Tweet Cute by Emma Lord, which was released in North America on January 21st, 2020, promises to be a witty romantic comedy that turns classic romantic tropes on their heads, taking readers down a path of family, love, and life.
DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of Tweet Cute by Emma Lord from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review.
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.
Honestly, I have found myself drifting away from the Young Adult Contemporary/Romance genre of late – mostly because, as the years go by, I identify less and less with the experiences of the protagonists. Despite that, I think it is safe to say that Tweet Cute is a quick, entertaining, sarcastic, and “cheesy” enemies-to-lovers story that is perfect for fans of the genre who are looking for a light read.
The story is told from the alternating points-of-view of Pepper and Jack, enemies in real life – and on Twitter. Pepper is an endearing female protagonist, who many YA readers will undoubtedly connect with – she’s your typical overachiever, she radiates responsibility, she’s incorrigibly competitive (and the swim team captain, to boot), but with a serious side to her demeanor. Jack, by comparison, is also responsible (albeit in a slightly different way), he’s committed to his family (and is in turn a hard working boy who hated to be overshadowed by his popular, leader, charming identical twin brother). Readers will also connect with challenges Pepper and Jack face beyond the Twitter drama – as they completed high school, both are trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Really, throughout Tweet Cute, readers will find themselves thoroughly endeared by Pepper and Jack’s “will-they-won’t-they” dance around one another, as they navigate both their relationship with one another and with their families, and discover exactly which path they want to take in life.
“[…] the issue isn’t so much what I want to be, but whether or not I can be it without hurting everyone else in the process.” – Emma Lord, Tweet Cute
The story itself, all “cheesy” jokes aside, is actually quite cute and endearing, with a delightful and witty humor, an intriguing cast of characters, and a beautifully rendered story, all brought to life through Lord’s lush and descriptive prose. The pacing and plot twists were expertly crafted to keep the reader engaged throughout. Furthermore, readers will enjoy a unique read in Tweet Cute, wherein Lord seamlessly blends witty and sarcastic banter with hilarious tweets and private chat messages – all of which includes plenty of popular culture references and memes (because, of course it does). While these popular culture references and memes may be off-putting if the reader doesn’t connect with them, most readers will likely enjoy the attempt to connect with current trends and the unique layer it adds to an already well-written, well-paced novel.
Overall, readers will fall head-over-heels in love with this romantic entirely engaging, and gloriously “cheesy” novel about two teens from competing family businesses who get entangled in a viral Twitter war (because this is a modern romance, after all). While the popular culture references may be off-putting to some readers, they don’t heavily detract from the fact that Tweet Cute is an excellent debut novel with plenty to offer its readers (4/5).