I would to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed are my personal opinion.
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Description Summary | The ultimate cynic-hopless romantic YA. Think My Big Fat Greek Wedding x This is Where I Leave You but make it YA.
Book Summary | (Skip to Review)
Quinn Berkowitz and Tarek Mansour’s families have been in business together for years: Quinn’s parents are wedding planners, and Tarek’s own a catering company. At the end of last summer, Quinn confessed her crush on him in the form of a rambling email—and then he left for college without a response.
Quinn has been dreading seeing him again almost as much as she dreads another summer playing the harp for her parents’ weddings. When he shows up at the first wedding of the summer, looking cuter than ever after a year apart, they clash immediately. Tarek’s always loved the grand gestures in weddings—the flashier, the better—while Quinn can’t see them as anything but fake. Even as they can’t seem to have one civil conversation, Quinn’s thrown together with Tarek wedding after wedding, from performing a daring cake rescue to filling in for a missing bridesmaid and groomsman.
Quinn can’t deny her feelings for him are still there, especially after she learns the truth about his silence, opens up about her own fears, and begins learning the art of harp-making from an enigmatic teacher.
Maybe love isn’t the enemy after all—and maybe allowing herself to fall is the most honest thing Quinn’s ever done.
It’s never one big gesture. It’s a series of small ways to let someone know how much you care about them.
This book got me right in the feels. Weddings, cake, drama, romance, and summer…I mean if that doesn’t sound entertaining to you I don’t know what is!
The most important thing here is that the multiple storylines manages to add depth to the story rather than confuse the reader which is a highly commended skill.
I love weddings. Not so much for the romance but mainly for the dancing, socializing, and food of course! Solomon delivered this and more. I can’t speak for the Jewish culture represented here, but I learnt so many customs and traditions that I never knew before and it was really interesting.
The plot had many side storylines but everything was woven pretty well and when the climax occurred it all exploded (in the best way of course) before rearranging itself for a satisfying and delighting conclusion.
Spotlight: Mental Health and Therapy
This is one of the few books that normalizes speaking and attending therapy and I love that. It’s so lovely to see this in a YA book so teens shouldn’t be ashamed of seeking help and could openly talk about it.
Spotlight: Aczema Rep
As someone who has fickle moderate acne from her middle school years till now, it is so satisfying seeing a other skin conditions represented in books especially YA. The insecurities of not having “perfect” skin can be so crippling, I’m so glad this is explored in the book.
Even though everything was in Quinn’s POV, I never got bored. Solomon has this page turning style of writing that is both funny and deep making her perfect for rom-coms. This is the type of book you’d think you’ll read a chapter or two only to discover you’ve read half of the book.
I learned from my parents like I learned how to bustle a wedding dress: love is a performance.
Quinn’s character is easy to empathize with (and this goes back to the author’s skills), and I love her character development throughout the book. The depiction of anxiety and the inevitable “doom” that one with such an illness experiences hit home for me, and I found it highly believable. I also love how we’re in constant tune with her current thoughts and how “quiet” her brain is, it really shows Quinn’s true feelings because Quinn has a hard time verbalizing the emotions she’s going through and again I completely relate to that.
I did however find her in the later chapters to be annoying and borderline toxic; when confronted by Tarek about the nature of her true feelings about him (mind you this was weeks after they got together) she realizes the truth in his arguments but instead breaks him completely. With that the author however did manage to create a beautiful redemption arc for Quinn and it was so well done. You don’t see many toxic traits get acknowledged by characters in YA romance and this was really well done.
His eyebrows are pinched in concentration, but every so often he smiles to himself, like he and the food are in on a joke.
Tarek is a sweetheart in every sense of the word. Can I just say his description of mental illnesses and health tore my heart, it rings so true and the usage of words like “betrayed” conveys the scary parts of dealing and having a mental health issue.
Here also comes my major criticism and the one that lowered the rating for me. Tarek is mentioned as a Muslim once in the book (in literally 3 sentences) and is never referenced, acknowledged, and mentioned again. It makes me think that the author labeled him as “Muslim” to check off some diversity card. If I skipped that paragraph, I would never have known at all that he was Muslim and would’ve assumed his identity as Egyptian. Nothing wrong with that, Egypt is very diverse and is a conglomeration of different faiths and beliefs.
Plus the non-practicing Muslim stereotype is something I’m tired of seeing constantly in media, film, and books. And while yes we do not all worship the same way, some of these stereotypes are offensive. I just wish I could see some positive practicing Muslim rep that shows the beauty of my religion.
Yeah I don’t understand the author’s decision to incorporate that but it stung a bit.
Do I recommend? Yes
Thanks for Reading! Tell me, Did you read We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This? Are you adding it to your TBR?