Tweet Cute is the story of Pepper and Jack (not the cheese). Throw in the impact of Twitter, family obligations, and the highs and lows of high school and you’ve got a cute YA romance. Emma Lord came out swinging with her debut!
Ok, baby book summary from MacMillan so we can get to the fun part, which is my feelings.
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.https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250237323
I didn’t include their character descriptions because in my opinion, they’re misleading.
Jack is great; a complex character with secret career aspirations, tangled family attachments, a heart of gold even if he’s a dork sometimes. I liked accompanying him on his emotional journey and was really satisfied with his depth. Jack dealt with some real life issues and Lord handled them well. He was a dummy sometimes, but he owned up to it. Plus, I want to be friends with him which is always a good sign.
Then, there’s Pepper. Who felt super two demential and not very emotionally fufilling. Which is odd, Lord proved with Jack that she can flesh out a character, so why didn’t Pepper get the same treatment?
Maybe part of it was that Pepper caused a lot of her own issues (and whined a lot) whereas Jack’s circumstances were generally out of his control? I’m not sure.
Here are some examples of things Pepper did that drove me bananas.
- She misses Nashville and talks about it constantly. Nashville is who she is. So go back and live with your Dad! Or get over it, it’s been four years!
- She misses when her parents restaurant was small and not a huge chain. Ok fine, that’s fair. But you can’t change it so learn to deal!
- Using her inability to handle stress to justify acting crazy, which was not cute.
- She decides one of her classmates is her sworn mortal enemy after one encounter years ago. And then Pepper is shook when she finds out that girl is actually nice.
- Often, she said things like “I’m allowed to be here but not engage, look but not touch.” More than a few times. Says who??
- She often has to be the adult in the family and then can’t handle it. Listen, as a chronic people pleaser and worrier, I get it. I’ve been there. But ultimately, your Mom is a grown adult and you’re almost in college. So if it’s tearing you apart to be the adult, then just take care of yourself and your Mom will either get it together, or not.
- And last but not least, in FOUR YEARS she’s never taken public transportation or left like a several block radius. Absolutely not. If you live in NEW YORK CITY and haven’t left the couple of blocks between school and your house you 100% don’t get to complain about living there. Then of course when she actually goes out into to the city she’s like there’s so much to see, I can do so many things, wow. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT.
I liked their relationship, I liked most of the elements (swimming, school, the app stuff, their families), I liked the twin dynamic. I even liked the baking blog stuff. I’m listing things I liked because I have one more element I need to vent about that I didn’t like. And it’s a doozy. The Twitter war.
As I’ve mentioned before, I work in marketing and social media. And while I agree anyone can do social media, not everyone can do it well. In fact, many people do a horrible job. They’re far too focused on being trendy and trying to get a million followers just to have a check mark and their plan is just to copy Wendy’s and be interest famous, the end. It takes a lot of strategy and audience research and data analysis to pull off a successful campaign. Which is why this subplot of the book was so infuriating. First, that the girl they hired was supposed to do it all on her own (an impossible task for a large chain). Secondly that she was so terrible at it, they gave it to a teenager and said here you go, good luck.
No way. Social is one point in a 10 or 12 point cohesive marketing plan. So while I liked the book a lot and I know that Lord needed this Tweet war as a plot device, it is rather annoying to see an entire corporate department completely ignored. Tweet Cute indeed.
Alright the TLDR: I liked Jack a lot. I didn’t like Pepper very much. Overall, I liked the plot and the writing. So yes, I will recommend reading Tweet Cute!
Some favorite Tweets: