Mixed Signals is the third and final novel in the Off the Grid trilogy by Alyssa Cole.
Finished on: 29.12.2021
[Here are my reviews of the other two novels.]
The last four years, the world has been in a state of emergency, but things are slowly getting back to normal. For Maggie Seong this means that she may finally leave the house she’s been holed up in with her parents and partly her siblings and go to college. Accompanying her to college is Edwin Hernandez, a friend of her brother, and the man Maggie wanted to lose her virginity with. Only that Edwin has rejected her and things are a bit uncomfortable now. Things get weirder still when Maggie arrives in college and finds that her per-catastrope internet boyfriend Devon is there, too. Maggie has a lot to figure out.
Mixed Signals was probably the book I liked least in the series, though I really liked Maggie. But it’s still a really nice, quick and engaging read.
Mixed Signals jumped forward in time from the last book to make Maggie older – she’s twenty now – though her isolated upbringing still makes her feel very young at times. Given that Edwin is a bit older than her and has been complicit in some very fucked up shit, this juxtaposition really stands out, and I can’t understand that it wouldn’t appeal to everyone. I actually didn’t mind that much, especially since Maggie is learning how to face the world and stand up for herself in the course of the novel.
What I did mind much more is Devon. He is so obviously an asshole that it seems almost ridiculous how Maggie reacts to him after spending a little time with him. Also, if you want a love triangle in the story (more often than not, I don’t), please make it an actual hard choice. Otherwise where’s the tension in that?
Even though those things didn’t work that well for me, overall I enjoyed the novel. I like the friends-to-lovers trope. Maggie is a very nice heroine with a good sense of humor who is a fully realized character in her growth. Edwin is fine, although he sometimes lacks definition (as a character, not like in the muscle department).
The book does bring the trilogy to a nice end, so I would definitely recommend reading it to finish the series, no matter that my reaction to it was not as enthusiastic as the other two novels in the series.
Summarizing: nice enough and a good ending to the trilogy.