ARC Review of Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Disclaimer: I received an eARC through Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Pepper’s family is behind Big League Burger which has quickly launched into popularity across the U.S. and is spreading internationally.

Jack’s family runs Girl Cheesing, a small deli with only one location.

While both go to the same school, their worlds unexpectedly collide when Big League Burger launches new grilled cheese sandwiches, one of which is clearly a blatant rip off of the Girl Cheesing Grandma’s grilled cheese special. Not one to take it sitting down, Jack uses the deli’s Twitter account and fires off a tweet reply which unexpectedly goes viral. And quickly, Pepper’s mom instructs her to fire back because while Big League Burger has a social media manager, Pepper really is the brains behind it.

And so the feud begins.

But there’s another problem. Pepper and Jack may be crushing on each other without actually knowing the other is behind it on an anonymous app that Jack built while simultaneously engaging in a Twitter war that neither knows they’re behind.

Tweet Cute was a refreshingly fun read. While dealing with some hard-hitting topics (struggling family business, tense family dynamics), this read remains a fun read throughout.

This is told in alternating perspectives, and I thoroughly enjoyed both perspectives.

Tweet Cute releases January 21.

ARC Review of I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

Disclaimer: I received an eARC through the author/publisher’s early reviewer program in exchange for an honest review.

We begin an interview room in a police station where Anna Cicconi confesses to the murder of Zoe Spanos. How we got to that point is the question.

Freshly graduated from high school, Anna gets a job as a nanny for a family who live in the Hamptons. She needs a clean break from her former reality in which she would get blackout drunk or high on various drugs, and what better way than to be put in a position where she is responsible for another human life besides her own.

As she arrives to the small village of Herron Mills, she receives many strange looks, and she eventually finds out that she bears a striking resemblance to Zoe Spanos who disappeared between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

For a reason that she cannot explain, she feels like she knows Zoe even though her friends convince her that Anna and Zoe have never met. But Anna knows things about Zoe that aren’t public information, and how else can she know these things?

Anna decides to investigate Zoe’s disappearance, getting close to Zoe’s (former?) boyfriend. And in the end (or in this case the beginning of the book), she decides that she knows Zoe so well because she killed Zoe.

But not everyone is buying it. After all, how can you kill someone that you never even met?

Told in “then” and “now” segments, I Killed Zoe Spanos is a twisting psychological thriller that will elevate your heart rate and leave you second-guessing everything down to the last page.

In I Killed Zoe Spanos, Kit Frick is able to carefully weave together her best book yet.

I Killed Zoe Spanos releases on June 2, 2020.

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ARC Review of Scammed by Kristen Simmons

Disclaimer: I received an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Further disclaimer: This review will continue some spoilers for the first book (The Deceivers) but no spoilers for Scammed.

Brynn Hilder had her life turned upside down when she was taken into Vale Hall, a boarding school for con artists. For the first time in her life, her skills that she learned in Devon Park, a poor neighborhood, had great value. She made friends that became almost like family, and she became really close with Caleb, a fellow student.

But things become a bit complicated in Scammed as Grayson, a person she used previously to find out who killed the sister of the Vale Hall director, has found safe harbor at Vale Hall until the director can gather enough dirt to put Grayson’s father, a U.S. Senator.

As Brynn goes undercover to find out about the disappearance of an intern who worked for Grayson’s father, she finds her found-family thrown into turmoil and finds that things are not as they seem.

Scammed is a thrilling sequel to The Deceivers. It’s an amazing read, and I absolutely loved it. The whole series is one that is a fantastic read. The end of book 2 sets up for an amazing concept for book 3.

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ARC Review of The Vinyl Underground by Rob Rufus

Disclaimer: I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

New Year’s Eve 1967. Ronnie’s brother is dead, killed in the Vietnam War. Ronnie’s dad is eager for Ronnie to register to serve as soon as he turns 18, even though Ronnie wants to do anything but follow in his brother’s footsteps.

He rereads his brother Bruce’s letters, tucked away in his brother’s record collection. Before Bruce got sent to Vietnam, they had plans to start a radio show together. Now, Ronnie doesn’t know what to do, but he finds comfort in music.

As 1968 starts, that tumultuous historical year, Ronnie is filled with dread. But then he meets Hana, a half-Japanese girl, and his life begins to change. Hana vehemently opposes the war in Vietnam, so much so that her parents temporarily moved her to Florida to get her away from the active violent protesting that she had been doing. With Hana, Bruce’s best friend Ramrod who’s been avoiding the draft by purposely failing at high school, and Ronnie’s best friend Milo, they form a Vinyl Underground club whose purpose at first is just listening to music.

But when they unleash a plot to make sure that Ronnie is disqualified for the draft, their plans may begin to go too far. And when Hana is a victim of a hate crime that police don’t care about, they decide to fight back with everything that they have.

The Vinyl Underground is a solid historical YA that solidly world builds for the time period, and the characters come to life. It’s easy to believe that this all really happened among the historical backdrop of 1968.

The Vinyl Underground releases on March 3, 2020.

ARC Review of Music From Another World by Robin Talley

Disclaimer: I received an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summer 1977, and Tammy and Sharon have been paired up together for a pen pal project for their high schools. The purpose of the pen pal project is to strengthen students’ faith over the summer and into the first term of their junior year of high school.

Both are reluctant about this project, and both keep a journal outside of the letter writing project. Tammy writes to Harvey Milk, an elected supervisor for San Francisco Board of Supervisors (the first openly gay man to be elected in California). Tammy is a lesbian, but her family is very much anti-gay and is working with Anita Bryant’s campaign (another historical figure and real historical campaign) to repeal any gay rights laws as well as prevent any more from passing.

Sharon writes to her journal, keeping her brother’s secret: her brother is gay, but her mom doesn’t know this. Both are fearful for what could happen if their mom finds out.

As they begin to write to each other, an unlikely friendship blossoms between the two of them. As Sharon discovers Castro Street and punk music and Tammy tries to find ways to fight back against her aunt without outing herself, the two quickly find that it takes great bravery to be yourself when people are actively working against your very existence.

Running from 1977 to 1978, Talley’s Music From Another World is an atmospheric book, steeped in rich historical world building, putting these characters right there in real life events. Most of those who read this won’t know the history, but hopefully, this book will encourage them (like it did for me) to find out more.

Robin Talley’s book releases on March 31, 2020. Add to Goodreads here