I enjoy hanging out on Twitter, but I’ve also seen more than a few kerfuffles and outright flame wars going on there. That’s part of why Tweet Cute appealed to me. I was lucky enough to win an ARC on Goodreads, and this tale of love and social media was adorable. It was definitely a winning way to start the year.
The heroine of this piece is Pepper Evans. Her parents’ Big League Burger business went from local Nashville sensation to nationwide powerhouse, and her mother has moved Pepper and her sister to New York City to keep expanding the chain. Behind the scenes, Pepper is running Big League Burger’s Twitter account while trying not to crack under the pressure put on her by her mother, her demanding swim schedule, and fitting in at her elite private school.
All of this brings her into contact with Jack, member of the diving team, class clown and unbeknownst to Pepper, her rival in the fast food world. His family’s local deli Girl Cheesing has an iconic grilled cheese sandwich recipe handed down from his grandmother – and somehow Big League Burger has stolen it. The Twitter wars begin!
In the beginning, Jack and Pepper’s spats online feel more than a bit juvenile, which, as they’re teenagers, isn’t too surprising. Offline, neither knows that the other is the voice behind the rival restaurant Twitter accounts. And strangely enough, life keeps on throwing them together. They have to figure out ways to share the swim/dive practice pool, they keep crossing paths at school and oh yeah, even if they don’t realize it, they are also building a connection on an anonymous messaging app.
As the Twitter wars go viral, the plot becomes more than a little bit over the top. It works, though, because the author never loses the feeling of fun and friendly rivalry that runs through the book. Pepper and Jack are sometimes immature and they do on occasion hurt one another, but there’s no bitter vindictiveness there. In fact, as the story progresses, we see them learning from one another and forgiving one another. There’s good-natured humor running through much of the back and forth between the leads, both online and off, and they build a deep sense of connection which made the book really work for me.
The focus of the action in this novel stays on the alternating viewpoints of Pepper and Jack, so secondary characters don’t play so large a role here. However, the ones that appear are likeable and I enjoyed seeing Jack and Pepper interact with their friends. Jack, as he crafts his own identity after being in the shadow of his super-popular twin, and Pepper, still finding her way in a place very different from where she spent her early life.
If you’re looking for a fun, lighthearted read, Tweet Cute is a delight. Some of the revelations from the leads’ parents strain credulity, but otherwise I found it an entertaining, funny début.