Title: As If on Cue
Author: Marisa Kanter
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: September 21st, 2021
A pair of fierce foes are forced to work together to save the arts at their school in this swoony YA enemies-to-lovers romance that fans of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson are sure to adore.
Lifelong rivals Natalie and Reid have never been on the same team. So when their school’s art budget faces cutbacks, of course Natalie finds herself up against her nemesis once more. She’s fighting to direct the school’s first ever student-written play, but for her small production to get funding, the school’s award-winning band will have to lose it. Reid’s band. And he’s got no intention of letting the show go on.
But when their rivalry turns into an all-out prank war that goes too far, Natalie and Reid have to face the music, resulting in the worst compromise: writing and directing a musical. Together. At least if they deliver a sold-out show, the school board will reconsider next year’s band and theater budget. Everyone could win.
Except Natalie and Reid.
Because after spending their entire lives in competition, they have absolutely no idea how to be co-anything. And they certainly don’t know how to deal with the feelings that are inexplicably, weirdly, definitely developing between them…
As If on Cue is a hate to love story of childhood friends who were always competing for a spot in the band. When Natalie decided to give up band and joined theater instead, her father became even more invested in Reid, especially since he is the band director. Natalie and Reid have been rivals for years, but now as junior year approaches and all extracurriculars have been cancelled except the band, Natalie must find a way to continue the theater. Even if it’s at Reid’s expense…
I left this book with some mixed feelings. I really enjoyed the theater plot line, the LGBTQ rep, and the Jewish rep for both main characters. There was a lot of diversity mixed into the book which I love to see. There were a lot of themes in this book: finding passions that speak to you, family issues, friendships growing and changing over time.
I desperately wanted more from the romance. I think having Reid’s POV would’ve been incredibly helpful to this book because I didn’t really buy his interest in Natalie, especially after all the pranks. Which brings me to my next point, some of the pranks were really mean spirited and hurtful, which then led to me again – not buying the romance between the two. And the turn around from hate to love was a bit quick after all of this.
Thank you to Simon and Shuster Books for Young Readers and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!