Rating : ★ ★ ★
Halle runs a book blog as Kels called One True Pastry that pairs books with cupcakes where she engaged in banter with a webcomic creator named Nash. Things get complicated when Halle and her brother move in with their Grandfather in Connecticut and she finds herself in the same town as Nash, her internet bestie. The only problem is she can’t allow her two worlds to collide so she keeps her online identity secret. Halle is falling for Nash and it’s increasingly more obvious that Nash is in love with Kels, it’s a countdown until Book Con where he’ll find out who she really is if she’s ready or not.
There’s a lot of relevant content in the book, Kels is pretty much threatened to be cancelled over some Booktwitter drama. Halle really shows what it’s like to juggle having a book blog and a life, but her popularity is a little extreme. There’s also a scandal with a book she gained popularity by promoting where the author doesn’t believe that YA books are just for the YA/Teen audience. It feels relevant with the whole J K Rowling issue happening and the question of if you can really separate an author from their work. If the book was going to make the discussion a real thing instead of background drama it would’ve been more authentic. Halle kind of glossed over the fact that she was constantly being called out for not taking a side and anyone who has seen booktwitter, silence is deafening.
I feel I only really enjoyed it because I am part of that world, not nearly as popular or important as fictional Halle was and I don’t have a cute web comic guy to banter with online, but it did seem otherwise true to the world.
Does this work for a wider audience? Yes and no. In the world of social media, of course it’s going to feel authentic, but that’s basically what the entire book is. Everything is wrapped in twitter hashtags, instagram posts and group chats. Other than that, there isn’t a lot of substance. The fact is that if you aren’t in the booktube/booktwitter/bookstagram world or following these, it might get annoying. It was a little annoying to me after a while.
I feel if there was more of the characters interacting outside of the online personas, the story would have meant more. The fact is there are other books that take this trope and do it better. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett and Tweet Cute by Emma Lord come to mind. Tweet Cute because Emma Lord has an amazing twitter presence and it feels more authentic, especially how she writes teens.