Review: If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be #1)

Title: If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be #1)
Author: Julie Murphy
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 3, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America’s favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something to do while her peers land jobs in the world of high fashion.

Turns out being the only plus size woman on a reality dating competition makes a splash, and soon Cindy becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere. What she doesn’t expect? That she may just find inspiration-and love-in the process. Ultimately, Cindy learns that if the shoe doesn’t fit, maybe it’s time to design your own.

Review:

After graduation from Parsons School of Design, shoe designer Cindy Woods moves back home to California with her stepmother, stepsister, and half siblings. Her stepmother is a producer on a dating reality show, Before Midnight, and they have a spot to fill at the last minute. Cindy agrees to be on the show to get some recognition for her shoe designs. Cindy is the first plus-size woman to be a contestant on the show, so she’s nervous about how she will be perceived, but she doesn’t expect to become a social media star. The problem is that Cindy starts to fall for Henry, the Prince Charming of the show. Cindy has to figure out if she’ll stick around waiting for love or if she will follow her dream in fashion.

I’ve read many Cinderella retellings, and this one had something that I’ve never encountered before. Cindy was friends with her stepmother and stepsisters. She was very close with her stepsisters, and they all supported her in her dream of being a shoe designer. It was so nice to see the women all get along. They don’t have to be enemies just because the original story depicts them as hating each other. There were some other antagonists in the story, but Cindy got along well with her family.

I loved the plus-size representation in this story. Cindy would often point out how little diversity there is in plus-size fashion. At least in shoe design, there is more of a variety in sizes than in clothing. There was one point where someone said that studies show that plus-size women don’t buy luxury brands. However, if the bigger sizes aren’t available in luxury brands and designers, they don’t have the option to buy from them. This was an authentic representation of how it is to shop for clothing for a plus-size body.

If the Shoe Fits is a fun modern Cinderella retelling!

Thank you Disney Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Well Met by Jen DeLuca

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Have you read If the Shoe Fits? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: The Right Side of Reckless

Title: The Right Side of Reckless
Author: Whitney D. Grandison
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

He’s never met a rule he didn’t break… She’s followed the rules her whole life… When they meet, one golden rule is established: stay away. Sparks fly in this edgy own voices novel, perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon, S. K. Ali, and Kristina Forest.

They were supposed to ignore each other and respect that fine line between them…

Guillermo Lozano is getting a fresh start. New town, new school, and no more reckless behavior. He’s done his time, and now he needs to right his wrongs. But when his work at the local community center throws him into the path of the one girl who is off-limits, friendship sparks…and maybe more.

Regan London needs a fresh perspective. The pressure to stay in her “perfect” relationship and be the good girl all the time has worn her down. But when the walls start to cave in and she finds unexpected understanding from the boy her parents warned about, she can’t ignore her feelings anymore.

The disapproval is instant. Being together might just get Guillermo sent away. But when it comes to the heart, sometimes you have to break the rules and be a little bit reckless…

Review:

Guillermo Lozano’s family moved to a new neighbourhood in Akron, Ohio so he could have a fresh start while on probation. He has to do community service at a local community centre, and he has to stay away from girls. Regan London works at the community centre with her mom, who is Guillermo’s probation officer. Regan is under a lot of pressure to be perfect, with her father insisting she become an accountant and have the perfect relationship with a football star. Regan is officially off limits to Guillermo, because he isn’t allowed to have a girlfriend, especially not the daughter of his probation officer. Regan soon discovers that her life isn’t heading in the direction that she wants to go, and Guillermo may be exactly what she needs to change it.

This was a fun forbidden romance story. There were a few reasons Guillermo and Regan were forbidden from seeing each other. The incident that got Guillermo in trouble involved a girl, so he was supposed to stay away from all girls. Regan’s family had plans for her future with her football star boyfriend, so they didn’t want her being with anyone else. Their races weren’t part of the reason they weren’t allowed to be together. Guillermo was Mexican and Regan was Black, but their different races weren’t an issue. This was a love story with diverse characters, but their diversity didn’t cause any conflict.

There was a lot of discussion about consent in this story. Regan’s boyfriend was pressuring her to do things she didn’t want to do. Right away I noticed that she didn’t feel comfortable with the way he treated her. Guillermo was much more respectful, though some people couldn’t see past his history to realize that he was a respectful young man. Though Guillermo was the one with the criminal record, he was more respectful than the boy who was considered a rising star.

The Right Side of Reckless is a great young adult romance!

Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison

The Meet-Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson

About the author:

Whitney is dedicated to telling stories about teens of color and teens in difficult but relatable situations. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over fifteen million dedicated readers. Outside of writing, she is a lover of Korean dramas, all things John Hughes, and horror films. Whitney currently lives in Akron, Ohio. She is the author of A Love Hate Thing and The Right Side of Reckless. Visit Whitney’s website http://www.whitneydgrandison.com and follow her on Twitter @whitney_dg and Instagram @wheadee.

Have you read The Right Side of Reckless? What did you think of it?

Review: Dial A for Aunties

Title: Dial A for Aunties
Author: Jesse Q. Sutanto
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 27, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A hilariously quirky novel that is equal parts murder mystery, rom-com, and a celebration of mothers and daughters as well as a deep dive into Chinese-Indonesian culture, by debut author Jesse Q. Sutanto.

1 (accidental) murder
2 thousand wedding guests
3 (maybe) cursed generations
4 meddling Asian aunties to the rescue!

When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is accidentally shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working, at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for their family wedding business—“Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!”—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream cake flowers.

But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?

Review:

When Meddelin Chan accidentally kills her blind date, her mom calls her aunties to help them get rid of the body. Meddy’s family are wedding vendors, so they have to figure out what to do with the body while they’re at a billionaire’s wedding the next day. The cooler where they store the body is accidentally sent to the wedding, so they have to keep the body hidden while they’re at the fancy resort. To make things more complicated, Meddy’s former college boyfriend who never met her family is also at the wedding. Meddy and her family need to somehow get through this wedding while hiding the dead body and avoiding murder charges.

This story was hilarious from the beginning to the end. Meddy had three aunts and her mom. I loved how the aunts were specific characters and weren’t referred to by their names. Instead, Meddy called them Big Aunt, Second Aunt, and Fourth Aunt. They were each so distinct that I never got them mixed up. There were a lot of things lost in translation, since the aunts were not as fluent in English as Meddy. This made for some hilarious misunderstandings, especially in terms of the common meaning of certain emojis.

Even though this story was about an accidental murder, it actually had a light tone. Things kept going so spectacularly wrong that I couldn’t help but laugh. There are so many things that can go wrong with a wedding, but adding in a secret dead body makes even more possible problems. The scenes were so cinematic that I can imagine this story being turned into a movie. I hope it will be on the big screen one day!

Dial A for Aunties is a hilarious romcom!

Thank you Berkley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

Have you read Dial A for Aunties? What did you think of it?

Review: The Devil and the Heiress

Title: The Devil and the Heiress (The Gilded Age Heiresses #2)
Author: Harper St. George
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 29, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sparks fly when a runaway heiress bargains with a devilish rogue to escape a marriage of convenience. 

No one would guess that beneath Violet Crenshaw’s ladylike demeanor lies the heart of a rebel. American heiresses looking to secure English lords must be on their best behavior, but Violet has other plans. She intends to flee London and the marriage her parents have arranged to become a published author–if only the wickedly handsome earl who inspired her most outrageously sinful character didn’t insist on coming with her.

Christian Halston, Earl of Leigh, has a scheme of his own: escort the surprisingly spirited dollar princess north and use every delicious moment in close quarters to convince Violet to marry him. Christian needs an heiress to rebuild his Scottish estate but the more time he spends with Violet, the more he realizes what he really needs is her–by his side, near his heart, in his bed.

Though Christian’s burning glances offer unholy temptation, Violet has no intention of surrendering herself or her newfound freedom in a permanent deal with the devil. It’s going to take more than pretty words to prove this fortune hunter’s love is true….

Review:

Violet Crenshaw’s American parents want her to get married. She doesn’t like the husband they’ve chosen for her, so she decides to flee London so she can work on her manuscript at an artist’s retreat. Just as Violet is ready to flee, she’s stopped by Christian Halston, Earl of Leigh. He offers to give her a ride out of the city, so she can run away from her family. Violet doesn’t know that Christian asked Violet’s father if he could marry her, but he was turned down. Christian hopes that he can convince Violet that they should get married on their long trip north. However, an accident throws them together in an unexpected way. Violet has to try to keep herself from falling for the devilish Christian while he tries to charm her into marriage.

This was such a fun sequel to The Heiress Gets a Duke. That book followed Violet’s older sister August who wasn’t in this story that much because she was traveling back to America at the end of that book.

There was a lot of steamy romance in this book. I loved Violet and I could relate to her desire to be a writer. She had to struggle with rejection, but she kept pursuing her dream.

The romance for the next book in the series was introduced throughout the book. It will follow Violet’s brother, who made a couple of appearances in this story. I can’t wait to read that one.

The Devil and the Heiress is a fun historical romance!

Thank you Berkley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Devil and the Heiress? What did you think of it?

Review: One Last Stop [audiobook]

Title: One Last Stop
Author: Casey McQuiston
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that will stop readers in their tracks…

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.

Review:

Twenty-three-year-old August moves to New York City to escape her complicated relationship with her mom. She moves in with a quirky group of roommates and starts working at a pancake diner. Then, one day when she’s on the subway, she sees a girl. Jane is mysterious and intriguing. August keeps seeing Jane on the train and falls for her more each time. However, she hasn’t seen Jane outside of the train. That’s because Jane can’t leave. Jane is from the 1970s and is somehow stuck on the subway train. August has to do everything possible to somehow save Jane.

I went into this story without knowing what it was about. I loved Casey’s book Red, White and Royal Blue so I knew I would love this one. I was surprised to see the magical realism aspect, with Jane from the 1970s stuck on a modern train. This was a fun and unique concept.

I loved the romance between August and Jane. It was a little strange, since their relationship had to take place on a subway train. However, I was really hoping they could be together outside of the train. There were some heartbreaking moments but I loved the ending.

This audiobook had a great narrator. She used different voices for different characters, so I could always tell who was speaking. The quirky cast of characters were hilarious. There were funny moments throughout the story, even during serious situations. Those funny parts broke the tension and lightened the mood of this emotional story.

One Last Stop is a great romcom!

Thank you Macmillan Audio for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Have you read One Last Stop? What did you think of it?

Review: The Passing Playbook

Title: The Passing Playbook
Author: Isaac Fitzsimons
Genre: Young Adult, LGBTQ, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 1, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Love, Simon meets Friday Night Lights in this feelgood LGBTQ+ romance about a trans teen torn between standing up for his rights and staying stealth.

‘A sharply observant and vividly drawn debut. I loved every minute I spent in this story’ – Becky Albertalli

Fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris is a proud nerd, an awesome big brother and a Messi-in-training. He’s also transgender. After transitioning at his old school leads to a year of bullying, Spencer gets a fresh start at Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio. 

At Oakley, Spencer seems to have it all: more accepting classmates, a decent shot at a starting position on the boy’s soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even something more than friendship with one of his teammates. The problem is, no one at Oakley knows Spencer is trans – he’s passing. 

So when a discriminatory law forces Spencer’s coach to bench him after he discovers the ‘F’ on Spencer’s birth certificate, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even if it means coming out to everyone – including the guy he’s falling for.

Review:

Spencer Harris starts at a new private high school in his sophomore year after being bullied and receiving death threats at his old school for being transgender. Spencer is starting this school with a fresh start as a boy, without coming out. He had played soccer in middle school, and was excited to play on the high school team. It gets more complicated when he starts to like one of his teammates, Justice. Spencer is one of the best players on the team, until the coach learns that Spencer’s birth certificate lists him as a female, which would disqualify the team from playing in the final tournament. Spencer has to figure out how to continue being himself while also fighting for queer and transgender rights.

This story had such a cute romance. Spencer and Justice were perfect together. There was a lot of tension in their relationship because Spencer wasn’t out as transgender and Justice wasn’t out as gay. They had to hide their relationship from a lot of people but I was rooting for them the entire time.

There were some devastating scenes in this story. Spencer was lucky to have such a supportive family. They were learning along the way with Spencer, but they made an effort to figure everything out to make his life the best it could be. Even though he had his family’s support, Spencer still had to change schools because he was in danger. Justice was from an extremely religious family who didn’t hide their homophobia. Their school also wasn’t that open to making the school as accessible to queer students, even though they were considered progressive. Spencer’s story was uplifting, but there was a lot of homophobia and transphobia around him.

The Passing Playbook is a heartwarming transgender love story.

Thank you Penguin Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

May the Best Man Win by Z.R. Ellor

Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith

Have you read The Passing Playbook? What did you think of it?

Review: The Betrayed (The Betrothed #2)

Title: The Betrayed (The Betrothed #2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: June 29, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Kiera Cass brings another sparkling romance to a stunning conclusion in this sequel to the instant #1 New York Timesbestseller The Betrothed.

Can you follow your heart when it’s already broken?

After fleeing Coroa and leaving the memory of her beloved Silas behind, Hollis is unsteadily adjusting to life in Isolte. The Eastoffe family’s affection is a balm on her weary spirit, though Etan, a surly cousin with a deep distaste for Coroans, threatens to upset the uneasy peace she’s found.

While tensions at home ratchet up, disquiet in the kingdom of Isolte is reaching a fever pitch. The Eastoffes may have the power to unseat a tyrannical king—but only with Hollis’s help.

Can a girl who’s lost it all put the fate of her adopted homeland over the secret longings of her heart?

Review:

In this sequel to The Betrothed, newly widowed Hollis escapes to the neighbouring country of Isolte with her husband’s family. Her mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and Hollis are accompanied by her husband’s cousin, Etan Eastoffe, to his family’s home. Hollis knows that King Quinten is responsible for the deaths of her husband and her parents, so she is eager for revenge. The Eastoffes are a powerful family who have the ability to fight back against the King. Hollis has to risk everything again to make things right.

I’ve seen a lot of criticism of the first book but I loved it. It was unconventional and didn’t follow the traditional fantasy romance storyline. Hollis didn’t end up with the love interest from the beginning of the story, and the man who she chose ended up dying in the end. This was such a shocking ending that I was excited it’s really where the story was going to go in this book.

Hollis didn’t make as many wild choices in this book as she did in the first one. She had the team of her new family to support her decisions and help her. I loved the enemies-to-lovers romance in this book. It was more predictable than in the first book, but I loved it. I was worried that the ending wasn’t going to be what I hoped, but I was pleased with it.

The Betrayed definitely lived up to my expectations!

What to read next:

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning

Other books in the series:

Have you read The Betrayed? What did you think of it?

Review: Instamom

Title: Instamom
Author: Chantel Guertin
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 29, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Fans of Lauren Weisberger and Emily Henry won’t want to miss this funny, sexy, and emotional novel that looks at modern relationships, modern choices, and redefining—not to mention rebranding—your dreams, through the eyes of an Instagram influencer. 

A PopSugar Beach Reads Selection

In this #funny, #wise, #emotionally compelling look at modern love and finding your true path, a proudly kid-free influencer meets the ultimate #dealbreaker . . .

It’s the influencer’s golden rule: know your niche. Kit Kidding has found hers on Instagram, where she gets paid to promote brands and share expertly curated posts about her fun, fabulous, child-free life. Kit likes kids just fine, but she passionately believes that women who choose not to become mothers shouldn’t have to face guilt. Or judgement. Or really hot chefs who turn out to be single dads.

Will MacGregor is aggravating, sexy, persistent, averse to social media, and definitely a bad idea. As soon as Kit learns his parenting status, she vows to put their scorching one-night stand behind her and move on. But Will and Kit are thrown together on an Instagram campaign, and the more time she spends with him—and his whip-smart, eight-year-old daughter, Addie—the more difficult it is to stay away, much less sustain what Will so cleverly calls her “Resting Beach Face.” Kit’s picture-perfect career path is suddenly clashing with the possibility of a different future—messy, complicated, and real. Which life does she truly want? Will she have to re-invent herself? And will love still be waiting by the time she figures it out?

Review:

Kit Kidding is a Toronto influencer who promotes brands and her child-free lifestyle. She’s created a community for women who choose to not have children. When she meets Will MacGregor, a local chef, there’s an instant attraction. They end up working together on a brand promotion. However, when Kit learns that Will has a daughter, she second guesses their relationship. Being seen with a child would ruin Kit’s no-children brand. Even though his daughter, Addie, is smart and lovable, Kit is reluctant to be in a relationship with a man with a child because she doesn’t want to be a mother. Kit must decide if she will choose love or keep up her brand that she’s outgrowing.

Kit Kidding created a community for women who don’t want to have children. I think that it’s crazy that people think they have the right to judge people, particularly women, for their choice not to have children. I’ve heard it so many times, but it’s not anyone’s business if a woman has a child, whether by choice or not. Kit had to create this community so that women had a safe place to go to be with people who also chose not to have children.

Kit was also an Instagram influencer, so this story showed the positives and negatives of influencer lifestyle. Kit got to go to exclusive events and meet lots of people. However, she also had to promote brands that she didn’t want to use. She didn’t cook, but she had a contract to promote a food kit brand. Will solved this problem by cooking the food for her. It can make influencers lose their credibility if they promote brands just for the money and not because they actually like the brand. Kit had to figure out how to adjust her brand so that it suited the person she grew into by the end of the story.

Instamom is a fun contemporary romance!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

She’s Faking It by Kristin Rockaway

Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley

Have you read Instamom? What did you think of it?

Review: Blackout

Title: Blackout
Author: Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: June 22, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teen love to this interlinked novel of charming, hilarious, and heartwarming stories that shine a bright light through the dark.

A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks…

A first meeting. 

Long-time friends. 

Bitter exes. 

And maybe the beginning of something new.

When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.

Beloved authors—Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon—celebrate the beauty of six couples and the unforgettable magic that can be found on a sweltering starry night in the city.

Review:

One night, in New York City, the power goes out during a heatwave. Six teens are trying to get across the city to a party in Brooklyn. With chaotic traffic and no subways, it’s nearly impossible. On their journeys to the party, they each have a romantic encounter. Some fall in love while some fall out of love. Others discover what they really want in life and how to get it. Throughout the course of the night, each main character has a life changing experience.

I was so excited to read this book when I heard about it. It’s written by six of the best young adult authors of today. The book is made up of six interconnected stories that are woven together. The characters and stories are all related in some way. It was written during the pandemic, which had a similar feel to the blackout in the story. The teens in the story were left without the ability to travel and even communicate with each other sometimes, so it was reminiscent to the feelings of loneliness and disconnect during the pandemic.

Each story in this book had distinct characters and plot. I loved all of these characters and I would love to see more of them! I can’t imagine how difficult something like this would have been to write, with coordinating six different authors and stories taking place during the same time in the same place. However, I would love to see more of these characters again!

Blackout is an amazing new book that I can’t recommend enough!

What to read next:

A Universe of Wishes by Dhonielle Clayton (editor)

A Phoenix First Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell (editor)

Have you read Blackout? What did you think of it?

Review: We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This

Title: We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 8, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Quinn Berkowitz and Tarek Mansour’s families have been in business together for years: Quinn’s parents are wedding planners, and Tarek’s own a catering company. At the end of last summer, Quinn, a skilled harpist, confessed a crush on Tarek in the form of a rambling email—and then he left for college without a response. She’s been dreading seeing him again almost as much as she dreads another summer playing
the harp for her parents’ meticulously planned weddings. 

After witnessing so many grand displays of romance, she’s become jaded, and while her parents assume she’ll join the family business after college, she wants to forge her own path, even if she has no idea what that might be yet. 

When pastry-chef-in-training Tarek shows up at the first wedding of the summer, looking cuter than ever after a year apart, they clash immediately. As Quinn’s parents push her to take on more responsibilities, she’s thrown together with Tarek more often than she’d like, from performing a daring cake rescue to filling in for a missing bridesmaid and groomsman. Their wedding hijinks spark a tentative new friendship, though she can’t deny her feelings for him are still there, especially after she learns the truth about his silence and opens up about her own fears.

Maybe love hasn’t been the enemy—and maybe allowing herself to fall is the most honest thing she’s ever done.

Review:

Quinn Berkowitz’s family has a wedding planning company. They often work with Tarek Mansour’s family’s catering company. At the end of last summer, before Tarek went to college, Quinn sent him an email telling him that she liked him. But they haven’t spoken since. Now, he’s returned for the summer, which is Quinn’s last summer before she starts college. She’s nervous about seeing Tarek again after sending her email. Quinn has trouble believing in love when she’s seen her parents struggle in their marriage and seeing marriages fall apart after the weddings. She doesn’t want to follow her parents’ dream for her to work at the family business, but she’s scared to admit that to them. Since her family is also busy planning her sister’s wedding, Quinn gets more involved in weddings, which also pushes her to spend more time with Tarek. Being so surrounded by love and romance, Quinn has to figure out if she’s finally falling in love.

I loved Quinn’s character development throughout the story. She had a valid reason for being suspicious about love. She had experienced the marriage problems her parents had when she was a kid, and she knew that not all of the weddings they planned ended in forever marriages. Quinn also had to figure out what she wanted to do in life. She knew she didn’t want to do the same work as her family, but she didn’t know what would make her happy. This is a relatable theme for an older young adult book.

One aspect of this story I really appreciated was the discussions about mental health. Quinn had OCD and anxiety, and Tarek had clinical depression. Their mental health was discussed openly and honestly, but it wasn’t a big deal. They both sought treatment in therapy and medication, but it was just a small aspect of their characters. I liked that this was a casual part of the story. Quinn and Tarek didn’t make a big deal about their mental health because it didn’t take over their lives. I appreciate this kind of representation because it shows that you can struggle with your mental health, but with proper treatment, it can be properly managed.

We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This is a fun summer young adult romance!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Misfit in Love by S.K. Ali

Have you read We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This? What did you think of it?