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

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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

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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.

Story Aesthetics: “A Thousand Fires” by Shannon Price

A Thousand FiresTitle: A Thousand Fires
Author: Shannon Price
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: TOR Teen
Get it: IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Amazon | Kobo

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

10 YEARS. 3 GANGS. 1 GIRL’S EPIC QUEST.

Valerie Simons knows the city’s gang wars are dangerous – her own brother was killed by the Boars two years ago. But nothing will sway her from joining the elite and beautiful Herons to avenge his death – a death she feels responsible for.

But when Valeries is recruited by the mysterious Stags, their charismatic and volatile leader Jax promises to help her get revenge. Torn between old love and new loyalty, Valerie fights to stay alive as she races across the streets of San Francisco to finish the mission that got her into the gangs.

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A Thousand Fires was one of my most anticipated titles this year and I couldn’t be happier that I was given a chance to participate in a blog tour promoting it. I finished reading it a couple of weeks ago and a few story threads are still stuck in my head. ATF tackles a number of very heavy topics: grief – the anger it arouses and the acceptance of it, violence, and gentrification – how it affects people, communities and the culture of one place.

And, for my stop on the A Thousand Fires blog tour hosted by the Karlita of Tale Out Loud and Karina of Afire Pages, I made a little something (aka I scoured Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay yet again.) I had so much fun making this aesthetic for ATF! San Francisco, being the setting of the book, of course, inspired a lot of these photos. But the colors each gang claimed – grey and red for the Boars, all white for the Herons, and black for the Stags – also gave me a whole lot of brain candy.

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A Thousand Fires is already out in the world. If you’re looking for a fast-paced read with a bit The Iliad and The Outsiders vibes thrown in, this is the book for you.

about the authorShannon Price

SHANNON PRICE is a YA author living in the San Francisco Bay Area. After graduating from Santa Clara University with a degree in English, she interned and later worked for Counterpoint Press in Berkely, California. As a publicist at Counterpoint, she garnered coverage for her clients’ books in media outlets like the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, and many more.

In 2014, she was accepted into the Scottish Universities’ International Summer School at the University of Edinburgh where she studied Creative Writing and Contemporary Literature under the tutelage of best-selling Irish writer Ruth Gilligan. In college, she worked as the Art Editor of the Santa Clara Review and represented Review at the AWP 2015 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was a mentor in the second round of Author Mentor Match and regularly attends writing events around the Bay Area.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Follow the Tour

A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price Blog Tour Banner

The ATF blog tour is still going on. If you have the time, please do check out the rest of the tour stops – both blog tour and bookstagram stops.

A Thousand Fires Blog Tour Schedule

NOVEMBER 4
Karina — Afire Pages

NOVEMBER 5
Kate — Your Tita Kate
Mandy — Devouring Books

NOVEMBER 6
Caitlin — Caitlin Althea
Michelle — Love, Stars and Books

NOVEMBER 7
Gayatri Saikia — Bewitching Worlds
Nadège — Planète Diversité

NOVEMBER 8 
Danielle Micah — DMCIreadsblog
Carmel — Bookablereads

NOVEMBER 11
Camillea — Camillea Reads
Luci — Lunarlucibooks

NOVEMBER 12
Rachel — In Between Book Pages

NOVEMBER 13
Kath — The Last Reader
Jen — Jen D Bibliophile

NOVEMBER 14
Myta — Oro Plata Myta
Angela — Hiding Behind Books

NOVEMBER 15
Lori — Lori’s Bookshelf Reads
Bec — Bec & Books

NOVEMBER 16
Karlita — Tale Out Loud

A Thousand Fires Bookstagram Tour Schedule

NOVEMBER 4
Kate — Your Tita Kate

NOVEMBER 5
Rachel — In Between Book Pages

NOVEMBER 6
Jen — Jen D Bibliophile

NOVEMBER 7
Camillea — Camillea Reads

NOVEMBER 8
Carmel — Bookablereads

NOVEMBER 9
Angela — Hiding Behind Books

NOVEMBER 11
Myta — Oro Plata Myta

NOVEMBER 12
Mandy — Devouring Books

Giveaway

Win an ARC copy of Shannon Price’s A Thousand Fires. Giveaway ends 11/15.