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While the majority of students were relaxing and taking time away from books, I got busy reading! My ‘to-read’ list was a mile long with no end in sight, so I dived right in! Here are three of the books that I read over the holiday break that I absolutely loved!

You Say It First, by Katie Cotugno

I loved this book! Katie Cotugno is one of my favourite authors because of the way her writing draws you in from the first page and doesn’t let you go until the last. 

In You Say It First, high school senior Meg has a perfect life; a supportive boyfriend, an amazing best friend, great grades, a plan to head to Cornell in the fall alongside her best friend, and a job working at a voter registration call center in her Philadelphia suburb. After parting ways from her boyfriend, Meg goes to her phone banking job where she makes an average phone call that changes her life. She is connected to a stranger in a small-town in Ohio who immediately gets under her skin. That stranger is Colby, a young man who’s working a less than ideal job while dealing with a family tragedy that has left him struggling to decide what his future is going to be like; vastly different from the girl on the other end who has every detail of her future picked out. 

The first phone call made from Meg’s job leads to a series of deep, thoughtful, and often heated conversations that eventually result in a long-distance friendship which then turns into more. Despite the two’s budding friendship-turned-relationship, the two realize they share more differences than they do similarities. Cotugno’s You Say It First ends with the two teenagers being able to overlook their differences and are able to give in to their feelings and become an unstoppable pair. 

If you are someone who loves a stronger, determined female and a friend turn lover storyline, You Say It First is the book for you!

10/10 recommend! ​

Tweet Cute, by Emma Lord

Emma Lord’s Tweet Cute has been sitting on my bookshelf since it came out in January of 2020. This is Lord’s debut novel and she hit this one out of the park! 

Tweet Cute follows the story of high school seniors, Pepper and Jack, through their friendship, Twitter war, and relationship. Pepper and Jack run their respective family restaurant’s Twitter account, go to the same school, and even end up working together organizing their aquatics team schedule. The two teenagers engage in a heated Twitter battle after Big League Burger (Pepper’s family restaurant) is accused of stealing Jack’s grandmother’s famous grilled cheese recipe. The two teenagers will say and do just about anything in order for their Twitter account to come out victorious.

In the midst of a Twitter battle, Pepper and Jack find themselves spending more and more time together, fostering a deep and interesting romantic relationship, both in-person and online on an anonymous messaging app. Jack developed this app for the students in their school to be able to connect with fellow students without the pressure of having to know who the other person is to allow for everyone to be their true, undeniable self. 

When their Twitter battle hit its peak and the public find out who the people behind the now-famous restaurant feud, the public starts shipping Pepper and Jack. After their Twitter feud is over, Pepper and Jack give into the public’s wants and realize they are perfect for each other in just about every way, despite neither of them expecting to find love in the other. 

If you love a good Twitter battle and an awkward, unexpected romance, you’ll love Tweet Cute!

9/10, a must-read!

One to Watch, by Kate Stayman-London

I was recommended Kate Stayman-London’s One To Watch multiple times and I knew I had to check it out! One to Watch is an amazing female empowerment story with such loveable characters!

Stayman-London’s One To Watch is based around a plus-sized model who has little-to-no romantic experience, BUT she does have an impeccable eye for fashion. Her sense of style and the body positivity has allowed her to grow her Instagram and blog following, thereby creating a huge online presence. 

Aside from her online popularity and her great friends and family, Bea lacks in one particular aspect of her life; her love life. She recently had her heart broken by a long-time friend that spurs her to rant to her devoted followers about the lack of diversity on the hit reality television show, Main Squeeze. Bea vents about how all of the women on Main Squeeze are the exact same size and there is no woman that looks like Bea. 

Shortly after her rant, Bea gets a once-in-a-lifetime phone call;  the Main Squeeze production wanted Bea to be the next star of the show. While Bea is hesitant to join the production, she makes the condition that, no matter what, she will not fall in love. She only wants to do the show to inspire her followers and women all across America.

As time goes on, Bea realizes that Main Squeeze and reality TV dating is nothing like she expects. She endures a cheating scandal, many cute suitors, goes on good and bad dates, and eventually, falls in love with her prince charming — in real-life and not because of a television show. 

If you love diversity in characters and are a big fan of The Bachelorette, you will absolutely adore One To Watch! I could not put it down when I started it!

10/10, a page-turner!

If you were looking for a new book to turn through, I hope this helped you find your next read!

Krissy is a third-year History major with a double-minor in heritage conservation and Canadian Studies at Carleton. When she's not doing school or hanging with friends and family, Krissy enjoys reading, online shopping, talking aimlessly about history and politics, and playing hockey.
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