Keep My Heart in San Francisco
Sparks fly when two ex-best-friends team up to save a family business in this swoon-worthy and witty debut perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett and Sarah Dessen.Caroline “Chuck” Wilson has big plans for spring break—hit up estate sales to score vintage fashion finds and tour the fashion school she dreams of attending. But her dad wrecks those plans when he asks her to spend vacation working the counter at Bigmouth’s Bowl, her family’s failing bowling alley. Making things astronomically worse, Chuck finds out her dad is way behind on back rent—meaning they might be losing Bigmouth’s, the only thing keeping Chuck’s family in San Francisco.And the one person other than Chuck who wants to do anything about it? Beckett Porter, her annoyingly attractive ex-best friend.So when Beckett propositions Chuck with a plan to make serious cash infiltrating the Bay Area action bowling scene, she accepts. But she can’t shake the nagging feeling that she’s acting reckless—too much like her mother for comfort. Plus, despite her best efforts to keep things strictly business, Beckett’s charm is winning her back over...in ways that go beyond friendship.If Chuck fails, Bigmouth’s Bowl and their San Francisco legacy are gone forever. But if she succeeds, she might just get everything she ever wanted.

Keep My Heart in San Francisco Details

TitleKeep My Heart in San Francisco
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 14th, 2020
PublisherSimon Pulse
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult, Romance, Young Adult Contemporary

Keep My Heart in San Francisco Review

  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received via publisher!
  • Vicky Again
    January 1, 1970
    Sweet, heartfelt, and atmospheric, Keep My Heart in San Francisco is a genuine but light story of romance, family, and home. Think the family struggles of Lauren Spieller's She's the Worst meets the ex-best friends to lovers of Jenn Bennett's Starry Eyes, all wrapped up in San Francisco, bowling, and with mental illness rep! Would definitely highly recommend for an entertaining and modern romance.
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  • Nursebookie
    January 1, 1970
    This is a charming and romantic read from author Amelia Diane Coombs that stole my heart for its characters, the setting in beautiful San Francisco, a bowling alley, and ex-best friends trying to fight to save a family business!I recommend this contemporary YA novel that is full of heart that I really enjoyed!
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  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars This might've had the most ridiculous premise of any book I've ever read, but I had fun. Trying to save her family's failing bowling alley by going undercover and hustling games to try and make eight grand in a week with her former best friend and crush, Chuck Wilson has a lot on her plate. Many hi-jinks and adventures ensure in this story. I enjoyed seeing Chuck and Beckett's relationship reform after a fallout in freshman year but the actual plot is so wacky it was definitely hard to 2.5 stars This might've had the most ridiculous premise of any book I've ever read, but I had fun. Trying to save her family's failing bowling alley by going undercover and hustling games to try and make eight grand in a week with her former best friend and crush, Chuck Wilson has a lot on her plate. Many hi-jinks and adventures ensure in this story. I enjoyed seeing Chuck and Beckett's relationship reform after a fallout in freshman year but the actual plot is so wacky it was definitely hard to take it seriously at time. But it was still a quick and light-hearted read.I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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  • Amelia
    January 1, 1970
    4/3/2020: Quick update that KEEP MY HEART will now be released on July 14th, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. So sorry for the delay, but I can't wait for you all to meet Chuck and Beckett. 10/16/19: We have a cover! And a release date! KEEP MY HEART will release on June 23rd, 2020!6/23/2019: I’m so thrilled to announce my debut’s new title, KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO!I don’t think I can adequately express how excited (and terrified?!) I am to share this book with the world! First, this 4/3/2020: Quick update that KEEP MY HEART will now be released on July 14th, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. So sorry for the delay, but I can't wait for you all to meet Chuck and Beckett. 10/16/19: We have a cover! And a release date! KEEP MY HEART will release on June 23rd, 2020!6/23/2019: I’m so thrilled to announce my debut’s new title, KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO!I don’t think I can adequately express how excited (and terrified?!) I am to share this book with the world! First, this book was mine—a messy-quirky story that helped me during a dark time. Then, this book belonged to my agent, who found the perfect editor for KMHISF. An editor who understood the heart of this book and brought it to life. And now, this book belongs to you, dear readers! I hope you enjoy Chuck & Beckett’s story, learn a lot of awful bowling puns, and fall in love with San Francisco.Thank you, thank you, thank you.-Amelia P.S. My publisher was wonderful and added content warnings to KMHISF, but I’d also like to list them here. Be aware that KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO includes content relating to mental health (bipolar disorder) and conservations surrounding suicide.
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  • Rachel Solomon
    January 1, 1970
    A unique, retro contemporary YA romance that revolves around bowling! These flawed, layered characters are written with so much depth and empathy. I'm a huge fan of setting as character, and this book truly captures the heartbeat of San Fransisco. Perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett.
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    The family business is in trouble, and Chuck knows that if it fails, she will be forced to leave San Francisco. She loves this city! It's a part of her, and she would do just about anything to stay. But she wonders if it's worth reconciling with her former best friend after his betrayal?I won't lie. I expected this to be fluffier than it was. That said, I throughly enjoyed it anyway.Chuck was looking to keep her heart in San Francisco, and she did a great job showing me why. I absolutely love wh The family business is in trouble, and Chuck knows that if it fails, she will be forced to leave San Francisco. She loves this city! It's a part of her, and she would do just about anything to stay. But she wonders if it's worth reconciling with her former best friend after his betrayal?I won't lie. I expected this to be fluffier than it was. That said, I throughly enjoyed it anyway.Chuck was looking to keep her heart in San Francisco, and she did a great job showing me why. I absolutely love when a book takes me places, and Coombs deftly whisked me away to San Fran. She took me throughout the city, showing me places that are well known, as well as some I had was unaware of. Her admiration for the city was clearly displayed throughout the story, and I had a fantastic time touring the city. I also loved Chuck. She really spoke to me. She was very witty, a bit snarky, and she charmed the pants off of me. Her loneliness and struggles with her mental health were things I easily related to, but I was also fond of her passion for fashion. I ate up all the little fashion and design morsels peppered throughout the story, and I loved trying to imagine what she was wearing. I have a soft spot for creative types, and it was fun getting to peek at her design dreams. Though Beckett betrayed Chuck and seemed to give up on her, I had nothing but love for him. It was wonderful watching him and Chuck reconnect, because they were both sort of lost without the other. Chuck and Beckett experienced a lot of disappointment in their year apart, and they survived, but they were much stronger together. These two knew each other inside and out, and it was nice to see Beckett fighting to save their friendship. Then, there was bowling. Fact: I am a terrible bowler, but I grew up around it and rather enjoy the game. I liked being immersed in the bowling world with these two, and I found the game sequences quite exhilarating. I was happy to be cheering for Chuck as she attempted to save the business and couldn't stop hoping that she could turn her family situation around. Overall: I found this to be a wonderful story of family, friendship, and mental health, which warmed my heart and had me rooting for the little guy to win. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    In the interest of full disclosure, my best friend is the author's agent, and I sent her this string of text messages midway through:DO THEY SAVE THE BOWLING ALLEYDO THEY GET CAUGHT HUSTLING AND BETTINGTHIS ISN'T RELAXINGI AM VERY CONCERNED FOR THEMDespite how non-relaxed I was while fretting over the characters' well-being, this was the lighthearted read I needed right now and it was a fantastic escape from Pandemic 2020. As far as YA contemporary romance characters go, Chuck and Beckett are a In the interest of full disclosure, my best friend is the author's agent, and I sent her this string of text messages midway through:DO THEY SAVE THE BOWLING ALLEYDO THEY GET CAUGHT HUSTLING AND BETTINGTHIS ISN'T RELAXINGI AM VERY CONCERNED FOR THEMDespite how non-relaxed I was while fretting over the characters' well-being, this was the lighthearted read I needed right now and it was a fantastic escape from Pandemic 2020. As far as YA contemporary romance characters go, Chuck and Beckett are a perfect mix of strong and messy. I really enjoyed spending time with them and watching them try to find their footing with each other. Their successes felt earned and the author also did an excellent job giving them consequences for their mistakes when they got in over their heads. I also was really satisfied with the ending - and also relieved I no longer had to chew my fingernails in worry over what those kids were going to get themselves into.
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  • hope
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this book! Chuck was a great MC, and I liked watching her grow over the course of the novel, even if sometimes she made poor choices. I stand by my earlier opinion that Beckett is one of the best YA boyfriends ever. He was funny and sweet and very thoughtful, and I really liked how good he was at communicating with Chuck. It was refreshing to see a YA book where miscommunication wasn't used as a plot device.Also, I loved seeing how much the author loves San Francisco. This book was just as Loved this book! Chuck was a great MC, and I liked watching her grow over the course of the novel, even if sometimes she made poor choices. I stand by my earlier opinion that Beckett is one of the best YA boyfriends ever. He was funny and sweet and very thoughtful, and I really liked how good he was at communicating with Chuck. It was refreshing to see a YA book where miscommunication wasn't used as a plot device.Also, I loved seeing how much the author loves San Francisco. This book was just as much of a romance between Chuck and the city as it was her and Beckett. Great read!
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    The romance in this book had strong echoes of Jenn Bennett, so if that's your kind of swoony guy--sweet, smart, endearing, funny--then you will enjoy Beckett immensely. Hands down my favorite parts of the novel!This book was a nice mix of serious and fun. Chuck's grappling with secrets about her mom, her mental health, and that horrible feeling when you're not in control of your own life, specifically when your parent is the one who decides where you rest your head. I think it helps that I have The romance in this book had strong echoes of Jenn Bennett, so if that's your kind of swoony guy--sweet, smart, endearing, funny--then you will enjoy Beckett immensely. Hands down my favorite parts of the novel!This book was a nice mix of serious and fun. Chuck's grappling with secrets about her mom, her mental health, and that horrible feeling when you're not in control of your own life, specifically when your parent is the one who decides where you rest your head. I think it helps that I have visited San Francisco before, so I could understand personally some of the reasons Chuck loves it so much and its little quirks. If it's one of your favorite cities I bet you will commiserate with her desperation to stay. Like in many books, sometimes it felt like some of Chuck's problems could be solved if she just TALKED to her dad, but I could understand, intimately, how that seems like a completely insurmountable task when you are a teenager, so I can give her a pass for that. A solid debut novel that makes me look forward to what Coombs has up her sleeve next! (Anyone up for a friendly game of bowling? I promise I will definitely NOT be able to hustle you.)
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  • Kate Waggoner
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to #NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing for allowing me to read a digital ARC of Keep My Heart in San Francisco by Amelia Diane Coombs. This contemporary young adult novel is set to be released in August of 2020. All opinions are my own. Caroline "Chuck" Wilson plans to spend her spring break antiquing and touring the fashion school she hopes to attend when she graduates. Those plans go down the drain when her dad informs her that one of their employees (they own a bow Thank you to #NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing for allowing me to read a digital ARC of Keep My Heart in San Francisco by Amelia Diane Coombs. This contemporary young adult novel is set to be released in August of 2020. All opinions are my own. Caroline "Chuck" Wilson plans to spend her spring break antiquing and touring the fashion school she hopes to attend when she graduates. Those plans go down the drain when her dad informs her that one of their employees (they own a bowling alley called Bigmouth's) has quit and she'll need to cover for him. Chuck begrudgingly agrees and is forced to face her former best friend, Beckett, on her first day of spring break. The two overhear her father talking to the landlord and learn that Chuck's dad is way behind on back rent. Beckett approaches Chuck with a plan to save the bowling alley. She agrees to participate but things get complicated as their friendship starts to heal and it seems like it might be something more. I wanted to read this book for the cover and concept of ex-best friends being thrown together to complete a wacky scheme where sparks were sure to fly. This book, however, is so much more than a YA romance. It deals with a topic not often covered in books or even really spoken about: mental health. The relationship between Chuck and Beckett and losing Bigmouth are both conflicts in the novel, but I think the larger and more important conflict is Chuck's internal struggle with her mental health and her view/understanding of her mother. Her mental health journey and the realizations she makes throughout the book are incredibly powerful. I think it makes it even more powerful that this story is in some ways a reflection of the author's own journey with her mental health. Mental disorders are highly stigmatized and this book does an amazing job of explaining this and helping the reader develop a better understanding of mental disorders and those affected by them. I really enjoyed this book and think it is an important book to include in a classroom library due to the topics it addresses.
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  • Lindsay Montague
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really strong debut. Don't let the seemingly sweet cover fool you, this book has some depth. Chuck and Beckett decide to hustle bowlers to make money and save her family's bowling alley—they only have 10 days to make $8,000. The mental health aspect was interesting. Chuck is afraid she'll end up like her bi-polar mother, especially once she experienced her own depressive episode. All the relationships were really special and unique. Chuck and her dad are very close, as well as her aun This was a really strong debut. Don't let the seemingly sweet cover fool you, this book has some depth. Chuck and Beckett decide to hustle bowlers to make money and save her family's bowling alley—they only have 10 days to make $8,000. The mental health aspect was interesting. Chuck is afraid she'll end up like her bi-polar mother, especially once she experienced her own depressive episode. All the relationships were really special and unique. Chuck and her dad are very close, as well as her aunt who lives with the family. Her Aunt Fiona is almost like an older sister. I wish the relationship was paced a little better. They never really made it to the friend stage before skipping to love. They were friends for so many years and after a year of total silence following a fight, I feel like friendship should have been the first step. This was fun and I'll definitely read from Amelia Diane Coombs in the future. ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Beth F.
    January 1, 1970
    Charming with deeper twists. Have to say, I wasn't expecting the story. It took me by surprise. The prose was endearing and kept me interested. Whenever I picked it up again after not reading it for a while, it sucked me into the story. The characters are pretty cool. The plot twists are pretty crazy.Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for providing me with an ARC.
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  • Krysti
    January 1, 1970
    A heartfelt, own voices story about love, mental health, and the meaning of home. When Chuck Wilson finds out that her dad is behind on the rent for the family bowling alley, she leaps in to try to help out. Terrified that if they go under, she'll have to move to Arizona, Chuck's desperate to save the business and finish high school in her beloved city, San Francisco. She'll do anything, including agreeing to her annoyingly attractive friend Beckett's somewhat illegal plan to take part in the Ba A heartfelt, own voices story about love, mental health, and the meaning of home. When Chuck Wilson finds out that her dad is behind on the rent for the family bowling alley, she leaps in to try to help out. Terrified that if they go under, she'll have to move to Arizona, Chuck's desperate to save the business and finish high school in her beloved city, San Francisco. She'll do anything, including agreeing to her annoyingly attractive friend Beckett's somewhat illegal plan to take part in the Bay Area's underground bowling league. As they hustle the other bowlers for much-needed cash, Chuck becomes increasingly confused both by her changing feelings for Beckett, and the torment of emotions constantly flooding her and taking control of her life.This book has an adorable romance, yet it's also got great depth and touches on some very serious and important issues. I enjoyed it immensely and can't wait to see more from this author in the future.
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  • J B Mills
    January 1, 1970
    I had the fortune of reading this book before there was a publishing contract and I knew it would sell! A YA bowling alley story set in San Francisco? Yes, please! The main characters, Chuck and Beckett, are former BFFs on the outs, but they work together in an attempt to save her father’s bowling alley. The vibe is a little bit retro, a little bit quirky and a lotta bit fun. I enjoyed it as an adult and will definitely be buying it for my daughter!
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    This review and more can be found at www.thebookbratz.blogspot.com.I received an ARC of KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO in exchange for an honest review, and I'm so glad that I did, because this book was so sweet and delightful! So without further ado, let's get into my review!As the summary explains, Chuck Wilson wants to do anything possible to stay in San Francisco, the city of her heart. But when her family's bowling alley is going under with no savior in sight, she takes things in her own ha This review and more can be found at www.thebookbratz.blogspot.com.I received an ARC of KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO in exchange for an honest review, and I'm so glad that I did, because this book was so sweet and delightful! So without further ado, let's get into my review!As the summary explains, Chuck Wilson wants to do anything possible to stay in San Francisco, the city of her heart. But when her family's bowling alley is going under with no savior in sight, she takes things in her own hands. Because if Bigmouth's closes, not only is that part of her childhood is gone, but also she's going to have to move to Arizona. Which she's desperate not to do. The only problem? The plan to save Bigmouth's involves her ex-best friend, Beckett, with whom she had a particularly nasty falling out with the year before. But can they come together to save Chuck's future, or will she be catching the next flight out of her favorite place in the world?I really enjoyed reading this book! I thought it was a super cute romance and save-the-day story, and I'd also never really read anything with bowling as such a main focus before, so I thought that was really interesting. (My dad is a big bowler, so this is definitely the kind of story he'd love!) The story itself was really cute and funny and kept me hooked from the beginning right up until the end. I read almost an entire half of the book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down because I always wanted to know what antics Chuck was going to get up to next. I've also never been out west at all (I know, I know!!! I've skipped right over California to visit my brother, who lives in Hawaii, but that's about it), so seeing Chuck's devotion to her city and all of the little things she loves about it was really cute and made me really eager as a reader to visit San Francisco one day. It's definitely been added to my destinations bucket list, that's for sure!My favorite character in this book was definitely Beckett. I thought he was so funny and his sarcasm really made me laugh out loud. I also thought he was such a great guy, even when Chuck had her moments where she didn't see it. I was cheering for him from pretty early on and I thought he was so sweet and hilarious and adorable. I also really liked Chuck's character, and how determined she was to save her family's legacy. The fact that she knows what she wants and doesn't stop until she gets it -- and never turns her back on her family -- was really inspiring for me to see as a reader. And then...I don't really want to keep talking and accidentally spoil how things shake down between her and Beckett, but all I'll say is that some things come to light about the night that their friendship broke up that neither of them are expecting.(Minor spoilers in this paragraph, so skip to the next one to avoid them!) (view spoiler)[My only question that I had about the book is the fact that if her dad had been planning for everything to work out fine in the end, when did he think he was going to tell Caroline about Bigmouth's? I just felt a little confused and a little bit like things were wrapped up a little too neatly, especially since so much of the book is about the predicament seeing like there was no logical and possible way out of it other than the bowling hustle. I didn't hate the ending by any means, I just felt a little thrown off because it seemed like there were such simple and easy solutions to the problems that were so monumental for so much of the book. And Beckett's dad comes back but we don't even hear much about it or about how his mom reacted or any of that story. (hide spoiler)]Overall, I really enjoyed reading KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO. It was a sweet, adorable story about coming together and piecing together the past to help save your future. It was also the first book I've ever read with a bowling alley setting, which I thought was really fascinating and cool and different. If you're looking for a sweet summer read to pick up and give you all the feels with some surprising twists, then I definitely recommend picking up this one!
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  • Morgan- Nothing Better Than a Book
    January 1, 1970
    This was such an enjoyable read that I flew through! It was very easy to read, and I found myself finishing the book before I knew it! This book does address suicide and mental health, but it doesn’t get super dark. I addresses the important of getting professional help and taking medicine, along with leaning on your family for support. The romance in this book was very sweet and innocent, but still managed to be swoony! I love a best friends romance, and that’s exactly what this was. With a bes This was such an enjoyable read that I flew through! It was very easy to read, and I found myself finishing the book before I knew it! This book does address suicide and mental health, but it doesn’t get super dark. I addresses the important of getting professional help and taking medicine, along with leaning on your family for support. The romance in this book was very sweet and innocent, but still managed to be swoony! I love a best friends romance, and that’s exactly what this was. With a best friends romance, they already have the connection and the strong friendship, so they are able to build their romance off of that. I also absolutely loved the bowling and the hustling aspect of this book. While I was in it for the romance, the bowling was a main plot point, and one that only enhanced the story. This had be turning pages at lightning speed to make sure they were going to be okay and to find out if they would win and save the bowling alley. 4 starsI received this book for free in return for an honest review.
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  • Em
    January 1, 1970
    There was a lot to Chuck's story that worked for me, especially the depiction of her mental health. Her worries about growing to exhibit signs, of bipolar disorder as her mother had were well developed and made her relatable. The premise (illegal bowling!) was just absurd enough to be believable and fun. The writing was fun and light, but strong. Where this fell apart for me was the setting. I grew up in and around San Francisco and I never bought into Chuck's love of the city. Her fear of leavi There was a lot to Chuck's story that worked for me, especially the depiction of her mental health. Her worries about growing to exhibit signs, of bipolar disorder as her mother had were well developed and made her relatable. The premise (illegal bowling!) was just absurd enough to be believable and fun. The writing was fun and light, but strong. Where this fell apart for me was the setting. I grew up in and around San Francisco and I never bought into Chuck's love of the city. Her fear of leaving seemed more about fear of change/leaving her home town than specifically about losing San Francisco. Other than some geographic references I felt like this could have taken place anywhere. That city has so much personality, so much color, and to see it come through so flatly in this book was disappointing.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    This book completely and utterly captured my heart. Well both Chuck and Beckett did. This story was so authentic and real. It made me laugh, cry, and gave me those butterflies in my stomach. The representation of depression, bipolar, and suicide in this book truly floored me. It felt real and relatable. And the author’s note at the end? Had a lump in my throat. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re not alone. Even with a mental illness, there are people around you who support you and there’s This book completely and utterly captured my heart. Well both Chuck and Beckett did. This story was so authentic and real. It made me laugh, cry, and gave me those butterflies in my stomach. The representation of depression, bipolar, and suicide in this book truly floored me. It felt real and relatable. And the author’s note at the end? Had a lump in my throat. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re not alone. Even with a mental illness, there are people around you who support you and there’s always a support system with books. It was a nice reminder for me especially when times upstairs have been harder than usual. Sending my love to Amelia Dians Coombs. I needed this book. Thank you.
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  • rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Funny, delightful, charming, and perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett.
  • Forever Young Adult
    January 1, 1970
    Graded By: RosemaryCover Story: Montell JordanBFF Charm: Yay!Swoonworthy Scale: 7Talky Talk: Straight Up San FranBonus Factors: BowlingRelationship Status: BowlmatesRead the full book report here. Graded By: RosemaryCover Story: Montell JordanBFF Charm: Yay!Swoonworthy Scale: 7Talky Talk: Straight Up San FranBonus Factors: BowlingRelationship Status: BowlmatesRead the full book report here.
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  • Olivia Wildenstein
    January 1, 1970
    Very cute romance with a solid plot that made me want to go bowling the entire time!
  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
    January 1, 1970
    ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! Well, I really wanted to like this book. It sounded like a cute rom-com with sparks flying between ex-best friends (aka one of my favourite relationship dynamics). But, despite good discussions of mental health, it had a tepid storyline featuring flat and somewhat incredibly stupid characters. Seventeen-year-old Caroline ‘Chuck’ Wilson is a hardcore loner. Ever since she broke from her best friend Beckett Porter for betraying her, ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! Well, I really wanted to like this book. It sounded like a cute rom-com with sparks flying between ex-best friends (aka one of my favourite relationship dynamics). But, despite good discussions of mental health, it had a tepid storyline featuring flat and somewhat incredibly stupid characters. Seventeen-year-old Caroline ‘Chuck’ Wilson is a hardcore loner. Ever since she broke from her best friend Beckett Porter for betraying her, she’s done nothing but go to school and dream about studying fashion. And, of course, work: she’s an assistant at Bigmouth’s Bowl, a bowling alley owned by her dad.But they’re in severe financial difficulties. When Beckett accidentally re-enters her life, they quickly realise that unless something is done soon, Chuck will have to leave San Francisco – the city of her heart. They have ten days to come up with $8000 or Bigmouth’s Bowl is finished.So, confronted with this seemingly insurmountable problem, what do these intrepid teenagers do? That’s right. They turn to hustling, and not just any hustling – bowling hustling. Turns out tenpin bowling is a shadier rig than it seems, and there are all sorts of people willing to run gambles on it. Chuck is a brilliant bowler, and she and Beckett soon start building up funds. But of course, it’s a dangerous business, as they quickly find out.And… yeah, it has to be said that neither of these characters really wowed me with their intelligence . Especially Beckett, whose idea the hustling was in the first place. $8000 is a chunky enough sum that you aren’t going to get it quickly without playing for serious stakes, which of course means the potential for serious losses. I know they were desperate, but the fact that they didn’t even consider any other options before this stupid one is not something that really bowls me over. (Sorry, had to work that in somewhere). The romance also leaves me dubious. Beckett is a pretty lifeless character, and I didn’t feel any tension or investment in their relationship. Plus, maybe reading all these historical romances has just made me old-fashioned, but I don’t like that he’d drop her off at her house past midnight and then drive away without making sure she’d actually gone in. Chuck and Beckett are the only friend the other has, so it’s also kind of an ‘uh… you guys are in a really closed circle here’ situation. It’s a really codependent relationship in that neither of them have a single other friend to turn to.Now onto the mental health. Essentially, Chuck is on the bipolar spectrum, and has had depressive episodes in the past. (It’s an #ownvoices novel in this regard). Over the course of the book she understands that she shouldn’t let her fear of BPD hold her back from doing things, which is good. But I don’t know that she’s in a totally healthy place for a romantic relationship – when her friendship with Beckett fell apart, it felt like she existed in limbo until she patched things up with him. This goes back to the ‘codependency’ thing again and makes me even more averse to the romance. OVERALL Not as funny as I hoped it would be (or at all) and with characters who distinctly did not capture my imagination.[Blog] - [Bookstagram]
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Nicely joins other solid YA titles with mental health at their core (When We Collided, Under Rose-Tainted Skies, Dancing on the Edge, etc.). I especially enjoyed the Bay Area setting and even learned a few things. Hello Lake Merritt? Who knew? Also, very fun to read about Jennie in the acknowledgements. To think I knew her way back when she was just a recovering lawyer starting the FYA Book Club in in SF, now she's a literary agent extraordinaire! :)
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  • Christina G.
    January 1, 1970
    This was a great read! It is a sweet romance between ex best friends Chuck and Beckett. I did not expect to love reading a story about the Bay Area bowling scene would be so entertaining but as Chuck and Beckett come together you can’t help but root for them. I truly loved Chuck’s growth throughout the story. She has been through a lot in her life and is a strong character who may not always make the best choices but does it for the right reasons.My favorite part of this book is how it addresses This was a great read! It is a sweet romance between ex best friends Chuck and Beckett. I did not expect to love reading a story about the Bay Area bowling scene would be so entertaining but as Chuck and Beckett come together you can’t help but root for them. I truly loved Chuck’s growth throughout the story. She has been through a lot in her life and is a strong character who may not always make the best choices but does it for the right reasons.My favorite part of this book is how it addresses the stigma associated with being diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Having family members who live with a mental health diagnosis I feel particularly sensitive to how these diseases are often portrayed in movies and the media. This story helps to highlight how damaging these stigmas can be in a person’s mental health journey and I truly appreciate the author including that message within this book.I was provided a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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  • Gabrielle
    January 1, 1970
    This is an OwnVoices novel regarding bipolar depression.Caroline “Chuck” and Beckett had a falling out a year ago and she hasn’t forgiven him since. Beckett revealed some personal information about Chuck’s mom to a classmate which caused the rift. They are no longer friends, but when Chuck needs $8,000 to keep her dad’s bowling alley afloat, Beckett comes up with a plan save it. Friendship breakups are fucking tough and I am glad to see more of it in YA. Chuck and Beckett are so obvious with how This is an OwnVoices novel regarding bipolar depression.Caroline “Chuck” and Beckett had a falling out a year ago and she hasn’t forgiven him since. Beckett revealed some personal information about Chuck’s mom to a classmate which caused the rift. They are no longer friends, but when Chuck needs $8,000 to keep her dad’s bowling alley afloat, Beckett comes up with a plan save it. Friendship breakups are fucking tough and I am glad to see more of it in YA. Chuck and Beckett are so obvious with how much they miss each other and watching them rekindle their friendship (and maybe into something more) was so lovely. Feelings! They are great when they aren’t yours! Chuck’s best friend Mila seemed like an afterthought and I wished she was more integrated in the story. Mila is her only friend and they are very close with one another despite the ocean that separates them.However, I was NOT expecting the masterplan to be hustling on bowling games? I appreciate that content warnings are included and the mental health discussion throughout.Notes:Chuck has bipolar disorder.
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  • Elizabeth Chatsworth
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing book! Loved every page!
  • Jennifer Camiccia
    January 1, 1970
    I was privileged to read this book before it sold and it’s so charming and cute!! The setting, suspense, love story all work like magic together.
  • The Story Girl
    January 1, 1970
    I need this book now! Why is it not available on Netgalley yet
  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    Keep My Heart in San Francisco is a cute YA romance with a darker side of serious topics, including losing a parent to suicide, and important portrayal of mental health and depression.Chuck (aka Caroline, but don’t call her that) Wilson loves living in San Francisco, so she is shocked to overhear that her father is in danger of losing the family bowling alley. What’s worse is that her ex-best friend Beckett Porter also overhears the eviction threat. Beckett suggests that they team up and start h Keep My Heart in San Francisco is a cute YA romance with a darker side of serious topics, including losing a parent to suicide, and important portrayal of mental health and depression.Chuck (aka Caroline, but don’t call her that) Wilson loves living in San Francisco, so she is shocked to overhear that her father is in danger of losing the family bowling alley. What’s worse is that her ex-best friend Beckett Porter also overhears the eviction threat. Beckett suggests that they team up and start hustling and gambling at bowling to raise cash fast. Chuck isn’t sure, but she’d do anything to stay, even if it means working with Beckett.I was surprised by how much this reminded me of Jenn Bennett’s Night Owls and Stephanie Perkin’s Lola and the Boy Next Door. For some reason, I was expecting a much lighter, fun romance with a small town (I know, I know, it was in the title. Don’t judge me). Instead, Keep My Heart in San Francisco is actually quite raw, gritty and deals with serious topics like depression, suicide, grief, as well as the background of the nightlife and crime (even if it is just in a bowling alley) of San Francisco. I much preferred the two other books I mention above but Keep My Heart in San Francisco has the same overall tone, even if I didn’t enjoy the writing style that much.I did think that Chuck’s battle with depression as well as her conflicting feelings about being like her mother, who has suicided, was well portrayed. Chuck has tried therapy once and found it didn’t help much, but by the end of the book she has learned a lot about herself, has sorted through some of her feelings about her mother and is willing to try again. I was a little sceptical of Chuck’s motivation to stay in San Francisco. While we readers are told many, many times that she just couldn’t bear to leave, it’s hard to believe her reasons. I didn’t feel it and I wasn’t convinced. She doesn’t seem to have any friends in the city, doesn’t overly love her family’s bowling alley and seems to resent connections to her mother, and the only other reason we are given is her love of the thrift stores. As far as genuine teenage voice, Chuck is a little headstrong and marches right into trouble, despite being warned. She also doesn’t really discuss her thoughts or reasoning with her family or with Beckett, which works for the plot but doesn’t make her really likeable. She’s quick to react and judge and doesn’t show much growth in that area.Chuck and Beckett form a working partnership and while they soon resume their friendship and then romance after airing the hurts between them, there isn’t a lot of trust between them. We readers, as the story is narrated by Chuck, don’t get much of Beckett’s story and his family troubles, including his dad leaving town due to trouble with gambling and the ‘bad guy’ hustlers seemed very convenient for the plot but not really mined emotionally and it is all very neatly concluded. I would have loved more of Beckett’s story.While I am sure many readers will enjoy this novel that touches on some serious topics, including loss of a parent through suicide, depression, and financial troubles, I didn’t connect with the characters or their emotions so it’s just a 3.5 stars from me. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library
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