TITLE: Tweet Cute
BY: Emma Lord
GENRE: Young Adult Contemporary
PUBLICATION: January 21st 2020 by Wednesday Books
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’s no secret that I’m no fan of YA Contemporary but here I am, reading two books in the genre back to back. Not only that, but they also ended up as great reads. I recently read Red, White and Royal Blue and it was a 5-star read for me. And then this, Tweet Cute ended up a 4.5 star read. Actually, I initially rated it 5 stars but then I have a minor issue so I have to lower my rating a bit.
Well Met features a lot of elements. From the blurb, it only hinted about a twitter war that started due to some issue of stealing a recipe. But really, this book has so much to offer than a twitter war. Aside from the twitter war, there’s also this secret behind an app that only students in their private school can join. There are also more serious elements like their issues with their families and a secret connection that goes way before Jack and Pepper are even born. Then there’s their academics, their extra-curricular activities, and applications for college.
Some of them are cliche, some are not (like the twitter war over a recipe) but I found all these elements relevant to the story as a whole. Usually, in other books, I would find the plot with all these elements to be all over the place. But that’s not the case here. The author managed to convince me that if she takes one of these elements out of the plot, the story will be incomplete and it won’t be an enjoyable read anymore.
I specifically love that on the academic side of our characters’ lives, the conflict lies in their grades, and not on who’s popular and who’s not. This is one of the reasons why I don’t like reading YA Contemporary. Because of course, it’s expected that there’s the academic side of the story and I hate to see teenagers mean to each other, competing because some are more popular than others. Worse, in other stories, some bully others just because they want to be mean and no other reason. Worst, girls being mean to other girls because of a guy. In Tweet Cute, the competition between the teens is more valid. And it’s not personal. It’s a conflict brought by the system and not a conflict they brought to themselves. I really like that aspect of this book.
The characters are all notable, but let me start with our MCs, Pepper and Jack. Pepper and Jack are not really friends but I wouldn’t really call them enemies or competitors. Their antics against each other are not really exclusive to each other. The blurb implied that jack is a thorn on Pepper’s side but that is just Jack. His personality is the kind that always has something to say, always has a comment (not in a bad way) about anyone or anything. We all have this kind of person in our class, or even in our group of friends. It just happens that his comments about Pepper always annoy Pepper, which you can’t entirely blame on Jack. Pepper’s personality is actually kind of uptight for a teenager. As the blurb says, she’s an overachiever, a perfectionist. She has a lot in her mind and she’s not really friendly. Being an overachiever that she is, she sets the bar high for her classmates and her classmates see her as higher than them, at least when academics are concerned. There’s a reason why Pepper is like this in school and even in general, that I won’t mention because it will be a spoiler. There’s also a reason why Jack seems to be interested in Pepper even before they became romance-y.
That said about Pepper and Jack, let me get back to the plot a bit. I think the underlying theme of this novel despite having so many elements in the plot is very realistic. The authors laid out all these aspects of Jack and Pepper’s lives to make the readers see that it all round up to them identifying themselves. I think most teenagers, if not all, get overwhelmed with so many things that are suddenly asked from them by life and they forget that what matters most is knowing they really are and what they want to be. That’s what happens with Pepper and Jack and I love how they grew as characters as the story progresses.
Going back to the characters, aside from Pepper and Jack, the side characters are amazing as well, and definitely not forgettable. I liked that none of them is one-sided. Like Pooja, Pepper’s competitor in school. To be honest, I wouldn’t be annoyed by her being Pepper’s competitor because as I said, the competitions between these teens are more valid. And there’s more to her character than what was initially hinted. In fact, all the side characters have depths which is great. Sure some of them did some annoying stuff, like Pepper’s mom. But despite her actions, even before her actions are explained, I wasn’t really annoyed by her because I know she’s really not the bad or uncool parent that she seems.
The Romance between Pepper and Jack is my favorite. They’re classmates but not friends but also not enemies. They’re just plain classmates who sometimes talk to each other, and sometimes notice things about each other. And for me, since that was how their relationship was introduced, it was very realistic how they fall in love. Even when they’re already talking to each other more often, they didn’t become friends easily. So I can say that their friendship is also very well-developed just as their romance is. It made me more invested in them as characters individually before I became invested in them as a couple. It’s amazing.
I also like that every issue they faced and in between them weren’t dragged. They really made every conflict more and more interesting as the story goes. As an example, their twitter war. It didn’t stay as just a simple twitter war between them, they made it interesting, not only for them but also for me as a reader because then I never get bored.
But as much as I love those conflicts they have, it’s also regarding them that I had to lower my rating by a half star. This is just a minor issue but I know I have to mention it. All throughout the novel, there’s this issue of the two of them thinking that the other did something that annoyed or angered the other. I liked those parts that have these issues but it became repetitive. It always ends up in it’s-not-me-it’s-my-brother or it’s-not-me-it’s-my-mother way. And the very last time it happened, it made me frown a bit because they’re already close and know each other enough, enough not to doubt each other, but they still did. But like I said, this is just a minor issue for me.
RATING: 4.5 blissful pages with lilies
I really enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend this to all YA contemporary lovers.
Have you read this book? Or planning too? What do you think of it? Let’s chat.