ARC Review: We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Title: We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Release Date: June 8, 2020
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis

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.


Review

I LOVED Today, Tonight, Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon and We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This might actually have beat it out! It was such a cute story with great messages for YA readers. It discusses Jewish and Muslim culture and what it means to have trouble identifying with your own culture along with mental health issues such as depression and OCD. We also get a healthy dose of positive sex talk, consent (nothing is sexier than consent!) and swoon-worthy scenes that include both.

Quinn has her future all planned out for her by her parents, problem is she doesn’t want it and doesn’t know how to tell them. She’s feeling kinda lost and the one thing that use to bring her joy, playing the harp, just feels like another task to get done for work. While I may be 27 I saw a lot of myself in Quinn. It can be scary to admit you don’t know what you want. I’ve never been a rock-the-boat kind of person and neither was she. I loved her sense of humor and how candid she was about her mental health problems. We see the term OCD used lightly in society today but it’s very much explored in this book and I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know just how bad it could be or what the actual symptoms were.

The family dynamic in this book was interesting to explore. Quinn works for the family wedding planning business with her sister and parents. It’s not her dream job, but then again she doesn’t know what she wants so it’s good enough right? There was a traumatic incident in Quinn’s life that has to do with her family that was kind of swept under the rug. It effects all of her decisions though and she feels the need to be the peacemaker which in turn makes her not as close to her parents and a tad distanced from her sister. We get to see those relationships get sort of mended so we don’t get to fully explore them, but I loved all the wedding shenanigans and that they could come together to pull off someone else’s special day.

The romance was top notch, swoon-worthy rom-com perfection. We get a ton of Sleepless in Seattle references which I adored and were a fun touch to pull the story together. The love interest, Tarek is a huge fan of “The Big Gesture” with Quinn despising them but also secretly being jealous. Their chemistry was amazing and they really opened up to each other about their respective mental illness struggles. We also get a few discussions about what it’s like for them not feel connected to their respective cultures, to struggle with their identities which I found very interesting since it’s not a topic I’ve come across in books too often.

It’s definitely not a slow burn but the tension is there. We truly got to explore physical versus emotional attachment. What it’s like to have feelings, but not want to put yourself out there and get burned. Tarek was so sweet and patient though, totally perfect for Quinn.

If you’re looking for a YA Romance that discusses some heavy topics, includes corgis, grand gestures, general wedding shenanigans and a romance almost as epic as Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle, then I cannot recommend this one enough.

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