By: Emma Lord
Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.
Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.
All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.
As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.
Tweet Cute is a young adult novel about two high school seniors dealing with issues regarding their respective family businesses. As well as all the typical high school stuff that comes with going to a prestigious private school.
Pepper spent the first fourteen years of her life in Nashville. Then her parents divorced, amicably, and her mother moved to New York City to expand their family fast food business. Pepper moved with her and molded herself into the perfect prep school student, but she never felt like she belonged.
Jack has always lived in New York, working at the deli his family owns. He attends the same private school as Pepper. He has a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to his twin brother. Jack also feels like he’s being forced into taking over the family business.
For whatever reason, Pepper’s mom has decided not to hire a social media manager for her multi-million dollar company, who can handle snarky tweets. Instead, she relies on her teenage daughter to go after a small mom and pop deli when they have issues with Pepper’s mom stealing a family grilled cheese recipe. Her mom is not sympathetic in this story at all. After everything her mom does and says, Pepper keeps trying to stay in her good graces, even though she knows her mom is in the wrong. Even with the reveal at the end, her mother comes off as a bad parent.
Meanwhile, Jack’s parents have regular parenting conflicts with him. Pepper and Jack (way too on the nose with those names) both need to sit down and talk to some people. Pepper does at least try several times with her mom, but her mom steamrolls over her.
Pepper and Jack’s romance is super sweet, and what makes the book for me. I’m not an angsty teenage fan, and I was not too fond of Pepper’s mother, but the romance made me enjoy Tweet Cute. They were engaged in a Twitter feud that spawned fanfic, they started talking a lot at school, and they were anonymously chatting to each other. I love the anonymous letter-writing trope.
There were never any super embarrassing moments. Watching their friendship develop, and then their romance was entertaining. I liked Pepper and Jack as characters as well. Plus, there were lots of yummy food references.