*Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with an ARC of this book. Some parts may have been changed as I did not read the final book. Please know that all of the expressed thoughts are my honest opinions.
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord lives up to its title and hype! It is a cheesy rom-com about an online Twitter war over grilled cheese and ode to grilled cheese, in general. It's the book you didn't know you needed in your life.
Before I begin my review, yes, it was very cheesy and cringe-worthy at points and predictable. But, with books like these (contemporary romances), I am more focused on the journey rather than the ending. Everyone can guess the ending, but I like to see how the author gets the reader to that part because that is more important.
Tweet Cute switches perspectives between Pepper and Jack. In the beginning, these two perspectives are perfectly complementary to each other because of their contrasting personalities. I especially like the confusion and annoyance that they both express when having to deal with the rival company's tweets. As the reader, you know from the start that Pepper's family owns the chain Big League Burger which Jack's small family business accuses of stealing their special grilled cheese recipe. With Pepper's ability to write snarky Twitter posts, she is unknowingly tweeting at Jack, who is also managing his family's Twitter.
The characters are well developed and are very distinct from each other. Their voices sound similar when the POV switches, but it is easy to keep track of what's happening. Pepper is a perfectionist, stress-baker, and an overachiever. Jack is the class clown and a twin. He brings this fact up when he compares himself to his brother, which is often. I can understand the constant comparisons, but it quickly got tiring to hear. There are many cases of "Ethan does this" and "Ethan does that" and "Ethan's more popular." I know that twins are almost always comparing themselves and that it is even more prominent when they are identical, as it is more vital to create differences in interests. So, in that way, I can understand what Lord is trying to portray. Unfortunately, I just get more of a whiny tone from Jack about being a twin than anything else because almost all he does is to differentiate himself.
Being a contemporary romance, I wasn't expecting all the twists and turns that this book ended up having. I was especially surprised by the ending. The story itself was engaging, and while it was a bit unrealistic at times, I couldn't put it down. There is some extra side drama from Pepper's sister that was unnecessary. It didn't add anything to the story, but it kept getting revisited throughout the book. The other unnecessary part is all the focus on Jack's anonymous chatting app. It plays an essential role in the story, but there is no need for all the extra information about it. The app caused problems within the high school, taking away the focus on the grilled cheese drama.
Overall, the writing fits very well with the story and feel. As the story is basically about a dramatic grilled cheese twitter war, there are some super funny moments. For the most part, it reads very smoothly, and I took minimal notes. There were only a few points that stood out as being awkward, forced, or in excess. Lord incorporates many pop culture references in her story, which made me uncomfortable. There are mentions of Wendy's tweets, as well as the usage of memes as insults. It may have been due to how Lord set it up the scene, but something about it always felt off to me. Other parts were very forced –– information added in large chunks. One specific moment that sticks out to me is during a conversation between Pepper and her mom. They are discussing Big League Burger's new marketing strategy, and Pepper thinks to herself how she could've gone into details x, y, and z but then decides against it. I can see it being a way to show to the reader how much work Pepper has been doing, but it fell short for me. However, those are pretty minor pieces that didn't hurt the story.
A big focus in this book is the romance. It is a slow burn, which was frustrating but eventually satisfying to watch at the end. From chatting on the anonymous app, to beginning to flirt in real life, Pepper and Jack's relationship is super cute. I especially loved watching them flirting on the app and then sending snarky memes from their respective companies –– it made the ending so much more gratifying! They did seem too perfect together at times, but the revelations of who's behind each account helped to offset it.
In short, while this book did have some issues in the plot and writing, this book was pretty great! It was hilarious, cheesy, and full of drama. I loved watching the pieces slowing falling into place. There were some awkward and unnecessary elements added in, but in the grand scheme of things, I was able to overlook it as I just enjoyed the story. The changing POVs kept things exciting, and the twist at the end was unexpected. I have been recommending this book to my friends and will continue to do so!
If you've read Tweet Cute, I'd love to hear what you think of it! And, if you haven't you can read an excerpt from Jack's POV here.