January 16, 2020

Tweet Cute Blog Tour: Review and Q&A

I'm so excited to share a deliciously delightful new YA rom-com with y'all today! And I definitely can't wait to get my copy on release day and take five million pictures of it with grilled cheese. (You'll understand that reference once you read more of this post.)

The Book


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.

The Author

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 theater. 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. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.


Awkwordly Emma: With TWEET CUTE based around a Twitter battle, how do you think social media has changed modern teen romances?
Emma Lord: I think it’s given teens an entirely new language to communicate — like, literally, teens are crafting their own slang, creating infinite new types of memes, crafting their own unique forms of syntax and grammatical rules. I think it only broadens the opportunities you have to get to know and relate to people, having this shared language that is tight knit and highly relatable, and takes a lot of the pressure off interactions that might otherwise cause anxiety. Social media has its pitfalls, sure, but at its best it gives teens a low stakes, high reward way to connect with each other, whether it’s for friendship or romance or just to share some laughs. 

Awkwordly Emma: Did any rom-coms influence you while writing TWEET CUTE?
Emma Lord: Oh, for sure You’ve Got Mail — or at least, what I knew of it. (As soon as people started likening the idea to the movie, I wouldn’t let myself watch it so I didn’t rely too much on its plot!) 

Awkwordly Emma: Pie or cake, and what kind?
Emma Lord: What an excellent question that I have a highly specific answer for!! Cake, and the best kind I’ve ever had was a yellow cake that was filled with three types of frosting between each of its three layers: a peanut butter cream cheese frosting, raspberry jam, and chocolate ganache. I never would have thought of it on my own, but I used to work in a cake bakery, and when they were chopping off the ends of this particular cake to shape it into a football they let me eat the leftovers. I still DREAM about it. But truly, I’m here for any cake except chocolate cake (I’m ashamed to say it — I’m more of a chocolate frosting lady, unless the chocolate cake is like, absurdly rich, in which case it has my attention). 


Grade: A

Don't hate me, but I was worried I wouldn't like Tweet Cute. It's the latest in a line of You've Got Mail YA retellings, and since I have one of my own...I tend to worry the market is saturated with them. But I couldn't help falling in love with Tweet Cute. It's very New York, and I was missing New York when I read it. And it's about food and banter and a very shippable couple.

There are so many layers to how Jack and Pepper are communicating, and they're hilarious and great because for good chunks of the book, they don't know they're communicating in three different ways. Because of all three platforms/methods of communication, there are so many layers revealed that might not otherwise be shown. And that's a word I want to focus on - layers. The hallmark of a good YGM retelling is playing with perceptions of people and the different layers we all have. It goes beyond Pepper and Jack in Tweet Cute - there are layers to their siblings, Paige and Ethan, and Pepper's school competitor, Pooja. And if you think you have the parents figured out early on, you'll be wrong.

I also love books about food. This one is all about a fast food burger place that started small and is growing like a weed, and a New York deli that's seen its heyday and seems to be on its way out. What a perfect YGM-esque dynamic. Plus Pepper and her older sister, Paige, bake a ton (and give their concoctions creative names like they're in Waitress).

I will say that a certain amount of privilege is shown in this book. Both Jack and Pepper work hard for what they have, but both go to a very exclusive high school, and they apply/interview for some top competitive colleges. Pepper lives on the Upper East Side, close enough to their school that one can assume she lives in the VERY nice part of the UES. And while Jack's family's shop is struggling at the beginning of the book, there aren't a lot of references to the things "struggling" can actually do to a family and their finances. There were also a couple annoyingly cliche moments (like when one parent forbids a main character from seeing the other and how that part of the plot spirals). The resolution also didn't hit quite all the right notes for me. BUT. It's still a very sweet story that I can't stop thinking about. And, when I was rereading it to write this review, I ate like 500% more grilled cheese than I had in months. So, A+ on the subtle conditioning lol.

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