more than ever, i’m worried we’re resurrecting a friendship that was never as grand as i made it out to be.rachel lynn solomon
Release Date: June 8th 2021
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Fiction | Contemporary | Romance
Page Count: 336
Source: I received an advance reader’s copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!
Goodreads Summary: A wedding harpist disillusioned with love and a hopeless romantic cater-waiter flirt and fight their way through a summer of weddings in this effervescent romantic comedy from the acclaimed author of Today Tonight Tomorrow.
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.
Based on the multitude of 5 star reviews I see for this book, I’m going to have to say this book probably just wasn’t for me. I love the concept of it and found it to be really fun to see what goes into wedding planning and to come along with Quinn while her parents ran their business. I loved her sister Asher and the contrast there was between the siblings’ personalities. I love the representation that’s in the book. I loved even getting to see how harps are made and how they’re played.
Ultimately what dimmed my enthusiasm for this book was Quinn herself. There are definitely parts of her personality that I liked such as her sense of style and her penchant for sarcasm. But I disliked her woe-is-me attitude in her parents wanting her to work in the family business and essentially villainizing them for this when she never spoke up and said she didn’t want to be a part of it and even portrayed herself to be enthusiastic about it at times. I find it hard to believe that through the immense amounts of therapy she says she’s gone through that her parents’ separation never came up, especially since she hyperfocused on it during the book and has let it define her entire view of love and romance. I disliked that she was so wishy-washy in her relationship and feelings for Tarek, saying one thing with her mouth yet doing things that equaled the opposite. I completely understand why he was confused and felt frustrated with her. I disliked how she was adamant he understand certain things about her like how she didn’t believe in romance yet she never tried to understand why he felt the opposite. I did like the character growth she finally managed at the very end of the book but I felt like it didn’t make up for her selfishness of dragging him along in a semi-relationship she knew she wasn’t committed to for so long.
Overall, the book is messy which I think is how it’s meant to be with the way the main character is written. There’s uncertainty and loose ends even in its closing. If you enjoy characters who struggle with self-identity and what they want out of life, you may enjoy this book but know that this particular point isn’t really resolved by the end of it. It lacks those feel-good feelings but it delivers in realness. And even though this isn’t a 5 star read for me, I can see why it might be for others and the representation truly is great with its variety which is nice to see in the YA genre.