There are TWO books out today that I have been super waiting for and I want everyone in the world to read.
Heartbreakers and Fakers, by Cameron Lund
Goodreads ¦ Amazon
Release Date: June 8, 2021
Length: 368 pages
Times Read: Once
Rating: 100,000 Disneyland ears/5
Penny Harris just ruined her life.
As one of the most popular girls in school, she’s used to being invited to every party, is dating the Jordan Parker, and can’t wait to rule senior year with her best friend, Olivia. But when Penny wakes up on Jordan’s lawn the morning after his first-day-of-summer bash, she knows something went terribly wrong the night before.
She kissed Kai Tanaka.
Kai, her long-time nemesis. Kai, Olivia’s boyfriend. Penny can’t figure out what could have inspired her to do it–she loves Jordan and she would never hurt Olivia–but one thing’s for sure: freshly dumped, and out a best friend, the idyllic summer she pictured is over.
And despite the fact that Jordan seems to be seeking comfort (and a whole lot more) in Olivia, all Penny can think about is winning him back. Kai wants to save his relationship too, so they come up with a plan: convince their friends that they really do have feelings for each other. After all, no one can resist a good love story, and maybe seeing Penny and Kai together will make Jordan and Olivia change their minds.
But as summer heats up, so does Penny and Kai’s “relationship,” and Penny starts to question whether she’s truly faking it with Kai, if he’s really as terrible as she always thought he was, and if the life she’s fighting so hard to get back is the one she really wants.
Are you a fan of fake dating? Enemies to lovers? Only one bed? DISNEYLAND? Well HAVE I GOT THE BOOK FOR YOU!
♥ This book cold opens with Penny waking up on her boyfriends lawn, unable to remember anything about the night before. But it was supposed to have been the greatest night of her life, so it makes no sense that when she goes inside her best friend, Olivia, now hates her and her boyfriend, Jordan, breaks up with her. And it makes even less sense that they’re both so angry with her because she drunkenly kissed Olivia’s boyfriend, Kai. Because Penny doesn’t even like Kai. Penny hates Kai. Why would she have kissed him? Why was she even alone with him at Jordan’s party in the first place?
♥ In a completely weird and misguided attempt to win their exes back, Penny and Kai–who hate each other, remember–decide to fake a relationship. And while getting their exes back isn’t ever going to be the easiest thing, pretending that they cheated with each other because of a longtime crush just might get everyone else off their back. Because…
“Maybe you should just let people believe it. Everyone forgives a good love story.“
From here it’s spoilers all the way down, so read the damn book yourself!
♥ Okay I can tell you one more thing-there is a LOT to unpack about toxic friendships and how much approval teen girls seek from one another. It reminded me of How to Break a Boy by Laurie Devore, another excellent novel depicting the complicated and intricate and awful relationships best friends can have, and how quickly they can turn on you.
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This, by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Goodreads ¦ Amazon
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: June 8, 2021
Length: 336 pages
Format: Paperback FROM RACHEL HERSELF
Times Read: Once
Rating: a million cakes/5
A wedding harpist disillusioned with love and a hopeless romantic cater-waiter flirt and fight their way through a summer of weddings in this effervescent romantic comedy from the acclaimed author of Today Tonight Tomorrow.
Quinn Berkowitz and Tarek Mansour’s families have been in business together for years: Quinn’s parents are wedding planners, and Tarek’s own a catering company. At the end of last summer, Quinn confessed her crush on him in the form of a rambling email—and then he left for college without a response.
Quinn has been dreading seeing him again almost as much as she dreads another summer playing the harp for her parents’ weddings. When he shows up at the first wedding of the summer, looking cuter than ever after a year apart, they clash immediately. Tarek’s always loved the grand gestures in weddings—the flashier, the better—while Quinn can’t see them as anything but fake. Even as they can’t seem to have one civil conversation, Quinn’s thrown together with Tarek wedding after wedding, from performing a daring cake rescue to filling in for a missing bridesmaid and groomsman.
Quinn can’t deny her feelings for him are still there, especially after she learns the truth about his silence, opens up about her own fears, and begins learning the art of harp-making from an enigmatic teacher.
Maybe love isn’t the enemy after all—and maybe allowing herself to fall is the most honest thing Quinn’s ever done.
Rachel has MOVED all the way to AMSTERDAM, but she will still talk to you via Twitter and Instagram and probably Facebook too, who knows. She’s lovely and super responsive and I mean don’t harass her or anything but if you have a question she’ll totally answer you.
♥ I love ALL of Rachel’s books. I mean, I love them. I’ve reviewed everything except You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone which was released before I started blogging. But you know what? I got a new copy of it signed by Rachel right before she left America so MAYBE I’LL REVIEW IT ANYWAY!
Our Year of Maybe was very personal to me for odd reasons like pet chinchillas and lots of VERY SMALL DETAILS MENTIONED ONCE IN PASSING that stuck to me, like the game Taboo and an Italian restaurant with acrobats. It was also just a truly great book that I loved wholeheartedly.
Today Tonight Tomorrow is a super feminist, super romantic, super trope-y and FUN book set in 24 hours while playing the game Assassins, I don’t know how I was expected to retain my chill about it.
The Ex Talk is Rachel’s first adult romance, and it is excellent! It has ALL the tropes and they ALL work and I basically loved EVERYTHING about this book, including the phrase “WWAMWMD? What would a mediocre white man do?” that Rachel graced us with.
♥ And listen. Rachel gets better and better with every book she writes. So I expected We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This to be exceptional, AND IT WAS. There’s a girl completely disillusioned with both love and playing the harp, and a boy who thinks over the top grand gestures are everything. There’s great mental health rep both in Clinical Depression and OCD, which isn’t one we see discussed very often. It’s something super personal to the author so it’s very authentic.
♥ Here’s another plot point many of us will unfortunately empathize with:
Quinn confesses her deep and undying love for Tarek, Tarek…*disappears*.
…The next summer, Tarek…*reappears*. Without ever responding to Quinn.
♥ As is Rachel’s signature, this book is also completely sex positive. But what else can I say? It has great rep in many ways, and it’s just good in a way that’s hard to describe. I can usually go on and on about Rachel’s stuff but this one just makes me want to quietly poke people and whisper “Here. You gotta read this.” And then…*disappear*.
FUN FACT my name is in the acknowledgments and I cried the first time I saw it. Look YOU WOULD TOO if you always wanted to have your own writing published but you’ve never actually tried to submit or query anything so this was the very first and possibly only time you’ve ever seen your name published.
TL;DR: Go buy both of these books and while you’re at it buy all of their other books too. Both Cameron and Rachel are auto-buy authors for me and THEY SHOULD BE FOR YOU, TOO.