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Kat Vellos
Author, Illustrator
We Should Get Together: The Secret to Cultivating Better Friendships
Kat Vellos, author
We Should Get Together is the handbook for anyone who’s ready for better friendships, now. • Have you recently moved to a new city and are struggling to make friends? • Do you find yourself constantly making plans with friends that fall through? • Are you more likely to see your friends’ social media posts than their faces? You aren’t alone! There are millions of adults just like you who are facing feelings of loneliness and disconnection brought on by the digital age. Author Kat Vellos, experience designer and founder of Better Than Small Talk, shares the best tools to overcome the four most common challenges to adult friendships: constant relocation, full schedules, the demands of partnership and family, and our culture’s declining capacity for compassion and intimacy in the age of social media. Combining expert research and personal stories pulled from hundreds of interviews with a diverse group of adults, We Should Get Together is the modern handbook for making and maintaining stronger friendships. Full of charming illustrations, relatable stories, and practical tips, We Should Get Together is the perfect gift for anyone who wants to have dedicated, life-enriching friends, and who wants to be that kind of friend, too.
Vellos, a user experience designer and founder of the discussion series Better Than Small Talk, brings her social know-how to the masses with her marvelous debut handbook on adult friendship. After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area and having a tough time making long-term, quality friends, Vellos decided to study experiences of friendship. In interviews, discussions, and surveys, she found that most people reported a feeling she calls platonic longing. Vellos attributes this longing to the quest for friendship being stymied by frequent moves, busyness, other relationship commitments, and “antisocial media.” She is a firm believer that vulnerability and hard work are the keys to overcoming these obstacles and building quality connections, and her book lays out strategies for cultivating friendships both new and old.

There is so much to love about this handbook. Vellos’s writing is easy and conversational; she shares stories of cooking with housemates and neighbors as if chatting with the reader over a meal. Such anecdotes are seamlessly accompanied by robust research that helps readers understand the value of relationships in measurable ways. At the end of each chapter, a “Try it” section is filled with activities, journal prompts, and more invitations to dig deeper. Vellos’s own charming drawings complement the text.

Vellos powerfully and personally challenges the reader. Her tips are more like life coaching sessions, pushing her audience to defy awkwardness and ask thoughtful questions. Those reading this book to improve their friendships may end up improving themselves as well. The only limitation is that Vellos’s advice is focused on face-to-face relationships in urban environments, though much of it is applicable in other situations. If every person who reads this book takes it to heart, there will be a lot more friendship in the world.

Takeaway: This tender, practical handbook will help lonely millennials, isolated elders, the recently heartbroken, and anyone else eager for more and better friendships.

Great for fans of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, Brené Brown, Mari Andrew.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: B+
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A+