Quinn Berkowitz and Tarek Mansour’s families have been in business together for years: Quinn’s parents are wedding planners, and Tarek’s own a catering company. At the end of last summer, Quinn confessed her crush on him in the form of a rambling email—and then he left for college without a response. Quinn has been dreading seeing him again almost as much as she dreads another summer playing the harp for her parents’ weddings. When he shows up at the first wedding of the summer, looking cuter than ever after a year apart, they clash immediately. Tarek’s always loved the grand gestures in weddings—the flashier, the better—while Quinn can’t see them as anything but fake. Even as they can’t seem to have one civil conversation, Quinn’s thrown together with Tarek wedding after wedding, from performing a daring cake rescue to filling in for a missing bridesmaid and groomsman. Quinn can’t deny her feelings for him are still there, especially after she learns the truth about his silence, opens up about her own fears, and begins learning the art of harp-making from an enigmatic teacher. Maybe love isn’t the enemy after all—and maybe allowing herself to fall is the most honest thing Quinn’s ever done.
I mean, it’s a Rachel Lynn Solomon book, so I was looking forward to it before I even knew what it was about. I will seriously read anything that she writes. But, when I found out that this would be about a harp player, who’s the daughter of two wedding planners, and the baker son of the caterer’s her parents partner with often. The son who she has a rocky relationship with. Oh yeah, this definitely sounded like something I was going to be interested in. Trigger warnings: depression, OCD, anxiety
I don’t think it’s a surprise that I’m crying over a Rachel Lynn Solomon book, but I am crying over a Rachel Lynn Solomon book. Because it seriously is that amazing.
This book did so many things to my emotions, so I guess emotions are a good place to start! The way this book talks about mental health had my heart doing funny beating things in my chest in the best way possible. Both Quinn and Tarek struggle with mental health, and they are both in therapy and take medication. It’s just so, so amazing to me to see something like this talked about so casually in a YA book. Because it is something that should not be a stigmatized as it is. I connected with both of them so deeply, and while my experiences might have been different than theirs, that connection was still so deep and so amazing.
Speaking of Quinn and Tarek, I love both of them an incredible amount. Quinn is cynical, and she is so full of emotion. She seemed angry to me, but the kind of angry that comes from such a deep sadness. She has her shields to keep herself safe, and I loved seeing her face the big, scary emotions that were present in her life. It gets messy, and it’s imperfect, because that’s how life is. But Solomon is so good at writing messy, imperfect emotions and characters, and it completely shows in Quinn. Plus, Quinn has a cat and likes to wear clothes with tiny animals on them and loves food that is cooked in mugs. So she’s super amazing.
And Tarek was just an adorable, sweet, sensitive, and amazing baker. He struggles with depression, and I love seeing mental health being portrayed in guys. And Tarek was just amazing in general.
I also really liked Julia, Quinn’s best friend, and Asher, Quinn’s sister! They were both super cool, plus Julia is queer and the girl she likes, Noelle, was amazing as well.
The portrayal of love was also something that I really, really liked about this book. Quinn is so jaded towards it, and she has solid reasons to be. It’s a hard, painful journey for her, and I really, really liked watching it. Plus, I loved how it was imperfect. Couples fight, weddings have glitches, and things just don’t go smoothly sometimes. But, that’s alright, because that’s just how life is sometimes. The whole overarching romantic/love piece of this book was so, so amazing. It’s sweet, but realistic, and I love it so much because it was written so well.
Another thing I really loved was the harp aspect of this book! I think it’s a fascinating instrument, so it was really cool to see Quinn play it, and learn new things about it along with her! Really, I just found out that the harp is even more fascinating than I thought it was.
Along with harps, this book also had weddings and baking, which are both super cool haha.
This book is also extremely sex positive, which is always something that I adore in YA books.
There were parts of this book that I had a really personal connection with. I’m keeping it vague because of that, but I did want to mention that some of my love for this book comes from that. And I say all this as a huge compliment.
AH AND THERE WERE TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW EASTER EGGS.
Overall, this was a fantastic, amazing book. The last line destroyed me in the best way possible. It’s sweet and painful and romantic and angry and sad and pretty much every emotion. I loved it a whole lot.