Published by Wednesday Books on January 21, 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 362 •Format: E-Book •Source: Overdrive
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.
It seems like Tweet Cute has been everywhere so far this year- popping up on my Twitter feed (how appropriate), mentioned on Instagram, and gushed about across multiple blogs I follow, praising the cute romance and plethora of grilled cheese. I anxiously awaited my library to have it available via Libby and eagerly devoured it (no pun intended) as soon as my hold came in! While I have felt in recent years that I’m become burnt out on high school contemporary YA romances, Tweet Cute was refreshing, fun, and overall adorable.
Reasons to Read Tweet Cute
- Rivalry: The entire premise of the book is that a small, family owned deli is going head to head on social media with a big corporate chain restaurant, and the Twitter feeds are being managed by the respective teenage children of the owners, who also happen to be classmates. It’s a perfect rom-com set up!
- Romance: I have to admit, Pepper and Jack’s romance (#PepperJack) was cute, believably, and the right amount of swoony. It was also very respectful and mature and I enjoyed seeing YA characters who were so thoughtful and earnest in their feelings for each other- nothing ever felt artificial or overly dramatic.
- Food: Ok, so obviously this book is going to contain a lot of DELICIOUS savory food descriptions, which I was expecting, but I wasn’t ALSO expecting it to feature so many outstanding baked goods (seriously, I NEED to try Monster Cake)! Pepper runs a baking blog with her sister and their baked goods are SO inventive and I want to try every single one of them. It’s pretty impressive to come up with such unique dishes in the era of Instagram and Pinterest but Lord certainly managed to pull it off!
- Parents: I love a good, well-rounded parent story in a YA novel and Tweet Cute is big on secondary family characters and how their actions and expectations have real repercussions on their children. It was heartbraking to see how Pepper’s mother was driving her into the ground with the Twitter war, or how Jack’s father couldn’t see past his dream of Jack taking over the deli to notice his own son’s ambitions and dreams. There were also some very surprising twists that came as a result of the parents keeping secrets that not even Pepper and Jack saw coming.
- Vulnerability: One of the things that makes this romantic story work so well is that there’s so much vulnerability, and so many layers of it. Not only are Jack and Pepper a very authentic-feeling couple, but they’re also (unknowingly) chatting and falling for each other on an app that Jack designed that everyone is the school is addicted to which keeps the users anonymous. It was fun to see the parallels between their “anonymous” conversation and their real life interactions, and watching them fall for each other in both instances. I also found Pepper’s personal story to be very authentic, really capturing the loneliness of being a teenage girl who never quite finds her niche and fits in. So often in media characters fall into the popular vs. loser stereotype, but there’s so many shades in between those to get lost in, and Pepper’s been navigating those shades of loneliness for most of her high school career.
Overall: I had a lot of fun reading Tweet Cute. I’m not entirely sure how well it will age (there’s a lot of pop culture references as well as the whole being based on a social media platform thing) but it’s definitely a very relevant read right now. I hope the author continues to create more foodie-centered stories!