some fake dating, bed-sharing, and chismoso family members plotting behind the scenes. A deadly combination.
CW: Abandonment, alcohol, sexual content
until next time book lovers I’ll be living in libros
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