Summary (from the publisher):
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 confessed her crush on him in the form of a rambling email—and then he left for college without a response.
Quinn has been dreading seeing him again almost as much as she dreads another summer playing the harp for her parents’ weddings. When he shows up at the first wedding of the summer, looking cuter than ever after a year apart, they clash immediately. Tarek’s always loved the grand gestures in weddings—the flashier, the better—while Quinn can’t see them as anything but fake. Even as they can’t seem to have one civil conversation, Quinn’s thrown together with Tarek wedding after wedding, from performing a daring cake rescue to filling in for a missing bridesmaid and groomsman.
Quinn can’t deny her feelings for him are still there, especially after she learns the truth about his silence, opens up about her own fears, and begins learning the art of harp-making from an enigmatic teacher.
Maybe love isn’t the enemy after all—and maybe allowing herself to fall is the most honest thing Quinn’s ever done.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Rachel Lynn Solomon is one of my auto-read/auto-love authors because I’ve loved every single one of her books, YA and adult contemporary alike. Her 2020 YA release, Today Tonight Tomorrow, was my favorite YA book last year & her 2021 adult contemporary release, The Ex Talk, will be making many appearances on my favorite books of 2021 lists. You might know that I am a huge fan of books that involve some sort of wedding premise, so take one of my favorite authors and a book with a protagonist whose family owns a wedding planning business, and you had me sold on Rachel Lynn Solomon’s 2021 YA release, We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This.
Quinn’s family owns a Seattle-based wedding planning business, Borrowed + Blue, often working alongside Tarek Mansour’s family-owned catering company. There are a few reasons why Quinn doesn’t want to be playing her harp at various ceremonies and helping plan weddings alongside her parents and sister. One, the family dream isn’t necessarily her dream & two, Quinn can’t help but think of the email she sent to Tarek at the end of the summer confessing her feelings for him…aka, the email Tarek also never replied to. When Tarek is home for the summer working & Quinn is forced to help plan the business’ biggest wedding yet, her and Tarek are forced to work figure out their feelings.
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This had all of the hallmarks of what I love in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s books. Her books just feel so mature, often having thoughtful reflections and conversations surrounding sex, identity and religion. As with all of her other books, Quinn is Jewish and there are some conversations surrounding her relationship with Judaism, especially as her engaged sister, Asher, begins to adopt new religious customs with her fiancé. Tarek is Muslim, and I really liked a particularly conversation him and Quinn on a date about their relationships with religion. The book also has mental health representation, as Quinn has OCD and another character in the book (no spoiler) has clinical depression. I’ve never seen OCD like Quinn’s depicted in a book before and it taught me aspects of OCD that I hadn’t realized before.
I found a few parallels between Quinn and the lead female protagonist in Today Tonight Tomorrow, Rowan (and I might’ve found her & Neil literally in the pages….). Both Quinn and Rowan are hesitant to put labels on relationships or be in them in general. Quinn’s relationship with romance is quite complicated, a lot having to do with her parent’s relationship problems when she was younger. I know Quinn isn’t crazy about weddings, but I certainly loved the setting and plot surrounding an upcoming celebrity wedding! We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This is of course a story of its own, but if I had to compare to other books, I’d describe it as a cross-over between Sarah Dessen’s Once & For All and Kasie West’s Maybe This Time.
The book has equal parts focus on Quinn’s relationship with Tarek, figuring out how to break away from the family business, and Quinn’s figuring out on what she really wants for herself. I really liked Quinn and Tarek’s relationship because the share all aspects of their lives with one another while developing a romantical relationship. It was so refreshing to have a male lead that was way more into romance than the female character, as Tarek is a hopeless romantic who is always trying to think of the next best grand gesture (maybe Sleepless in Seattle style, much to Quinn’s constant dismay), Again, trying to avoid spoilers, but there’s a fight at the end that immediately gave me Taylor Swift “We Were Happy” vibes. As mentioned before, there are some really mature (and funny) discussions surrounding sex, although the book is more closed-doors when it comes to its romance scenes.
When it comes to giving star ratings Rachel Lynn is an auto-5 star read author for me just because I love her books so, so much. I’m giving We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This a 5/5 stars for a pure enjoyment, having loved being in trapped in Rachel Lynn Solom’s writing, the setting, romance, and story. I do admit this isn’t my FAVORITE Rachel Lynn Solomon book – that title definitely goes to her 2020 release, Today Tonight Tomorrow, with The Ex Talk as a close number 2. It didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book whatsoever, but I’d say that We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This is her ‘quietest’ book yet because there’s not really an on-going plot or problem to it. It’s really about Quinn figuring out the most important things in her life, like telling her family she doesn’t want to be involved in the family business and the label on her relationship with Tarek. Things really don’t blow up or the action doesn’t really set into the very end of the book, as throughout, we see Quinn grow into some new interests and develop something more with Tarek,
Overall, I Loved We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This because it nailed the wedding-esque synopsis and all of its elements, from romance to family dynamics to sex to mental health to friendship to self growth to so, so much more! This is such a cute and cozy YA contemporary to kick off your summer reading or wedding season with! I’m am so looking forward to Rachel Lynn Solomon’s two 2022 releases, aka her next adult contemporary, Weather Girl, and her next YA contemporary following a college student stuck in a time loop.
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This comes out on June 8th, 2021.
This review is based on an advance reader’s copy provided by the publisher. By no means did receiving this ARC affect my thoughts or opinions.
Is We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This on your TBR? What are your favorite Rachel Lynn Solomon books? What are your favorite books featuring weddings? Share in the comments!