Author: Emma Lord
Published: January 21, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Number of Pages: 368 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fiction / Contemporary / Romance
A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected.
Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.
Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.
All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.
As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.
Although this is a debut, this doesn’t read like a debut! Tweet Cute is a fun, updated rom com sort of novel with a You’ve Got Mail style Twitter-war between two teenagers, Jack and Pepper. Jack’s family runs a deli in the East Village, while Pepper’s family owns a burger empire that originated in Nashville, but has almost gone global. Jack and Pepper have similar struggles throughout the book, he has an identical twin and struggles to be seen because everyone thinks he is his brother and Pepper moved to a new, preppy school in New York from Nashville and quickly found that competition was valued more than friendship.
I did really enjoy the rival families Twitter-war theme of the book, it made the story more relatable to current YA readers. Cute is a great way to describe this novel, because it was cute all-around. It’s beautifully written and a great book to read if you are looking for a bit of escape. As a lifelong fan of Meg Cabot and other YA contemporary authors, this is a fun novel with some romance, lots of teenage angst, witty dialogue, and thoroughly fleshed out characters.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would love to read anything Emma Lord writes next! I purchased a copy of this book and this review is given of my own volition.
Florence Adler Swims Forever
Author: Rachel Beanland
Published: July 7, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Number of Pages: 320 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Synopsis: Over the course of one summer that begins with a shocking tragedy, three generations of the Adler family grapple with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets in this stunning debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Manhattan Beach and The Dollhouse.
Based on a true story and told in the vein of J. Courtney Sullivan’s Saints for All Occasions and Anita Diamant’s The Boston Girl, Beanland’s family saga is a breathtaking portrait of just how far we will go to in order to protect our loved ones and an uplifting portrayal of how the human spirit can endure—and even thrive—after tragedy.
For fans of heartfelt, touching historical fiction, Florence Adler Swims Forever hits the mark in all the right ways. After Florence unexpectedly drowns in the first chapter (not a spoiler, it’s literally in the first few pages), Florence’s family must embark on a difficult journey to protect her sister, who is expecting, from the truth. This is a story of love, loss, family ties, and the lengths we go to for the ones we love the most. It has a fantastic Goodbye Lenin-esque feel, which is a movie you should definitely watch. It’s a beautifully written book that leaves you feeling a wide range of emotions once you can finally put it down. This would be a great book club pick or a book you read and recommend to friends, which I will undoubtedly do. Overall, a beautiful debut from Rachel Beanland!
Yes No Maybe So
Authors: Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed
Published: February 4, 2020
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 448 pages
Genre: YA / Contemporary / Romance
New York Times bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed have crafted a resonant, funny, and memorable story about the power of love and resistance.
This book looked really promising, but I had a lot of trouble getting into it. I really chalk this up to the novel being a collaboration, rather than one person writing. It took a while for the two writers ideas and style to really jive enough for me to want to keep reading. In preparing for this review, I read some opinions of others on the representation side of things. I think the premise is interesting, working for a political campaign, there’s a bill that threatens Muslims in the legislature, it’s all interesting. The pitfall here is that this book continues the stereotype of a Muslim girl having to renounce her beliefs and everything she’s been taught to be with a white guy. I really feel like I’ve heard this story before and it’s getting old by now. I would also argue that this concept and manuscript was probably more fresh 2-3 years ago when it was likely written. I’d say that this book was good, but the premise was tired out even before it was published. Give it a shot if you like contemporary YA romance novels, but it wasn’t really for me.