Published by Wednesday Books on January 21, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Cover Artist: Kristen Solecki
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
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.
This book totally lives up to the adorable title; it’s the sort of sweet romance that leaves you with the hum of a sugar high in your veins!
What Fed My Addiction
- Cute banter and a swoonworthy romance. Pepper and Jack actually communicate in multiple ways without realizing it: First there’s school, where Jack tends to tease Pepper for her over-achieving and Pepper just sees Jack as a class clown. Then there’s an app called Weazel that Jack has created where the two have been bonding for months without realizing it. And then there’s the Twitter war. It starts out badly, but it actually morphs into something surprising—a fact that I loved. But however Pepper and Jack talk to each other, there’s always witty banter involved. Basically, right from the start, it’s hard not to ship them together (right along with everyone on the internet).
- Family tensions. Beyond the romance, the book also features complex family relationships. Pepper’s parents are divorced and her mom and sister aren’t on speaking terms, so she always ends up feeling stuck in the middle. Jack is constantly comparing himself to his twin brother—and he’s sure he doesn’t measure up. I loved how the book put these relationships in the spotlight without turning overly dramatic or angsty—the tensions all feel real, and none of the family circumstances seem hopeless.
- Rivalries that turn into friendships. It’s not just the romance that blossoms from hate to love. I loved that this book explored the idea that we can base our opinions of someone on false impressions and misunderstandings and how sometimes we can be so rigid in our beliefs about a person that we fail to see that we may have misjudged them.
- So much delicious food! Expect your mouth to water while reading this book. Food is heavily featured, and Pepper’s baked goods sound absolutely scrumptious!! I so wish that I actually taste some of her heavenly creations.
What Left Me Hungry for More
- Star swimmer? I got the feeling Emma Lord doesn’t actually know anything about high school swimming. Pepper is apparently the fastest swimmer and captain of the swim team at an exclusive private school, but she only swims competitively during the swim season? (She makes mention of occasionally practicing in the off-season and says her biggest rival swam during the summer, like this was a huge advantage.) She talks about adding twenty minutes of dryland practice to their schedule (in place of swimming) like it’s a brand new idea she just came up with. Also, the boys and girls teams apparently swim together? My daughter is on the team at her school, and she is one of the only varsity girls who doesn’t swim competitively all year long (she switched to only summers last year). The varsity swimmers practice at least three hours a day (often including a practice early in the morning) and they do dryland for an hour and a half multiple times a week. The star swimmers eat, breathe, and sleep swimming. It was just a thing that Pepper seemed to do after school for a couple of hours a day, along with a million other activities and achievements. Oh, and the girls’ high school season and the boys’ season aren’t at the same time—they don’t practice together (they do for club swimming, but not for high school seasons). Since swimming was a key element of the book (it’s how Pepper and Jack connect most in the book since he’s a diver taking over captain responsibilities for his twin brother), it was hard for me to overlook all the glaringly obvious issues with the way their swim team worked!
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.