Title: What I Like About You
Author: Marisa Kanter
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: April 7th, 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 Netgalley, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, and Marisa Kanter for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**
What I Like About You is an extraordinary YA rom com that all reviewers and bookstagrammers should read. Halle has worked very diligently over the last several years to grow her blog and instagram following where she reviews YA books and pairs them with cupcakes. She created the perfect pseudonym in order to separate herself from her publishing famous grandmother. She wants to earn her followers and acclaim based on her brand and talent, not her grandmother’s influence. She has created her persona, made a bunch of online friends, and is on her way to reaching her goals. But when she moves to a new high school and meets her best online friend, Nash, in person, she can’t bear to tell him who she really is. How will he react to knowing Kels isn’t real?
This is a trope I’ve read often in Young Adult Contemporary novels and I will never tire of it. It never goes well, but I will always be here for reading the fall out. What makes this even better? Halle reads just as much in the genre and knows she is living a book trope but thinks her situation is different! It’s frankly so meta and I adore it. I will never not pick up a book with this trope.
I adore everything about this book and I shout it from the rooftops if necessary so everyone will read it. The characters are fantastic, even the side characters. I love the friendship Halle has with her younger brother Ollie, I think it’s a type of sibling relationship you don’t often see, especially with opposite sexes. He is supportive and they like each other’s hobbies out of respect for each other and a desire to spend time together and it is amazing. I also just love that the author based a book off this community that I love so much.
Read this book. It is wonderfully written and wildly interesting and seriously cute.
Happy reading, folks!