A FAVORITE YA FROM FAV. AUTHOR:We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This Review

Summary (from the publisher):

WCKMLTQuinn 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

My Thoughts:

IMG_4183

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. 

Read More »

The Ex Talk Review & My Favorite Podcasts

Summary (from the publisher):

exShay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio.

When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.

As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I knew Rachel Lynn Solomon’s first adult contemporary romance, The Ex Talk, would likely become my favorite books of 2021, & I was absolutely correct with my prediction! As one of my favorite YA authors, I was so excited for Rachel Lynn Solomon to break out into my other favorite genre, contemporary romance. Set in a Seattle public radio station, workplace enemies Shay and Dominic are tasked to take their dislike for one another and pretend to be exes on a new dating show in hopes of boosting the station’s ratings. 

The Ex Talk was an absolute perfect contemporary romance because it balanced one of my favorite tropes, enemies-to-lovers, a unique premise, and other elements surrounding relationship development and personal growth. I guess The Ex Talk could technically also fall into the fake dating trope, since Shay and Dominic pretend to have dated, so they can act as exes hosting a radio show about dating, but I still say it’s an enemies-to-lovers because they are so annoyed with another at the beginning. Shay can’t stand how Dominic mentions his grad degree in journalism at any given moment (as a recent post undergrad & current grad student, I’m so used to this.. and probably done it a little bit myself…) and seems to have taken over the station despite working there for such a short time, while Dominic can’t stand how Shay is so stuck in her ways at the station. Their sarcasm and humor always had me laughing or smiling from the start. While I loved their dialogue throughout, I especially loved the transcripts of their radio show episodes. It really made me want someone to make The Ex Talk into a fictional podcast! 

Read More »

MATURE YA READ ABOUT FRIENDSHIP: Our Year of Maybe Review

Summary (from the publisher):

Aspiring choreographer Sophie Orenstein would do anything for Peter Rosenthal-Porter, who’s been on the kidney transplant list as long as she’s known him. Peter, a gifted pianist, is everything to Sophie: best friend, musical collaborator, secret crush. When she learns she’s a match, donating a kidney is an easy, obvious choice. She can’t help wondering if after the transplant, he’ll love her back the way she’s always wanted.

But Peter’s life post-transplant isn’t what either of them expected. Though he once had feelings for Sophie too, he’s now drawn to Chase, the guitarist in a band that happens to be looking for a keyboardist. And while neglected parts of Sophie’s world are calling to her—dance opportunities, new friends, a sister and niece she barely knows—she longs for a now-distant Peter more than ever, growing increasingly bitter he doesn’t seem to feel the same connection.

Peter fears he’ll forever be indebted to her. Sophie isn’t sure who she is without him. Then one blurry, heartbreaking night twists their relationship into something neither of them recognizes, leading them to question their past, their future, and whether their friendship is even worth fighting for.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I really enjoy YA contemporaries that focus more on friendship and family dynamics rather than romance (don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE a good YA romance). I really enjoyed Rachel Lynn Solomon’s You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone and her 2020 release, Today Tonight Tomorrow, was my favorite book of the year. As one of my new favorite authors, I knew I had to read the only book of hers I hadn’t yet read, Our Year of Maybe. I was gifted a copy of the recently released paperback editio, which looks so good on one of my contemporary bookshelves!

Back to the book, Our Year of Maybe follows forever best friends and neighbors, Sophie and Peter. While Peter & Sophie have always been super close, from always hanging out to putting on performances for their families as Sophie dances and Peter plays piano, their friendship goes to the next level when Sophie donates her kidney to Peter. Peter has a chronic kidney disease, but after a successful transplant from Sophie, he’s able to go back to school and live his life outside of the confines of his house and his parents’ strict rules. But as Peter makes new friends without Sophie and Sophie gets swept into dance team and picturing a new life for herself, the two have to deal with their feelings for another. 

I know that was a lot to unravel about the book, but in short, Sophie and Peter at a few points in their relationship have had more-than-friends feelings for one another, but the lines between genuine love for each other as friends vs. romantic feels get even more muddy after Sophie donates her kidney to Peter and Peter begins to form new relationships and discover a new life for himself. By the end of the book, Sophie and Peter are both such different people. I really liked seeing their transformation, especially for Sophie, who often adapted her social life and future plans for Peter’s sake. Read More »

FAVORITE YA ROM-COM: Today Tonight Tomorrow Review

Summary (From the publisher):
Today Tonight TomorrowToday, she hates him.

It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time.

Tonight, she puts up with him.

When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.

As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.

Tomorrow…maybe she’s already fallen for him.

 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

 My Thoughts:

I usually save the following statements until the end of the review but here it goes: Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon is one of my new favorite YA books!

Today Tonight Tomorrow follows high school rivals Rowan and Neil. Rowan cannot stand Neil whatsoever, and after Neil is named class valedictorian, Rowan only has one thing left to win: Howl, a senior class game that takes the graduates around Seattle in a competition to win a big cash prize. Rowan’s dream of winning the money to put the money towards college, where she’ll hopefully be able to keep working on her secret romance novel, is put on hold when she’s forced to partner up with Neil for the game. As they play, Rowan and Neil learn a lot about each other and try to figure out why they were always rivals and maybe not something more… 


IMG_4732.jpeg
Read More »

YA, ROM-COM, & THRILLER FEELS: April 2020 Mini Reviews

As per usual, my April reading was filled with contemporary books, but I did manage to squeeze in a thriller. Today I’ll be sharing my thought on a YA contemporary, a way-more-popular-than-I-thought thriller, and a recent contemporary romance.

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon 

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

youll-miss-me-when-im-gone-9781481497749_hrRachel Lynn Solomon’s You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone had been on my TBR for what feels like forever. Between my excitement for her upcoming release, Today Tonight Tomorrow, and my need to buy all the contemporary books, I decided to finally pick up a copy! You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone follows twin sisters, Tovah and Adina, who are not the best terms in the slightest bit. Having completely different personalities and passions (viola for Adina, science for Tovah), the two decide to take a genetic test to see if they test positive for Huntington’s Disease, which has wrecked their mother’s health over their high school careers. While one twin tests negative, the other tests positive.

I enjoyed You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone for its plot and focus on family and growth. I also enjoyed Rachel Lynn Solomon’s writing style and see myself diving into the rest of her books! This book is truly a growing up story, as Tovah and Adina are forced to reanalyze their plans for college and the future in light of what they learn from the test. I haven’t read a book before that featured a character with Huntington’s Disease, and I felt like I learned a lot. The book had really great and in-depth Jewish representation. Adina and Tovah’s family are conservative Jewish. While Tovah embraces her faith and traditions, Adina struggles to do so in light of all the hardship her and her family has experienced over the years.Read More »