“What I Like About You” by Marisa Kanter

“The flowers are dead, I’m surrounded by orange, and a suitcase has been disemboweled in the search for a phone charger.”

I’m a firm believer that the first line of a book is incredibly important. This one caught my interest and before I knew it, I was face-to-face with a main character who might as well have been me, only she gets a more fun YA adventure than my actual life. I mean, a bookstagrammer, blogger, book reviewer girl who is incredibly bad at making friends and talking to people in real life? A girl who walks around in “The Book Was Better” t-shirts and has a Harry Potter obsession? It was like reading a book written about myself. Halle is a book nerd–she is an avid lover of books, particularly the YA genre. She also loves cupcakes and out of that, One True Pastry, a bookstagram account, was born. However, she goes by Kels on there because Kels can be what Halle isn’t–cool, fun, adored by people. Out of all her online friends, Nash is the one she is the closest too. They’ve been online friends for years, dreaming of the day they could meet. So when Halle accidentally ends up going to the same school as Nash, she has no idea what to do. She ISN’T Kels–or is she? Pretending that she is just simply Halle, she cleverly maneuvers through her real life relationships and her online ones. This book sounds pretty light, but this book has some dark themes. Death, grief, panic attacks, etc. I expected some angst, given that always seems to be the case when one is living a double life, but I wasn’t expecting this. As Halle grows closer to Nash, a horrible yet wonderful truth comes to light: Nash loves Kels. Who is Halle. But not Halle. At what point does Halle need to come clean? How far is too far? Halle has to tell him eventually, but will she lose him and all of her friends in the process? This book was absolutely fantastic, though I might be biased since the main character sounds so similar to myself. The author’s dedication to such small details is so impressive and makes the read even more entrancing. She writes out some of the reviews, emails, DMs, text messages, etc. and does it so so well! She created such a relatable character people can connect to and feel for throughout the book. Watching Halle go through so many ups and downs was hard because I could relate. I’m slightly jealous of Halle though, as the fact remains that she’s a very influential bookstagrammer and reviewer and managed to make friends IRL. Ultimately, this book was amazing and funny and sad and relatable and beautiful and fun! I loved reading it from start to finish. Any YA romance fans out there need to pick up a copy of this book when it hits the shelves! 

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