Sometimes a book comes along just at the right time. Tweet Cute definitely warmed my cold soul this winter break and made me feel all toasty (pun intended) This debut novel from New Yorker Emma Lord mixes well developed characters with an intriguing but fun plot.
Jack’s parents run a little Deli in New York and would like him to take over the family business, however, his passion lies with technology as he wants to work with apps. He’s managed to create an anonymous messaging site for students at his school where people are only known by their animal-themed usernames. The Weazel app allows group messaging in the main chat room, but if two users choose to chat privately then they can, but the app will reveal their real identities to each other at a random point in their conversations (could be an hour, could be a week)
Pepper now lives in New York having moved from Nashville. She’s a bit of a perfectionist who works hard at school and gets good grades, despite not knowing what she wants to do at College or if she even wants to go. She is competitive, and head of the swim team, as well as being expected to assist with the social media of her parent’s growing fast-food chain, Big League Burger. This is because Pepper has a knack and the wit for Twitter. If you’re up to date on your memes then you’ll appreciate her humour!
So of course with any good story, our two protagonists paths cross, but as this is 2020, the meet-cute and the drama originally begins on the internet. Over a grilled cheese of all things. Big League Burger’s latest menu offering is grilled cheese just like Grandma used to make. The Grandma in question being Jack’s Grandma – cue the drama! The pair begin to defend their families’ business over the battle ground of Twitter.
The story is told from the point of view of both Pepper and Jack, depending on the chapter. The reader gets an insight into the family life of the two, such as Jack’s more popular twin, Ethan, and the up and down relationship between Pepper and her mother. The Pepper and Jack their schoolmates see are not always the same Pepper and Jack the reader sees when the characters are at home. It deals with teens who are thinking about their directions and their future, and I believe the book handles these issues quite well, so this is a good read for those in their final year of school.
I’m not a big reader of YA Romance but I have a feeling Tweet Cute will be a hit for fans of the genre and casual readers. This is because it’s uplifting and cheesy, but it is relevant and current. I found it to be quite a funny novel and it makes lots of references to popular internet culture, twitter, memes, and GIFs. My only criticism is perhaps a very cynical person could pick apart the plot and find holes, but I got the impression this story is about the bigger picture and it’s meant to be enjoyable and light-hearted, so I was swayed. I think if Emma Lord was to write any other books, I’d definitely be interested in reading them because she has made my return to YA Romance a great one.
To wrap up, a mention has to go to the food. Food is such a big theme in Tweet Cute. It will make you hungry, mostly for baked goods and grilled cheese sandwiches. As well as the restaurant rivalry, Pepper and her sister both run a bakery blog, so there are plenty of references to delicious cakes and snacks, and many, many puns. I did say it was cheesy!