A pair of fierce foes are forced to work together to save the arts at their school in this swoony YA
enemies-to-lovers romance that fans of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson are sure to adore.
Lifelong rivals Natalie and Reid have never been on the same team. So when their school’s art budget
faces cutbacks, of course Natalie finds herself up against her nemesis once more. She’s fighting to direct the school’s first ever student-written play, but for her small production to get funding, the school’s award-winning band will have to lose it. Reid’s band. And he’s got no intention of letting the show go on.
But when their rivalry turns into an all-out prank war that goes too far, Natalie and Reid have to face the music, resulting in the worst compromise: writing and directing a musical. Together. At least if they deliver a sold-out show, the school board will reconsider next year’s band and theater budget. Everyone could win.
Except Natalie and Reid.
Because after spending their entire lives in competition, they have absolutely no idea how to be co-anything. And they certainly don’t know how to deal with the feelings that are inexplicably, weirdly, definitely developing between them…
Marisa Kanter is a young adult author, amateur baker, and reality television enthusiast. She is the author of What I Like About You and As If On Cue. Born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, her obsession with books led her to New York City, where she worked in the publishing industry to help books find their perfect readers. She currently lives in Los Angeles, writing love stories by day and searching for the perfect slice of pizza by night. Follow her at MarisaKanter.com.
Blog Tour Schedule
9/13/2021 Book Bratz Author Q&A
9/14/2021 Not in Jersey Review
9/15/2021 I’m All Booked Up Review
9/16/2021 Books Libraries Also Cats Review
9/17/2021 Kayla Reads and Reviews Review
9/20/2021 Pages and Pugs Review
9/21/2021 Bookishly Jules Review
9/22/2021 From the Library of Alexis Review
9/23/2021 Rants & Raves of a Bibliophile Review
9/24/2021 Bookish Ends Review
*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
We enjoyed Kanter’s debut What I Like About You last year, so we were thrilled to also participate in the book tour for her latest YA contemporary.
Natalie Jacobsen is certain about one thing: that she and Reid Callahan will always be enemies. Unfortunately, she can’t get away from him. 1. He’s always at her house for clarinet lessons. 2. He’s Natalie’s dad’s protégé. 3. He’ll do anything to be better than Natalie at everything.
When Natalie finds out on her first day that her beloved drama club, similar to the rest of arts and music clubs besides the band, is getting cut, she’ll do anything to get the school board to reconsider. Only, Natalie’s dad and Reid don’t get it. After all, as band members and band teachers, they get to keep their program while the other creative students suffer.
Along with her two best friends Fitz and Henry, Natalie comes up with a plan to get these programs back. By combining all the cut art programs into one incredible night, she shows how talented the creative students at her school are. Plus, she finally gets her dream of showcasing her own writing and directing talents for Melted: The Musical.
When the principal throws a wrench in this plan, Reid becomes involved. Now Natalie has to make a choice, work with her enemy or let the arts programs end at Lincoln High.
We loved that this book focused on theatre and band! In high school Christy was in theatre and Claire was in band. Talk about a fun coincidence.
The hate to love trope had us excited from the beginning. Natalie and Reid had great banter and we cheered for them to get together. Their romance was slowburn and felt realistic, especially the conflicts that occurred along the way. Reid is a swoonworthy book boyfriend and his character growth was one of our favorite aspects of the story.
Natalie and Reid were also great older siblings. Both had younger sisters, who are besties, which added to the plot. These two younger sibs definitely increased the drama overall.
Another aspect we liked about this contemporary is that Kanter is bringing Jewish representation into YA. Natalie’s sister’s Bat Mitzvah is shown and Kanter has the characters celebrating the holidays as well. Building upon these themes, Kanter also discussed the rise of antisemitism and how it impacts the characters in this small Massachusetts town.
The book is set in Lincoln, Massachustts and the characters attend Lincoln High School. The school is based on Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, where one of our close friends went to high school. We couldn’t stop laughing when we read about the location.
Overall, this is a fun and sweet romance, which touches upon some important themes. We can’t wait for Kanter’s next YA contemporary!