Summary (from the publisher):
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.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
You’ve probably had everyone and their mother screaming- or tweeting- over their love for Emma Lord’s YA debut, Tweet Cute, on your timelines this year… and now it’s my turn!!
There are a few early 2020 releases I need to get to, but Tweet Cute was on the top of my list because it spoke to my bookish and foodie soul so much. The book is told from the perspective of high school seniors, Pepper and Jack. In between being swim team captain, overall overachiever, and running a baking blog with her sister, Pepper pretty much runs her family’s fast chain’s Twitter account. Her classmate, Jack, class clown and secret app developer, does the same for his family’s NYC classic deli, Girl Cheesing. When Big League Burger starts selling a grilled cheese sandwich very similar and with the same name as Girl Cheesing’s specialty sandwich, a Twitter war breaks out with Pepper and Jack running the show.
I guess Tweet Cute ultimately does fall into the hate-to-love category, but Pepper and Jack really don’t see each other as ultimate enemies. There are some tense moments between Jack and Pepper, but there’s never any true animosity or rivalry between them. Their chemistry is instantaneous, and their banter carries throughout the story. It was just so refreshing and was such a YA enemies-to-lovers romance done absolutely right! I don’t want to spoil it here, but their ultimate ship name was just so, so clever and fit the book perfectly.
My hands-down favorite element of the book was the food! While I’ve included an inspired recipe below, I’m seriously considering creating a whole blog post dedicated to two or three or more foods from the book. Seriously, where in the world can I have a guy who can make macaroni and cheese AND cupcake locator apps?? I feel like I’ve read a ton of reviews for Tweet Cute, but I didn’t realize that Pepper was a food blogger. She runs a baking blog with her sister, Paige, where they create desserts inspired by moments in their high school and college lives. I kept my blogging notebook close to me at all times so I could keep track of all the desserts & sandwiches mentioned. Grandma’s Special, Monster Cake, and Kitchen Sink Macaroons, and So Sorry Blondies are all on my to-make and devour lists.
Tweet Cute takes on some common YA tropes, from forbidden romance to complicated family dynamics to the pressure of college ahead, but for sure has its own unique spin on them with its setting and plot. Both Pepper and Jack are pressured into helping out the family business. For Pepper, Big League Burger going from a family-run restaurant in Tennessee to a nationwide and corporate entity has caused a lot of tension in their family. Her mom and older sister barely talk to each other any more, and Pepper is at her mother and BLB’s social media manager’s beck-and-call for clever tweets and social media ideas. For Jack, he’s always felt that one day it will be his responsibility to take over Girl Cheesing while his golden child of a twin brother can do whatever he pleases. I absolutely loved the development and focus on Pepper and Jack’s lives outside of their romance and Twitter war. They are such fully-fleshed characters that you root for throughout the story and beyond. I also loved how their families and the feud behind Grandma’s Special came to life and was explained.
Overall, Tweet Cute is one of my absolute favorite books of 2020 – and not just because of how much it made me crave a good grilled cheese sandwich and milkshake. This gem is for sure a 2020 debut not to be missed. I look forward to seeing what Emma Lord comes out with next!
Inspired Recipe: Rolo Blondies
Tweet Cute is filled with so many delicious-sounding desserts, the most infamous being Monster Cake – Emma Lord shared her own recipe for it! I didn’t have everything I needed for Monster Cake in my pantry… but I did have Rolos (a Monster Cake ingredient) and enough ingredients to make Blondies (another Paige and Pepper dessert).
I used my blondie/chocolate chip cookie recipe to make my Rolo Blondies, but I substituted the chocolate chips with Rolos. I also like to have more blond in my blondies than chocolate, so feel free to use as many Rolos as you please- I ultimately used about 20 and cut them into 2-3 pieces each.
Have you read Tweet Cute? What have you been baking lately? Any dessert or rom-com suggestions for me? Share in the comments!