What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter is a story about a love triangle that really only has two people in it. I normally shy away from books about social media or books since they are generally cringey, but this one has a little more depth to it. I enjoyed the balance of wholesome moments with more heavy ones, but the main character became a little bit frustrating. The love triangle is meant to be a nice tension, but since Halle brings all the drama upon herself and technically has the power to end it at any time, it is difficult to feel sorry for her. However, I still liked the overall concept, and I enjoyed reading the book.Title: What I Like About You
Author: Marisa Kanter
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Can a love triangle have only two people in it? Online, it can... but in the real world, it's more complicated. In this debut novel Marisa Kanter explores what happens when internet friends turn into IRL crushes.
There are a million things that Halle Levitt likes about her online best friend, Nash.
He’s an incredibly talented graphic novelist. He loves books almost as much as she does. And she never has to deal with the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. They can talk about anything…
Except who she really is.
Because online, Halle isn’t Halle—she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. Kels has everything Halle doesn’t: friends, a growing platform, tons of confidence, and Nash.
That is, until Halle arrives to spend senior year in Gramps’s small town and finds herself face-to-face with real, human, not-behind-a-screen Nash. Nash, who is somehow everywhere she goes—in her classes, at the bakery, even at synagogue.
Nash who has no idea she’s actually Kels.
If Halle tells him who she is, it will ruin the non-awkward magic of their digital friendship. Not telling him though, means it can never be anything more. Because while she starts to fall for Nash as Halle…he’s in love with Kels.
❃ 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: What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter
This book follows Halle, a popular book blogger who moves to a small town. She is friends with a graphic novelist named Nash online, and when she ends up at his school, she finds herself falling for him in real life. The only issue is that Nash doesn’t know Halle’s real life identity, and his feelings for her online persona start to hold him back. There are many interesting details in the story such as Halle’s parents being prominent documentary directors and the fact that she is a book blogger. The book also has a good mix of fun and seriousness since the wholesome moments are juxtaposed with the main character grieving the loss of her grandmother. It is a pretty far-fetched story, but these elements make up for it.
❀ Authentic Main Character
There is great representation through the characters in the book, and they feel realistic for their age. Halle is Jewish, and I could appreciate how hard she works to maintain her blog. That being said, she is such a frustrating character since she refuses to share her true identity with Nash. She has multiple opportunities to tell him the truth, and her brother reminds her of this, but she continues to complain about what she did as if she can’t undo it if she tried. It is hard to sympathize with her in that sense, especially since she outright lies to Nash, pretends not to know anything about him despite them being best friends online, and then ghosts him. However, I did like her authentic voice.
❀ A cute story
What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter is a cute story about online relationships vs. real world relationships. I enjoyed the book’s representation and its more serious themes, but Halle’s drama with Nash was not easy to sympathize with. I did enjoy the book despite this frustration, but I am hesitant to recommend it since it is not for everyone.