Friends, today is my stop on the Tweet Cute blog tour and I’m really excited to be sharing my review of this sweet contemporary.
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.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday Books for sending me an e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion of the book.
If you like a good enemies-to-lovers dynamic, soft-blooming romance, and mouth-watering descriptions of food, then Tweet Cute is the one to pick up.
This book is set in modern-day New York and Emma Lord builds an almost photographic picture of Pepper and Jack’s neighbourhood.
In a book about food, descriptions are key, and the author extends this to every aspect of the novel. We see their school, their homes, Jack’s family bakery and the bus Pepper is scared to ride. Everything is crisp, vibrant, and narrated in great detail, immersing us in the story.
What really sells this book is the main characters, Jack and Pepper. Their personalities are bold and clearly-defined from the first chapter, making it easy to invest in their lives.
In some ways, they couldn’t be more different.
Pepper is motivated, serious, and aces every test at school; Jack is happy-go-lucky and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Pepper sees herself as a leader, whereas Jack likes being part of a team.
But in some ways they’re so similar.
Jack is on the swim team, while Pepper is captain of the dive team. Jack’s family have a deli; Pepper’s family own a corporate burger chain of restaurants. Jack develops apps that Pepper uses.
Their desire to coordinate their pool practice times brings them together and some satisfyingly Slytherin arguments ensue. But after butting heads a few times, they start to enjoy each other’s company, and their move from rivals to friends gives us some of the funniest pieces of dialogue in the novel.
Through their friendship, Emma Lord takes time to develop each character further. Jack has a twin complex, feeling disgruntled that his brother sometimes outshines him while also getting away with doing less chores and fewer hours in their family deli.
Pepper’s wishes her mom and sister could stand being in the same room together and that her mum would rely on her less for social media posts.
We see many facets to these characters and they feel real. Their emotions lift effortlessly out of the page and their family and school problems resonate well with everyone who’s ever argued with a parent or worried about grades.
Sure, not all of us have corporate burger chains to run, but I guess that’s one less worry for the rest of us.
The plot is fun and engaging from start to finish, and the consistent, mid-speed pacing suits this type of slow-build romance. Despite beginning as rivals, food eventually brings Jack and Pepper together and we can’t help but root for them.
The main thing I loved about the plot is the fact that it has many three main layers (almost like a burger???).
Layer one: Jack and Pepper become friends in person when a timetable clash between the swim and dive team brings them together.
Layer two: As they’re getting to know each other in ‘real life’, their rival food companies are starting a Twitter feud. And they don’t know that it’s each other at the helm, hitting send on those tweets.
Layer three: While they’re feuding on Twitter, and becoming pals at school, they’re also flirting and sharing personal thoughts on an app Jack has developed. But the app usernames are anonymous, so they don’t know it’s each other.
Emma Lord overlaps these three layers of their lives seamlessly, making for a highly entertaining read, where we as the reader know far more than the characters. But, we also know that it’s only a matter of time before they find out everything we know.
Tweet Cute is a well-written, fun contemporary, with characters you can’t help but like. The budding romance is enjoyably ‘slow-burn’ and doesn’t feel rushed. Jack and Pepper bond over food and uplift each other, as they grow to understand what makes each other tick.
Jack encourages Pepper to interview for colleges and leave the safe zone of New York she’s been inhabiting, and Pepper helps out at Jack’s deli, reigniting his love of working there. It’s a feel-good story that will warm your heart, while also making you seriously hungry. So grab a copy, grab a bite, and dig in to this sweet book.
Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theatre.
She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row.
She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel.
Tweet Cute is out 21st January. Pre-order your copy here.