Heartfelt ... Though Iris’ death is the heart of her debut, Adkins keeps an overall lighthearted tone; hilariously hair-pulling emails from Carl and comments on Iris’ blog provide frequent comic relief. A natural read-alike for Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2012) and Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments (2011).
Mary Adkins’ stellar debut novel, When You Read This, is witty, entertaining and at times heartwrenching ... When You Read This is an outstanding addition to contemporary literature that effectively addresses the issues people face today in a poignant and cleverly insightful manner. It is a true standout and should not be missed.
A vibrant epistolary collage with pieces of satire, romance, and family drama overlapping ... The book moves with the entertaining swiftness and abrupt tonal shifts of communication in the digital age, with particular thanks to Carl, the intern Smith hires following Iris’ death: a millennial ex machina who juices up the plot with perfect self-importance and -absorption ... An excellent story that's condensed into a great example of the epistolary format: something that’s thrilling to expand and decode while reading.