Review: The Pick-Up by Miranda Kenneally

Review: The Pick-Up by Miranda Kenneally

The Pick-Up by Miranda Kenneally is a short and sweet contemporary that takes place during a music festival. I loved the concept of social media reuniting the main characters after they get separated, and they are both authentic protagonists. The atmosphere of the festival is especially well written, making this a great read to savour the final moments of summer.

Review: The Pick-Up by Miranda KenneallyTitle: The Pick-Up
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Also by this author: Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
Rating: three-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

When Mari hails a rideshare to a music festival, the last thing she expects is for the car to pick up a gorgeous guy along the way. Mari doesn't believe in dating--it can only end with a broken heart. Besides, she's only staying at her dad's house in Chicago for the weekend. How close can you get to a guy in three days?

TJ wants to study art in college, but his family's expectations cast a long shadow over his dreams. When he meets Mari in the back of a rideshare, he feels alive for the first time in a long time.

Mari and TJ enter the festival together and share an electric moment but get separated in a crowd with seemingly no way to find each other. When fate reunites them (with a little help from a viral hashtag), they'll have to decide: was it love at first sight, or the start of nothing more than a weekend fling?

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: The Pick-Up by Miranda Kenneally

When Mari orders a ride share to get to Lollapalooza, she doesn’t expect to fall for the other guy in the car. The two instantly click and spend a few magical moments together at the festival, but in the chaos of the crowd, they get separated and worry they’ll never see each other again. However, Mari and TJ end up going viral as social media brings them back together, and they are given a second shot at love. Newly reunited, they must decide if what they have is real or just a weekend fling, and quickly, because Mari has to go back to Tennessee after the festival ends. This is a short and fast-paced read, although I do feel like this one could have been longer to allow for more depth.

❀ Interesting Characters

Mari and TJ are interesting characters, but I had some trouble connecting with them. Mari struggles to trust people after her dad left, and she has a rough home life with her abusive mother. After the downfall of her parents’ relationship, she has sworn off dating and has no plans to find love at the festival. TJ, on the other hand, dreams of being an artist, but he constantly compares himself to his cooler older brother. They both have their own personal struggles, and I enjoyed the way they are able to support each other throughout the book. Mari and TJ’s relationship is definitely insta-lovey, but I think this all comes back to the short length of the book as a whole.

❀ Lollapalooza Setting

My favourite part about this book has got to be its setting. The story takes place at Lollapalooza over a single weekend, and Kenneally has done an excellent job capturing the atmosphere of the music festival. The fun and the chaos of it all feels so real, and the scenes with Mari and TJ in the crowd were my favourite. I haven’t read many books set at a music festival, and I will definitely be on the lookout for more.

❀ A Unique Story About Destiny

The Pick-Up by Miranda Kenneally is a unique story about destiny and first love. I loved the concept of being reunited at a music festival, and the main characters are able to support each other through struggles in their personal lives. The setting of a music festival is especially well-executed, making this a great read for those looking to experience the feeling of being at a festival, but from home.

About Miranda Kenneally

Image of Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.

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About The Candid Cover

Olivia ❀ YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, novice New Yorker, & professional bibliophile.

23 thoughts on “Review: The Pick-Up by Miranda Kenneally

  1. Deanna (A Novel Glimpse) says:

    I haven’t been in a YA mood, so I haven’t been planning on reading this one. Her last one was good, but not my favorite. You almost had me convinced with the weekend taking place at Lallapalooza, but I wanted you to love it more. Great review!

  2. Sam@WLABB says:

    I enjoyed this a bit more than you, though, I would not have minded a bit more time with the characters. I have attended Lolla several times (even one time in Chicago), so that was a fun aspect for me.

  3. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader says:

    Great review! This is too bad that you didn’t really connect with the characters as I love music festival settings!

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