Review: “Tweet Cute” by Emma Lord

Tweet Cute_CoverTitle: Tweet Cute
Author: Emma Lord
Publication Date: January 21, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Get it: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Amazon | Kobo | Apple Books

goodreads

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

Two teens engage in a Twitter brand war online all while, unknown to themselves, they fall in love with each other in real life in this cute and fluffy debut that is sure to give readers all the feels!

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

Toothachingly sweet!

That’s how I would describe Tweet Cute. This book is troupe heaven! Just think an updated version of You’ve Got Mail –rivals falling in love with each other – with a tinge of some Gossip Girl vibe on the side mixed with some overachiever and class clown pairing. It’s as soft and fluffy as you expect it to be!

But more than the obvious (and totes adorbs!!!) romantic plot, Tweet Cute packs more, tackling familial pressure, self-discovery, and charting your own path all while serving up some snarky, sassy banter and Twitter gold punny moments.

The story follows Pepper and Jack. Heiress and heir to their family’s respective food businesses, the two had to balance academics and extra-curriculars – not to mention college applications and interviews – wading through the competitive air of their swanky Upper East Side prep school with helping out their parents run their businesses’ social media accounts.

The summary pretty much covers the highlights of this book, but what it doesn’t mention is just how wonderfully Pepper and Jack’s (#TeamPepperjack! Get it? Pepperjack?!?) story unfold. These two characters’ relationship is easily my favorite thing about Tweet Cute. Their sniping and snapping on Twitter, fighting over who has the right to the pool for swim/dive practice, their exchanges on Weazel, and all of the little twists and turns they both take were what made this story so fun to read. They seemed so different at first, but as the story progressed, their similarities surfaced. Their high involvement with their families and their respective businesses was a common ground: Pepper, caught in between her mother and sister’s fight, pressured into handling Big League Burger’s Twitter account by her mom, and still expected to bring home straight A’s; Jack, feeling secondary to his twin, expected to take over his family’s deli, his parents – especially his father – oblivious to the fact that it’s not what he wants.

You just couldn’t help but feel for these two darlings, and I think a great part of that is because of Emma Lord’s solid work on these her characters. She built Pepper and Jack’s story layer after layer letting them grow as they face and solve the conflicts laid out on their path. Lord’s easy and flowing writing style, her expert handling of all the social media bits incorporated into this story (god, gimme all the memes!)  also adds color to this already fun read.

I enjoyed this book so very much. It came at the right time when I needed and wanted something light and happy. Tweet Cute was fluffy and romantic and cheesy – everything I could ever as of from a rom-com. Dare I say, this is going to be among my favorite books of this year. Just, maybe, some warning before you go into this story: have food and drinks on hand because you’ll get hungry reading this (grilled cheese sandwiches, anyone?)

P.S. If you’re so inclined, I had the chance to ask Emma Lord a few questions about Tweet Cute. You can find it here.

about the authorEmma Lord

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.

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Review + Q&A: “Foul is Fair” by Hannah Capin

42595554Title: Foul is Fair
Author: Hannah Capin
Publication Date: February 18, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Content warning: Sexual assault, rape, physical violence, murder, suicide, transphobic bullying
(For a more comprehensive list of CWs please visit the author’s site.)
Get it: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Amazon | Kobo | Apple Books

goodreads

ARC provided by the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Dark and gritty, Hannah Capin tells a tale of burning rage and bloody vengeance in her sophomore offering Foul is Fair.

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenney, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Revenge and murder, these two words seem to always draw my attention, and it’s those same words that brought me to this book.

Foul is Fair is vicious, bloody and unapologetically angry. Capin channels the Bard’s Macbeth putting her own twists to it supplanting power-grabbing, murderous Scottish nobles and prophesying witches with entitled rich kids from an elite prep school and a group of knife-sharp girls bonded by their pact of vengeance.

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This book doesn’t hold anything back but consider yourselves forewarned: a good chunk of what happens in this book is implausible so suspend your disbelief, leave it at the doorstep before delving in.

This book was just impossible to put down. The story is fast-paced; the writing is crisp and sharp. Capin tackles rape culture and privilege head on, no frills, no social commentary buried in complex prose. Manipulative, diabolic, and so full of dark, deadly secrets, her characters in this story are not ones you usually see or even want to root for. These characters are shallowly drawn, almost like a caricature – something that usually turns me off but for this story, it works.

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It may not be for everyone, Foul is Fair is grim, even more grim than I thought it would be. At several points, the story could be too much that’s it’s hard to continue pushing back your disbelief, but there is certainly something freeing reading something that puts into words some of the deepest and darkest thoughts you’ve had. If you’ve enjoyed Sadie (Courtney Summers,) The Female of the Species (Mindy McGinnis,) and Sawkill Girls (Claire Legrand,) this book is for you.

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Though it was tough at times, I enjoyed reading Foul is Fair. It was filled to the brim with heedless, reckless rage, which was just so deliciously gratifying.  So, I’m happy to have a chance to ask Hannah Capin a few short questions about her new book.

What inspired you to write Foul is Fair?

For a very long time, I’ve wanted to write a story that subverts the expected narrative of a sexual assault survivor. FOUL IS FAIR centers a girl who seizes her power back by any means necessary. She isn’t a “good girl,” she doesn’t do what she “should” do, and she absolutely never apologizes.

What would you like readers to take away after finishing this book?

That’s up to the reader! Books should *make* you think, not tell you *what* to think.

In 2 GIFs or emojis, sum up Foul is Fair.

about the authorHannah Capin

HANNAH CAPIN is the author of Foul is Fair and The Dead Queens Club, a feminist retelling of the wives of Henry VIII. When she isn’t writing, she can be found singing, sailing, or pulling marathon gossip sessions with her girl squad. She lives in Tidewater, Virginia.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

 

 

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Special thanks go out to Meghan Harrington and Wednesday Books for inviting me to this tour and giving me the chance to read Foul is Fair in advance.

First Line Fridays: “Foul is Fair” by Hannah Capin

First Line Fridays (feature photo)

First Line Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Hoarding Books.


It’s been a long time since I’ve done FLL and I missed it dearly. While I can’t promise to do this more regularly, I will endeavor to try; it’s a new year, a new decade after all. I think it will also help me be accountable for the monthly reading list I created for myself (more about that in my 2019 recap post, which I’ll try to write this weekend.)

Anyway, today I’m going to be featuring a book that mashes up MacbethCruel Intentions and Kill Bill. Hannah Capin’s second book, Foul is Fair tackles rape culture and violence. It centers on Elle/Jade and her friends, and their plot to take revenge on the boys who raped her.

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Sweet sixteen is when the claws come out.

We’re all flash tonight. Jenny and Summer and Mads and me. Vodka and heels we could never quite walk in before, but tonight we can. short skirts – the shortest. Glitter and highlight. Matte and shine. Long hair and whitest-white teeth.

I’ve never been blond before but tonight my hair is platinum. Mads bleached it too fast but I don’t care because tonight’s the only night that matters. and my eyes are jade-green tonight instead of brown, and Summer swears the contacts Jenny bought are going to melt into my eyes and I’ll never see again, but I don’t care about that either.

Tonight I’m sixteen.

I started this book late December, but, with the hecticness and stress of the holidays, I had to put it down. I am back at it and am about 70% through. This one is just as dark and gritty as it promised, and I’m both excited and afraid of how Jade’s story ends.

Foul is Fair releases February 18.

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Have you read this book? What are you reading? Let’s chat!

💗💗💗

Rachel

Author Q&A: Emma Lord (Author of “Tweet Cute”)

Tweet Cute was one of the last books I finished in 2019, and boy, am I excited for this debut. This story was just so toothachingly sweet and cheesy, think updated version of You’ve Got Mail with a whole lot of Twitter drama thrown in.

Twitter brand wars aside, Tweet Cute tackles familial pressure and the pains of growing up – two topics that most us are all too familiar with. I’d talk about it more in my review set to be published next week. In the meantime, I had the lovely chance to ask debut author Emma Lord a few questions about her book.

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“Tweet Cute” featured a Twitter brand war, something we have seen (and laughed at) before [e.g. Taco Bell vs Old Spice, Burger King vs Wendy’s]. Were you inspired by any IRL Twitter brand war?

I wasn’t inspired by any one Twitter war, but definitely Twitter Brand War Culture. I work in digital media, so I was covering a lot of them in pieces I was writing and assigning out. Plus one of my very close friends is a social media manager, and it was always funny to get insight on her side of the Twitter curtain and find out what’s really going on behind the scenes. A lot of that factored into the decision to write the book.

Even though “Tweet Cute” is mostly sweet and fluffy, both Jack and Pepper was put through the wringer having to deal with school, their families and friends, and deciding what they want to do. What do you want your readers, especially the younger ones, to take away from your story? And if you could give them an advice, what would that be?   

I guess one of the takeaways that felt important to me was that nothing really truly gets “set in stone” in high school; even if you’ve set yourself on a certain path or feel obligated to follow one someone set out for you, you’re allowed to change your mind. Also, the thing you’re meant to do and truly love might be the last thing you expect! Definitely let your heart lead you, whenever you’re lucky enough to find things you’re passionate about.

Finally, using three memes, describe “Tweet Cute”.

OKAY MY BODY IS READY. My number one is based on that text post meme that’s like “on the outside I am human on the inside I am pasta and sin,” except for Tweet Cute it’s “on the outside i am human on the inside i am cheese and tweets”.

Number two is the “is this a pigeon?” meme:

pigeon meme

Number three is the Captain America detention meme, and it is not aimed at Pepper and Jack, but at me.

captain america meme

breakerTweet Cute_Cover

Title: Tweet Cute
Author: Emma Lord
Publication Date: January 21, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pre-order: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Amazon | Kobo | Apple Books

goodreads

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

 

about the authorEmma Lord

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.

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Special thanks go out to Meghan Harrington and Wednesday Books for inviting me to this tour and giving me the chance to read Tweet Cute in advance.

Review: “Beyond the Shadowed Earth” by Joanna Ruth Meyer

book coverTitle: Beyond the Shadowed Earth
Series: Beneath the Haunting Sea #2
Author: Joanna Ruth Meyer
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Pre-order: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Amazon | Kobo | Apple Books

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39863498-the-gilded-wolves

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Featuring morally gray characters and an intricate plot, Joanna Ruth Meyer’s companion novel to her 2018 debut Beneath the Haunting Sea is a complex tale about vengeance, guilt, and redemption.

It has always been Eda’s dream to become empress, no matter the cost. Haunted by her ambition and selfishness, she’s convinced that the only way to achieve her goal is to barter with the gods. But all requests come with a price and Eda bargains away the soul of her best friend in exchange for the crown

Years later, her hold on the empire begins to crumble and her best friend unexpectedly grows sick and dies. Gnawed by guilt and betrayal, Eda embarks on a harrowing journey to confront the very god who gave her the kingdom in the first place. However, she soon discovers that he’s trapped at the center of an otherworldly labyrinth and that her bargain with him is more complex than she ever could have imagined.

Though not without flaws, Beyond the Shadowed Earth was, overall, an enjoyable read. Set in the world of Meyer’s debut Beneath the Haunting Sea, this book was ambitious in its coverage; expanding on already established elements and exploring characters previously introduced.

The story focuses on book one’s antagonist, Eda. Intent on taking revenge on the baron who stole her inheritance, a grieving nine-year-old Eda makes a deal with the god Tuer: her life in his service in exchange for the crown. Bargaining with gods, however, are tricky transactions and when Eda fails to fulfill her end of it, she realizes, much too late, that the consequences are bigger than her.

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I’m going to be honest. I had a hard time with this book. Yes, the plot was intriguing, and yes, the world building was well done. I loved and enjoyed both elements. I am, however, of two minds about its characters.

Eda, to say the least, is unlikable. She’s selfish, self-centered, naive, and vengeful. She is so blinded by her anger that it clouds her judgment. She bartered with a god, schemed and killed her way to get the crown. She is everything a villain is.

Being unlikeable, though, isn’t the reason why I have conflicting feelings about her.

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All throughout the book, things happen to Eda – tough ones. She lost both of her parents at a very young age, was displaced and betrayed and used. Her best friend, the one person she truly cares for, is taken from her all while her hold on her empire slips, her barons making their own moves to grab whatever power they could. All these are meant and should have made me, at the very least, a little bit considerate if not totally empathetic towards her. But it was so difficult to connect with Eda. Her character was shallowly drawn and one-dimensional. There just wasn’t so much to her, no hidden depths. This also holds true for most of the supporting characters, which, for a character-driven story, is a big problem.

Setting my issues with character development aside, I still found many things to like in Beyond the Shadowed Earth.

The world building was exquisite. From its complicated politics to its intricate religion, Enduena was fully alive and I gladly immersed myself in it. The magical and almost mythical nine gods, the center of this story’s religion, was the most interesting part for me, and, admittedly, it was what kept me reading especially when Eda’s story wasn’t progressing much.

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Ultimately, even with its share of issues, Beyond the Shadowed Earth was a good read. The conclusion to Eda’s story was satisfying, open-ended enough but with clues that she’s on to the right path. This book is the second of the series, but could pretty much stand on its own. YA fantasy readers, especially the ones that love a good redemption arc will love this story.

about the authorJoanna Ruth Meyer

JOANNA RUTH MEYER hails from Mesa, Arizona, where she lives with her dear family, a rascally feline, and an enormous grand piano. When she’s not writing, she’s trying to convince her students that Bach is actually awesome, or plotting her escape from the desert. She loves good music, thick books, looseleaf tea, rainstorms, and staring out of windows. One day, she aspires to own an old Victorian house with creaky wooden floors and a tower (for writing in, of course!)

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook 

 

Follow the Tour

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January 8th

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Welcome Post

January 9th 

NovelKnight – Guest Post
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Favourite Quotes
onemused – Review
TheGeekishBrunette – Review
Becky’s Book Blog – Promotional Post

January 10th

A Book Addict’s Bookshelves – Interview
Book-Keeping – Review
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Allisa White’s Book Blog – Review
Write, Read, Repeat – Review

January 11th

Bookish Looks – Guest Post
moon & coffee. – Review + Playlist
Cover to Cover Book Blog – Review
Book Blog London – Review
A Dream Within A Dream – Review

January 12th

Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review + Favourite Quotes
Shalini’s Books & Reviews – Review
Belle’s Archive – Spotlight
The Reading Chemist – Review
In Between Book Pages – Review + Favourite Quotes

January 13th

Whispers & Wonder – Review
Paws and Paperbacks – Review
Ideally Inspired Reviews – Review
The Reading Faery – Review
Foals, Fiction & Filigree – Review + Favourite Quotes

January 14th

L.M. Durand – Interview
Womanon – Review
A Gingerly Review – Review
Bewitchingwords – Review + Playlist
Nay’s Pink Bookshelf – Review + Favourite Quotes

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