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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.
Title: What I Like About You
Author: Marisa Kanter
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I flew through this book quicker than I thought I would! That being said, I really enjoyed it. It had a similar feel to ALEX, APPROXIMATELY and GEEKERELLA with hidden identities and “geeky” interests.
I loved that we were able to get to know not only our main girl but her brother and grandpa too. I feel like all the book characters I’ve been reading about recently haven’t had any siblings so it was nice to read about one again. Along these lines, I love that we get to see an evolution in all three of these characters even though our focus is on Halle, the main character.
As well, coincidentally, this is the second book in a row that I’ve read where the main character has Jewish heritage and is Jewish. I’ve loved being able to learn more about this religion, and heritage, and culture. It seemed for a second as though this book was going to have more of a focus on it than it did, but that’s okay.
I also really liked that Halle had mental health issues that could be represented here. Obviously, I didn’t like that she had things she had to deal with, but I like that it was represented. Along with this, the process of healing was well represented here which I was happy about.
There were a couple of things that I didn’t love about this book. The first was the ending. It felt a little abrupt and strange for me. I won’t say too much more about that, but the ending definitely impacted my rating.
Second, throughout the whole book, it kept feeling like I was missing important events. It would just be like ‘and now it’s been four weeks since this event has happened.’ A whole span of time would pass for almost no reason. I understand the author wanted to cover, like 9 months’ worth of events in the book, but it just felt like I was missing something. I would have preferred more detail rather than just jumping to the next important event.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book about honesty, healing, and book blogging. It had some great representation and was a fairly quick read.