It isn’t every day you get to read about book blogging in an actual book.
I’ve always wanted to read about a teen book blogger like myself, and so when Simon & Schuster reached out to me about the chance to read What I Like About You, a book with exactly that, I couldn’t help but say yes!
Though I had one slight issue with the book, it felt more of a personal than universal thing, and I still had lots of fun reading this cute romance. Told in a modern, fresh voice, Halle’s story is definitely unputdownable, and you’ll find yourself loving all the relationships she forges and needing to know what happens next!!
Marisa Kanter || April 7, 2020
Can a love triangle have only two people in it? Online, it can… but in the real world, it’s more complicated. In this debut novel Marisa Kanter explores what happens when internet friends turn into IRL crushes.
There are a million things that Halle Levitt likes about her online best friend, Nash.
He’s an incredibly talented graphic novelist. He loves books almost as much as she does. And she never has to deal with the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. They can talk about anything…
Except who she really is.
Because online, Halle isn’t Halle—she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. Kels has everything Halle doesn’t: friends, a growing platform, tons of confidence, and Nash.
That is, until Halle arrives to spend senior year in Gramps’s small town and finds herself face-to-face with real, human, not-behind-a-screen Nash. Nash, who is somehow everywhere she goes—in her classes, at the bakery, even at synagogue.
Nash who has no idea she’s actually Kels.
If Halle tells him who she is, it will ruin the non-awkward magic of their digital friendship. Not telling him though, means it can never be anything more. Because while she starts to fall for Nash as Halle…he’s in love with Kels.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for a copy of this book in exchange for a spot on the blog tour! This did not my affect my opinion in any way.
All quotes are from an advance copy and may differ in final publication.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marisa Kanter has worked in publicity for major publishers and covered YA books for MTV. Currently, she works in sales, on the distribution side of the publishing industry. She can often be found searching for the best iced chai in NYC, or reading on the 3 train. What I Like About You is her first novel. Follow her at marisakanter.com
What I Like About You follows Halle, who runs a book blog called One True Pastry using the alias Kels. She loves everything about her online life: a platform to talk about YA books and also bake cupcakes, the ability to work with publishers, and her friend Nash. But everything changes when she meets Nash in real life—who doesn’t know that Halle is actually Kels.
First of all, the most heartwarming thing about this book, to me, is how it portrays the book community. I’ve never seen it written about in books before, and to see it displayed here, and in a way that isn’t making fun of it but uplifting it, is really nice to read as a book blogger. Though there were some things that seemed sadly idealistic (such as people actually caring about book bloggers but shh you didn’t hear that), I still liked to read about it!
I also enjoyed the character relationships in this book, first being the family’s. Halle is living with her grandpa and brother for the year, and I loved seeing how close they were. They also had to deal with grief, since her grandma had died some time before. The friendship dynamics were also really lovely, especially since Halle was new in town and we get to see her make new friends!
Friendship is messy. Hard. Infuriating. Awesome. Fragile. Durable. Impossible. Worth it.
Always worth it.
Surprisingly, I also really loved the Jewish rep! I knew about it before reading, but I didn’t expect to also relate to what Halle experienced, since I’m not Jewish. But like Halle, I don’t have much connection to my religion and pretty much only go to temple when I’m in Thailand. It made me happy to see Halle not considered any less Jewish for not doing many religious things, but also still want to try to be more involved!
Unfortunately, I did have a problem with this book, and it was the poor execution of the premise. I love this trope of knowing each other online and offline but not realizing it and then falling in love, but the way it was written here irritated me! I was constantly frustrated whenever Halle had the opportunity to tell Nash who she was and never took it, then kept angsting over it. That’s a ridiculously big issue in any relationship, romantic or platonic, and it felt like Halle wasn’t taking the initiative she should have.
However, I do know that this is a YA book, and so I have to consider that this is a teenager making mistakes, like any other teenager. But the issue got to the point that it 1) felt way too dragged out, and 2) felt like Halle wasn’t actually growing—writing about teens making mistakes is important, but so is writing about them learning from them and developing to become better.
The first few questions, I ask myself, What would Kels say?
But honestly? I don’t have to try so hard.
I am the Kels that everyone expects me to be, and she doesn’t feel like a persona anymore.
But! I also am just a hater of all lying/communication issues in books in general, and I do feel like this was mainly a me thing! I enjoyed everything else besides this, and it was a fun book to read. Though I did have my issues, and it also got a little too cheesy for me at times, I did actually like the romance in certain aspects: It was cute and well-developed, and both of the characters were (mostly) sweet to each other!
If you’re a fan of YA contemporary romances, you’re going to love this one, especially if you love the YA book community! It’s quick and enjoyable to read, and, if you can get past some issues with communication, you’ll certainly be whisked away (get it… because you use whisks to bake…) by the romance.
:: rep :: several Jewish main characters, part-Korean love interest
:: content warnings :: death of family members (off-screen), depictions of grief
Click to find view all the blog tour stops!
3/30/2020: Novel Novice – Book Highlight W/ Giveaway
3/31/2020: Book Bratz – Review
4/1/2020: The Novel Knight – Author Guest Post
4/2/2020: Book Princess Reviews – Review
4/3/2020: eleven thirteen pm – Author Q&A
4/6/2020: Vicky Who Reads – Creative Post
4/7/2020: Pub Day (Marisa) – Creative Post
4/8/2020: Kayla Reads and Reviews – Author Q&A
4/9/2020: The Heart of a Book Blogger – Author Q&A
4/10/2020: Mary Had a Little Book Blog – Review
4/13/2020: Jen Ryland Reviews – Review
4/14/2020: Love in Panels – Book Highlight w/ Giveaway
4/15/2020: Forever and Everly – Review
4/16/2020: I’m All Booked Up – Review
4/17/2020: Awkwordly Emma – Author Q&A
4/20/2020: Rants & Raves of a Bibliophile – Book Highlight w/ Giveaway
4/21/2020: Read By Tiffany – Author Q&A
4/22/2020: A Court of Coffee and Books – Review
4/23/2020: From the Library of Alexis – Review
4/24/2020: Bookishly Jules – Book Highlight w/ Giveaway
4/27/2020: Lost in a Book – Review
4/28/2020: Pages and Pugs – Review
4/29/2020: Skye’s Scribblings – Review
4/30/2020: Kait Plus Books – Book Highlight w/ Giveaway
5/1/2020: We Live and Breathe Books – Review
do you plan on reading this book? have you ever read about book blogging / the book community in a book before? what tropes in ya contemporary romance do you enjoy?