What I Like About You
Can a love triangle have only two people in it? Online, it can... but in the real world, it's more complicated. In this debut novel Marisa Kanter explores what happens when internet friends turn into IRL crushes.There are a million things that Halle Levitt likes about her online best friend, Nash.He’s an incredibly talented graphic novelist. He loves books almost as much as she does. And she never has to deal with the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. They can talk about anything…Except who she really is.Because online, Halle isn’t Halle—she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. Kels has everything Halle doesn’t: friends, a growing platform, tons of confidence, and Nash.That is, until Halle arrives to spend senior year in Gramps’s small town and finds herself face-to-face with real, human, not-behind-a-screen Nash. Nash, who is somehow everywhere she goes—in her classes, at the bakery, even at synagogue.Nash who has no idea she’s actually Kels.If Halle tells him who she is, it will ruin the non-awkward magic of their digital friendship. Not telling him though, means it can never be anything more. Because while she starts to fall for Nash as Halle…he’s in love with Kels.

What I Like About You Details

TitleWhat I Like About You
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 7th, 2020
PublisherSimon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781534445772
Rating
GenreContemporary, Romance, Young Adult

What I Like About You Review

  • Rachel Solomon
    January 1, 1970
    WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU is a YA gem and one of my all-time favorite books. Marisa Kanter has such an authentic teen voice, and I fell head over heels for her characters. The Jewish rep in this book is the closest to my own upbringing, which was so wonderful to see. I also love the way Marisa treats online friendships as the valid, important relationships they are. It's a lovely, special book that made me smile, laugh, cry, and hug it tightly to my chest.
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  • Caryn - iam.caryn
    January 1, 1970
    This is definitely a YA book meant for teens. I never rate a book low for the reason that, heaven forbid, a YA book be meant for YA readers.Ive always been an advocate that reading doesnt have an age limit. A book may be be marketed as YA, but that doesnt mean ONLY YA can read it. It just means that YA CAN read it.The reason why I would say adult YA readers may not want to pick this up, is the constant (and I mean constant), bashing of adult YA readers. It wasnt necessary and it felt insulting. This is definitely a YA book meant for teens. I never rate a book low for the reason that, heaven forbid, a YA book be meant for YA readers.I’ve always been an advocate that reading doesn’t have an age limit. A book may be be marketed as YA, but that doesn’t mean ONLY YA can read it. It just means that YA CAN read it.The reason why I would say adult YA readers may not want to pick this up, is the constant (and I mean constant), bashing of adult YA readers. It wasn’t necessary and it felt insulting. An author can target a teen audience and still be happy that adults get to enjoy their books too.On a personal note, I am a woman in my thirties. I’ve been a reader since childhood, and one of the greatest joys in my life has been buddy reading books with my mom. Or just having us recommend books to each other. So if I was a teen while reading this, I would be heartbroken if I had chosen this to be a buddy read with my mom. She should never have to read a story that is full on insulting her because the author decided to push that only teens should read and review YA. So as an adult myself now, this really didn’t sit well with me. Every time it was mentioned it was a slap in the face.It’s not a good thing to teach YA readers either. Basically it’s saying, “you have a small window in your life where you’re allowed to enjoy my books”, and then “see ya! Never read my books again.” It’s like because you’re not on the lowest side of the age spectrum of readers, your opinions are no longer valid.Anyway. Moving on to the actual story. If that whole rant had been my only issue with this book, I would have rated it a four. Because as I said, I’m not going to fault a YA book for being written for YA readers.This just got so repetitive. The kind of identity crisis she was having “am I Halle, am I Kels?” it got exhausting. There were a lot of other repetitive points as well. I just think they could have been handled better.The main character was also not enjoyable. The whole story felt a bit superficial, and Halle just wasn’t a likeable narrator and a fair bit selfish.If you are a teen reader who wants a book with Jewish rep, you might enjoy this.
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  • High Lady of The Night Court
    January 1, 1970
    I know a lot of you out there, including myself, loved Eliza and Her Monsters, and this book is perfect for you guys. Following a similar route as Eliza and Her Monsters, What I Like About You follows the journey of a blogger rather than a creator, making it easily relatable. The book follows Halle Levitt, aka Kels Roth, who runs a blog about books and cupcakes called One True Cupcake, and her journey as she meets an online friend in real life and doesnt know what to do about it, worse, she I know a lot of you out there, including myself, loved Eliza and Her Monsters, and this book is perfect for you guys. Following a similar route as Eliza and Her Monsters, What I Like About You follows the journey of a blogger rather than a creator, making it easily relatable. The book follows Halle Levitt, aka Kels Roth, who runs a blog about books and cupcakes called ‘One True Cupcake’, and her journey as she meets an online friend in real life and doesn’t know what to do about it, worse, she might be falling in love with him.The first thing that caught my attention about this book was that Anne was portrayed very realistically. From her dreams of being selected for the BookCon Panel and to being accepted to NYU all while stress baking her way through life, Anne represents book lovers around the world very well. Her anxiety regarding the panel and her enthusiasm about her blog are palpable and are easily replicated in the reader as we all know we would feel the same way were we in her place. While her blog life may take up a lot of her time it is certainly not her only stressor. Her family life is not so great and her gramps is not who he was and Anne is unsure of her identity, whether she is really Kels or just Anne. When Anne started her blog she used a pseudonym to hide her identity as the granddaughter of a well-known publicist in the book world but now she struggles to figure out who she is when faced with her online world colliding with her real one.This book was written very well and maintained a great pace. We see progress in both Anne’s online life and her real one as she finally comes close to making real friends in the new town she just moved to. Her relationship with Nash in the first half of the book is unstable and very very awkward, once again portrayed very realistically. Had she revealed her identity to him in the beginning of the book their relationship would be so much better but, just as in Eliza and Her Monster, I don’t love this book for the relationship but rather for the protagonist and how the book lovers and the community were represented in this book more than anything.I can’t believe that this book only has 480 ratings, it definitely deserves more reads and I recommend it to all contemporary lovers and fans of Eliza and Monsters, just give it a shot and you might find that you like it more than you anticipated.
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  • Nenia ❤️️ I hate everything you love ❤️️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    I really hope this doesn't do to book bloggers what FANGIRL did to fangirls because... I would be really, really sad if that happened.Crossing my fingers that this is good.
  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI actually had picked up this book about a month ago and read 20 or so pages and decided to stop and read something else. Sometimes a book might not be working for you in the moment and it's okay to try again at a later date. I'm glad I gave this one a second chance because I did end up enjoying it. Definitely recommend reading especially if you have a book blog or post about books on social media.Teenager Halle Levitt has a popular YA book blog but she posts under the name Kels. Her 3.5 starsI actually had picked up this book about a month ago and read 20 or so pages and decided to stop and read something else. Sometimes a book might not be working for you in the moment and it's okay to try again at a later date. I'm glad I gave this one a second chance because I did end up enjoying it. Definitely recommend reading especially if you have a book blog or post about books on social media.Teenager Halle Levitt has a popular YA book blog but she posts under the name Kels. Her alter ego Kels is basically everything Halle wishes she could be all the time. "Kels" is super confident, fun, and has quite a few online friends, including her best friend, Nash. Halle has moved around so much due to her parents' jobs she isn't used to hanging out with peers in real life. She's never even met the people she chats with online. Now that she is staying with her grandfather for the school year in Connecticut, she feels awkward socializing with kids at school. Guess who happens to be a student at her new high school? Nash. Halle is afraid Nash only likes the cool Kels persona she has created and would never go for the real Halle. So she keeps quiet and doesn't tell him she is actually the girl he has been chatting with for years online. Soon she realizes Nash is in love with Kels but how is it going to go over if she comes clean and tells him the truth?This is one of those stories in which from the get go as the reader you know it's a bad idea for the main character to hide her true identity from her potential love interest but you just have to roll with it and hope things will work out in the end. It helps that the story involves teenagers as it's easier to buy into the fact their judgment can be questionable at times. For those of us who survived the teen years, I think it's pretty easy to identify with Halle's lack of confidence. The book is around 400 pages and in my opinion it could have been trimmed a bit in length. Halle's female online friends didn't enhance the plot all that much so their text and chat conversations weren't really necessary to me. That's just a slight nit pick thing as the overall pace of the book was pretty good.I loved the social media aspect of the story as it really showed how much fun it is to run a book blog or post book photos on Twitter or Instagram. I highly encourage the book community to read this one.I won a free advance copy of this book in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    this sadly was not like Miraculous Ladybug with a fake love square that is actually a line, and it was instead a fake love triangle that is actually a line but with a lot of lying3.5 stars
  • Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from Simon Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. I'm going to be honest and let you know that this book was not on top of my priority list. I thought the synopsis sounded like bait to book bloggers out there and the author would do some *cringe worthy* "relatable" stuff that would make me want to claw my eyes out. But guess who was severely wrong? Me! This book was relatable in every sense but realistic. Marisa Kanter works in the publishing industry. She knows the I received an ARC from Simon Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. I'm going to be honest and let you know that this book was not on top of my priority list. I thought the synopsis sounded like bait to book bloggers out there and the author would do some *cringe worthy* "relatable" stuff that would make me want to claw my eyes out. But guess who was severely wrong? Me! This book was relatable in every sense but realistic. Marisa Kanter works in the publishing industry. She knows the effort reviewers put in their reviews, posts, and social media to promote a book. She gets us. And guess what? The slang she puts in the book? It's the right amount without making it really annoying and it's exactly the slang we all use on a daily basis. This book was the fluffiest YA read this year. It's about a girl named Halle who has an online identity as Kel. She's the owner of a super popular instagram/book blog page where she writes reviews and bakes cupcakes that look like the cover of the books. She has a tight-knit group of book blogger friends but she has never once shown her face. So what happens when she moves to the middle of nowhere and the first person she sees just so happens to be her best online friend?? She keeps it a secret, falls in love with her best friend, and ghosts all her online friends, hurting everyone around her. I loved this book. The writing was simple enough to grip me from the very start and I wanted to read on for the grief Halle and her grandpa both shared for her grandma's passing. I thought Halle's grandpa was realistic but often cruel for the way he treated his grandchildren after the death of his wife. What I really wanted was more of them discussing this topic and him explaining his actions. While Halle was a relatable character, I also thought she was selfish at times. She claims she wanted to be there for her grandpa but she ends up ignoring him and going online to promote her blog. And of course, the whole lying thing was hard to digest. She had better options than to drop everyone and ghost people! It was her simply not thinking of others and thinking her actions didn't impact others.Even though the characters were flawed, I still really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend you to check it out!!
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  • Jen Ryland
    January 1, 1970
    DNF. Can't finish this one.The main character is a YA blogger. Great - I enjoy reading books about bloggers. But wait, this one is a teenager who finds adult bloggers annoying. Uh, awkward! She thinks that interacting with them on Twitter is way too "exhausting." (And she wants to be a book publicist when she grows up. How will she muster up the energy to deal with adult bloggers ALL DAY LONG?)In addition, way too much of the book is devoted to petty online drama - not something I'm interested DNF. Can't finish this one.The main character is a YA blogger. Great - I enjoy reading books about bloggers. But wait, this one is a teenager who finds adult bloggers annoying. Uh, awkward! She thinks that interacting with them on Twitter is way too "exhausting." (And she wants to be a book publicist when she grows up. How will she muster up the energy to deal with adult bloggers ALL DAY LONG?)In addition, way too much of the book is devoted to petty online drama - not something I'm interested in reading about. On my e-ARC all the Twitter DMs were weirdly formatted and hard to figure out.Right now the world is falling apart and I'm exhausted for real. I don't want to read a book filled with unnecessary drama and don't want to spend my precious free time being mocked and insulted ... even by a fictional teenage character. I have my own kids for that! This character's blog is "by teens, for teens." So maybe teen YA bloggers will relate to this - I recommend it to them! It's definitely not the book for me.TL; DR: This main character doesn't like me and I don't like her either. Read more of my reviews on JenRyland.com! Let's be friends on Bookstagram! Thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy for review!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/ 5 starsWhat I Like About You is a debut Young Adult contemporary romance.This is such a cute YA read! I really enjoyed this book. The girl in this book writes a blog where she combines her love for reading Young Adult books with her love for making cupcakes. She designs cupcakes to go with her favorite YA books.This book takes place in Middleton, Connecticut. The narrator is Halle (senior in high school - 1st person POV).Halle loves books and she loves baking. Online she is known as Kels, a 4.5/ 5 starsWhat I Like About You is a debut Young Adult contemporary romance.This is such a cute YA read! I really enjoyed this book. The girl in this book writes a blog where she combines her love for reading Young Adult books with her love for making cupcakes. She designs cupcakes to go with her favorite YA books.This book takes place in Middleton, Connecticut. The narrator is Halle (senior in high school - 1st person POV).Halle loves books and she loves baking. Online she is known as Kels, a YA book blogger and founder of One True Pastry. She bakes cupcakes to match YA book covers.There was so much to like about this book. I absolutely adored her family. Her gramps and brother Ollie are both major supporting characters in this book. I liked how we got to see her grandfather deal with the loss of his wife. And I really liked how close she was with her brother.Her parents are Academy Award nominated documentary directors. So this was an interesting and different part of the story. Especially since they were out of the country travelling.Even though her grandmother has recently died. She was such a big part of this story. Her grandmother was such a big part of her life, as she worked in publishing. I loved everything to do with her grandmother. But it was definitely very sad.I really liked how Judaism played such an important part in the book. Halle and her family are Jewish. And there are a bunch of other Jewish characters and customs featured throughout this book.The book also dealt a lot with anxiety and panic attacks, which I thought added a lot to this story.The book also looked at Friendships (in real life and online), college acceptances, Loss/Grieving and keeping secrets.Halle is two people. Online she is known as Kels. She is best friends with Nash. And she has a lot of blogger friends. In person she is shy and anxious. She loves books but hates crowds. She is obsessed with getting into NYU.I feel like this book had everything that I could want: a Jewish family, a narrator who is a book blogger, cupcakes matching YA book covers, books being made into movies, book cover reveals, book conventions. It was just full of so much that I love.Also the romance was really cute. Yes the story was at times a bit bizarre and not overly unpredictable. But I still liked it so much.Overall I really liked this book. But the end left me wanting more. I feel like the book could have used an epilogue or a sequel, as I really wanted to see what happened after the last scene. But I would definitely recommend this book as it was such a charming read!Thanks to netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for allowing me to read this book.
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  • Madalyn (Novel Ink)
    January 1, 1970
    *3.5 stars*I blew through this in two sittings and had a blast. This is definitely one of those books where the main characters decisions will stress you out the. entire. time., so just be aware of that going in if youre someone who gets easily frustrated at YA protagonists (personally, I love flawed protagonists because THAT WAS ME as a teenager). There was also a lot of lying, which added to the stress for sure. BUT I loved the friendship dynamics, and I especially loved the warm and fuzzy *3.5 stars*I blew through this in two sittings and had a blast. This is definitely one of those books where the main character’s decisions will stress you out the. entire. time., so just be aware of that going in if you’re someone who gets easily frustrated at YA protagonists (personally, I love flawed protagonists because THAT WAS ME as a teenager). There was also a lot of lying, which added to the stress for sure. BUT I loved the friendship dynamics, and I especially loved the warm and fuzzy book community feelings this story gave me (even if the portrayal of the online book community did feel a little idealistic)!
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  • sam {theyawanderer}⚔
    January 1, 1970
    Is it possible for the heart to grow in size cause mine just swelled up.Gahhh i need more of this trope like seriously if anyone has any recs like this please please please let me know.4.5⭐Oh yeah and full review to come Is it possible for the heart to grow in size cause mine just swelled up.Gahhh i need more of this trope like seriously if anyone has any recs like this please please please let me know.4.5⭐️Oh yeah and full review to come
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  • Tiffany (Read By Tiffany)
    January 1, 1970
    This book better come with a cupcake recipe!! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Bloglovin
  • Sierra Elmore
    January 1, 1970
    I was super lucky to read an early copy of this amazing book. Marisa's debut is a complex tale of mistaken (or hidden?) identity, family complications, and first loves, all wrapped up in a sweet, sassy package. Think: a delectable mix of Morgan Matson, ALWAYS NEVER YOURS, and a splash of The Great British Bake-Off (yes, there are PLENTY of desserts to be found!). The characters and situations ring true, and there's plenty of fandom and blogging references to keep teens fervently flipping pages! I was super lucky to read an early copy of this amazing book. Marisa's debut is a complex tale of mistaken (or hidden?) identity, family complications, and first loves, all wrapped up in a sweet, sassy package. Think: a delectable mix of Morgan Matson, ALWAYS NEVER YOURS, and a splash of The Great British Bake-Off (yes, there are PLENTY of desserts to be found!). The characters and situations ring true, and there's plenty of fandom and blogging references to keep teens fervently flipping pages! Full review to come closer to publication!
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  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: What I Like About YouSeries: standaloneAuthor: Marisa KanterRelease date: April 7, 2020Cliffhanger: noGenre: YA romanceIf you liked Tweet Cute by Emma Lord, you just found your next YA fix. I was immediately drawn to this book because the heroine is a book blogger. She also suffers from social anxiety, so she's more than a little awkward in social situations when she's not online. Nerdy/shy characters are my jam, so obviously this book was kind of made for me. While I enjoyed how Title: What I Like About YouSeries: standaloneAuthor: Marisa KanterRelease date: April 7, 2020Cliffhanger: noGenre: YA romanceIf you liked Tweet Cute by Emma Lord, you just found your next YA fix. I was immediately drawn to this book because the heroine is a book blogger. She also suffers from social anxiety, so she's more than a little awkward in social situations when she's not online. Nerdy/shy characters are my jam, so obviously this book was kind of made for me. While I enjoyed how relatable Halle was in the blogging aspects of her character, she certainly wasn't without her faults. This is a young teen filled with insecurities and fear, she's dealing with grief over the recent loss of her beloved grandmother. I'm not going to lie, I did get impatient with her inability to be honest with everyone in her life, but saying that, it came from a realistic place. Halle, or Kels as she's known online, has just moved in with her grandfather temporarily for her senior year of high school. She's used to a nomadic upbringing, traveling with her parents to remote locations for the production of their documentaries. The loss of her grandmother is hitting her hard, however, and she needs to put down roots with her brother. Up until this point, the most exciting thing she thought about herself was her online presence running One True Pastry. She joined the love of baking with books, and her following has grown into the six figures. As Kels, she can use her new identity to be the person she wishes she could be in person. Someone who isn't afraid in large crowds, or uncertain how to act when forging new relationships with people. Then her safety net was ripped away from her when she suddenly came face to face with her online best friend, Nash. In her panic that her real life personality will not match up with his expectations, she bungles everything. Nash has no idea that the new girl in town is none other than Kels. There's quite a bit of a yo-yo effect in how Halle treats Nash after he introduces her to his friends. She verges from shyly trying to open up to him to being downright rude in order to push him away. Just when they start to get a little bit close, it scares her. Her two "lives" will surely crash spectacularly, and the longer she keeps quiet the worse the end result will be. She can't help but gravitate towards him though, and she starts to realize that even Nash had been keeping private and personal information from her online. She wasn't the only one using the distance as a protective barrier. He was starting to open up to her and reveal a very vulnerable side of himself, but there was one last thing that was standing between them. Herself. If the boy you like thinks he's in love with your alter ego, things get really complicated. Kels, who always knows what to say, who gets cited in major publications and thrown in the middle of YA scandals, who manages to run One True Pastry like it’s a full-time job. I know he likes her, but she’s the branded version of me—she’s not me. Could Nash like this version of me? I actually want to find out.The thing that bothered me the most was the amount of time Halle continued her charade, and the extent she went to keep it going. She "ghosted" her online friends, which really hurt them a lot. She allowed Nash to start a romantic relationship with her based on a web of lies. After a certain amount of time, you're only waiting for the dreaded moment of truth to happen because you know eventually everything will blow up in her face. In the end, she had a lot of soul searching to do. Not only about finding the courage to be her most authentic self, but to make amends to the people who cared about her. I’m always so hung up on saying the right thing, on stringing the perfect sentence together. Maybe it’s okay for my words to come out messy and wrong sometimes, as long as they’re true.Despite my impatience in parts with the heroine, I thought the story showed a realistic perspective of a teen blogger. Marisa Kanter's experience in publishing publicity lent an obvious air of authenticity that I appreciated. Another big plus was Nash. That boy was the absolute sweetest and so easy to love from first meet. He proved again and again what a big heart he had, not only to Halle, but his friends and family. Nash genuinely cared, and he had his own issues with his parents weighing on him at the same time. The end was cute, if a bit abrupt. I actually kept trying to flip further after reading the last page because it didn't feel complete. An epilogue would have been really welcome, but I liked how things resolved nonetheless. I would definitely read more from this debut author, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she'll offer us next. FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
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  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    This was too freaking adorable for words, and I looooved all the stuff about book blogging, internet friendships, and YA. It was really freaking stressful waiting for the truth to come out - like, among the most stressed I have been in a rom-com - but super worth it and I would pay more than zero dollars for epilogue.TW: (view spoiler)[Deceased sibling (hide spoiler)]
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  • The Nerd Daily
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Annie DeoWhat I Like About You is the debut young adult contemporary novel from Marisa Kanter with an intriguing original premise about a love triangle between a boy, a girl, and her online persona.Halle Levitt is the granddaughter of a well-known editor from a major publishing house, and after deciding at the age of 14 that she wanted to explore a career in the same industry, she created an alternate persona to avoid her brand being built on Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Annie DeoWhat I Like About You is the debut young adult contemporary novel from Marisa Kanter with an intriguing original premise about a love triangle between a boy, a girl, and her online persona.Halle Levitt is the granddaughter of a well-known editor from a major publishing house, and after deciding at the age of 14 that she wanted to explore a career in the same industry, she created an alternate persona to avoid her brand being built on the back of family connections. As Kels from One True Pastry who reviews YA books and bakes amazing cupcakes to match, she’s developed a huge online following over the years on her own merit as well as formed important online friendships with a few peers through Teen Book Twitter. Life is looking pretty sweet for Halle!This book features a diverse cast with Jewish representation in the form of Halle’s family and a few of her peers, plus multiracial representation as her love interest Nash is a quarter-Asian Jewish person. Her brother Ollie is also working out his sexual orientation as he believed he was gay and then experiences attraction to a girl from school, which is a nice acknowledgement of fluid sexuality and that figuring out your identity can be a work-in-progress. While the LGBTQ aspect doesn’t have a major focus in the story, Halle’s Jewish heritage is front and center which is wonderful. As their parents moved around so much while the kids were growing up, she and Ollie didn’t have a chance to connect much with their heritage until moving in with their grandfather in Connecticut to finish high school while their parents shoot a documentary in Israel. Jewish customs and traditions are incorporated into the storyline in a natural organic manner as they celebrate holidays with their grandfather and attend Shabbat services at the local temple where they engage with the rest of the Jewish community.There is also a fantastic and emotionally resonant arc surrounding the family’s grieving process as this is set six months after the death of Halle’s grandmother. Their grandfather is still struggling with her loss, and while the kids do their best to support him and give him their strength to help him move on, they’re also still affected by losing their Grams. It was really sweet and poignant how big a role Grams played in this story despite not being physically present, as Halle continually reflects on her kindness, wisdom and fond memories of her instilling a love of books in Halle at a young age. I shed a few tears at a couple points because the author’s depiction of their grief felt completely raw and real.“You can’t even imagine.” Gramps’s voice cracks. “It’s like half of me died.”I exhale. Twist the key in the ignition and shift the car into drive.“Me too. But you’re not dead, Gramps. You’re not.”I’m struggling for the right words to say, the right way to tell Gramps, I am hurting too and I am here.Instead, I hold my breath the rest of the ride home, thinking for a girl who loves words, I’m pretty much the worst at articulating the first draft.One of the most compelling parts of the story was the depiction of how Halle managed Kels’ online existence. As a blogger and bookstagrammer, I’m often in awe (and jealous!) of my peers who are massively talented and amass tons of followers, and from the outside, it can look quite effortless. It was so interesting to watch how much time and effort Halle devoted to maintaining her social media profiles, because as much as you theoretically know that it takes a lot of work, reading about a character living this lifestyle and dealing with the daily trials and tribulations was eye-opening. The baking aspect was such a creative touch and added a more fun element to Halle’s book blogging as she frequently experimented with cupcakes and photography set-ups incorporating the goodies she baked!Unfortunately, there is one main weakness that will be a drawback for some readers. By happenstance, Halle encounters one of her online friends, Nash, in the flesh after moving to Connecticut. What follows is a completely baffling and unnecessary deception as Halle decides NOT to reveal herself as Kels and instead lies to a boy who is meant to be her best friend, giving him a false backstory to avoid being identified as Kels.This decision may sit better with other readers than it did for me, but Halle’s reasoning to keep Nash in the dark about her identity will never make sense. If there were legitimate stakes to Halle being revealed as Kels, that would have improved the storyline tremendously, but her excuses for keeping Nash in the dark are extremely flimsy. This isn’t the same as a mistaken identity plot where, for instance, a princess poses as a commoner and falls in love – one could understand her agonising over confessing who she really is because it would mean her partner having to come to terms that there is a whole other side to her that was hidden all this time. But in Halle’s case, Nash loves her as Kels and also comes to care for her as Halle, so there is literally nothing to lose. It also reads as slightly sadistic when ‘Kels’ is messaging with Nash online as he confides in her how confused he is about his interactions with Halle, because again, this is her best friend that she is intentionally hurting by blowing hot and cold, but she doubles down on maintaining secrecy at all costs.“He’s into Kels.”“Exactly. You are Kels – or did you forget that?” Ollie says. “I’m sorry, but you officially make zero sense.”“I’m not Kels.”“Whatever, Hal. You’re literally both sides of this love triangle. You win. But you’re like, determined to sabotage yourself.”What makes this even more confusing is that after Halle’s decision to maintain two separate personas with her best friend, this results in her ghosting her long-time friends Elle, Amy and Samira because they’re Nash’s friends as well and she worries about compromising her secret somehow. Halle causes a lot of hurt and confusion to multiple people who are important to her, with her brother frequently calling her out on continuing this deception. Her frustration at him for pointing out the obvious makes Halle even less sympathetic because even with the narrative from her perspective, none of her internal justifications for withholding the truth sound remotely convincing.This is a YA novel that is at its best when dealing with the delicate themes of loss and grief and how it’s okay to not be okay, to take time to figure yourself out and establish a new norm. The book blogger angle is enjoyable, feeling fresh and relevant with the incorporation of multiple platforms like Instagram and Twitter, which is very relatable given how big a role social media apps play in the life of today’s teens. Unfortunately the central conflict falls flat as Halle’s identity crisis felt contrived and makes it difficult to root for her at times. What I Like About You will appeal most to readers who enjoy protagonists involved in the bookish community, stories that have a major focus on social media and fandom identities or who are looking for Jewish representation.
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    ^^^^ literally me reading this bookOk guys, this book was freaking adorable! I read it in one sitting and I'm pretty sure I was smiling the entire time. Marisa Kanter created this wonderful, feel good story about young love and the fears teens face showing their true selves. Fantastic debut!Halle Levitt lives her life online. Online she has a following in the book world. Known for her beautiful cupcake book covers, Halle has created this persona that's larger than life. And she's always been ^^^^ literally me reading this bookOk guys, this book was freaking adorable! I read it in one sitting and I'm pretty sure I was smiling the entire time. Marisa Kanter created this wonderful, feel good story about young love and the fears teens face showing their true selves. Fantastic debut!Halle Levitt lives her life online. Online she has a following in the book world. Known for her beautiful cupcake book covers, Halle has created this persona that's larger than life. And she's always been able to keep them separate. Until now. When she moves in with her grandfather and finds herself face to face with her online best friend Nash. Instead of jumping for joy and exclaiming how nice it is to finally meet him, she decides to keep that little secret to herself. And we all know how this will go.This book was pure joy. Having been a part of the book community for awhile now, I loved seeing it so prevalent in Kanter's book. The way she showcased cover reveals, book cons, book twitter and the online community was spot on. I also loved how she showed that online friends are just as important as real life friends. Many believe that they can't cross over just because you've never met face to face. I've met some of my favorite people because of fandoms and books, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. The other thing I loved about this book were the characters. Yes, Halle drove me nuts while keeping her secret, but she was also so relateable that even though I didn't agree with her choices, I understood why she made them. Nash was your perfect swoon worthy boy who was an amazing artist and just so adorkable that you had to love him. But it wasn't just the two of them that made this book, the side characters were just as important. Especially Halle's grandfather and brother. I could read an entire book with just them.I kind of stumbled onto this book and I'm super glad that I did. I'm going to be rec'ing this book right and left to anyone who will listen. Marisa Kanter has definitely put herself on my 'to watch' list and I can't wait to see what comes next from her.
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  • Vee_Bookish
    January 1, 1970
    I'm reading Simon vs at the moment, and this sounds like it could be the perfect follow up.
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    What an absolutely delightful read. I loved these characters and their relationships. As a former teen blogger, I related SO hard to Halle and I found the portrayal of blogging and the community really realistic. I only wish there was a classic, romance-style epilogue.
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  • Rosiee
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to read an early version of TO BE (MIS)READ and I love this book with my whole heart! It's nerdy and Jewish and encapsulates absolutely everything I love about online friendships. These characters feel real even when they're lying about who they are, and so do the cupcakes... which is too bad, because you can't eat them. Also I am #1 Gramps fan. He's perfect. Everyone else can go home.
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  • oliviasbooks
    January 1, 1970
    Predictable, but oh-sooo-cute!
  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
    January 1, 1970
    What I Like About You is a fun and flirty romcom all about books and cupcakes - what more could you want? We follow the complicated love triangle between Halle Levitt, a book nerd slowly coming to terms with the loss of her grandmother 6 months ago by using her online personality, book blogger extraordinaire, Kels Roth, and Kels online BFF Nask Kim. When Halle moves in with her grandfather at the start of senior year, her two worlds - and personalities - collide. I had a lot of fun reading this What I Like About You is a fun and flirty romcom all about books and cupcakes - what more could you want? We follow the complicated love triangle between Halle Levitt, a book nerd slowly coming to terms with the loss of her grandmother 6 months ago by using her online personality, book blogger extraordinaire, Kels Roth, and Kels online BFF Nask Kim. When Halle moves in with her grandfather at the start of senior year, her two worlds - and personalities - collide. I had a lot of fun reading this and I absolutely flew through it. Halle/Kel's book blog was so perfect! I loved the combination of books and baking, two of my favorite things. I also really loved her relationship with her brother Ollie - they were so supportive and caring for each other.And seeing them connect with their Jewish heritage with their grandfather was wonderful too! And I always love having different formats in books - chats, texts, dms, they all made the story interactive and let us get to know the different friend groups in a natural way.Even though I enjoyed how much of the story focused on blogging, as a blogger myself, the text/online speech as dialogue always bugs me. It's just a little too corny for me. I also thought the story overall was a little underdeveloped - the characters didn't have much growth (or consequences for their actions) and the conflict at the end of the story was a little weak. Overall this was a super enjoyable story and I loved the highlight on the bookish community and the general love of reading. Halle's fondness for her grandmother's memory and legacy was so heartwarming and was a wonderful grounding point for her character, even as she's trying to determine her sense of self IRL.I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sophie Gonzales
    January 1, 1970
    AHHH this is one of the cutest books Ive ever read. And Im saying that in an entirely unbiased way. I finished this book in two days (with, like, 80% of it in one hit), because it is just. That. Fun. Halle has the most endearing, hilarious voice. Once you start reading her, its like you know her in real life. And even though I didnt agree with her decisions (good god I facepalmed at some of them) I totally understood how she got there. And she was facepalming at herself right along with me, so AHHH this is one of the cutest books I’ve ever read. And I’m saying that in an entirely unbiased way. I finished this book in two days (with, like, 80% of it in one hit), because it is just. That. Fun. Halle has the most endearing, hilarious voice. Once you start reading her, it’s like you know her in real life. And even though I didn’t agree with her decisions (good god I facepalmed at some of them) I totally understood how she got there. And she was facepalming at herself right along with me, so it was less “I’m annoyed at this character doing stupid stuff” and more “Oh my god, girl, look what you’ve DONE NOW, how are we gonna get OUT OF THIS”. Her relationship with Nash was adorable. They had sizzling chemistry, and when they talked you actually understood why they liked each other! Nothing puts me off a romance more than when we’re *told* characters are soulmates but we don’t see it. Here, trust me, YA SEE IT. Setting aside the main characters, though, I’m seriously impressed with the side characters. Rarely am I able to keep secondary characters straight, but here they were all so *defined*, had their own goals and wants and dialogue… and Ollie, Halle’s little brother, was so sweet and supportive. The family relationships in this were SO WELL DONE, and I absolutely adored reading this sibling relationship. It wasn’t sickeningly sweet, just realistic, close sibling love that I can 100% relate to, as someone whose sibling is one of my best friends. If you like yourself a laugh-out-loud funny rom-com with endearing characters, lots of diversity, a FUN plot, characters you will TOTALLY ship, heartwarming family moments and an extremely realistic view of online friendships… put this one on your pre-order list right this moment, because it’s got all you ever needed.
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  • Iris
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsI received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewThis book was cheesy and stupid and ridiculous and overdramatic but I loved it with my entire heart. This was a book about a YA book blogger, and (even tho I don't really blog anymore) I genuinely don't think I've ever felt so seen.This community, this messy wonderful community, means the world to me, and seeing it in a book was just... mind blowing. The magic and the petty drama, the difficulties and the triumphs... 4.5 starsI received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewThis book was cheesy and stupid and ridiculous and overdramatic but I loved it with my entire heart. This was a book about a YA book blogger, and (even tho I don't really blog anymore) I genuinely don't think I've ever felt so seen.This community, this messy wonderful community, means the world to me, and seeing it in a book was just... mind blowing. The magic and the petty drama, the difficulties and the triumphs... you can tell this was a book written for us.What I Like About You is far from a perfect book. It has a lot of uhhhh lack of communication, which is never a fun trope to me, and omg some of the plot points were STUPID and CHEESY and I was FED UP and wanted to smack Halle a lot, but also like . . . I loved it anyway?? somehow??Maybe it was the characters. Halle had her issues, but the side characters were all fantastic. Maybe it was the writing, which was so engaging and fun. Maybe it was the fact that it made me long for cupcakes.Or maybe it was that so much about this book was incredibly relatable. I know I already mentioned how much I loved how it portrayed the book community (and let's be real here, I'm ALWAYS a sucker for any book about the internet in general), but it was more than that too. Sure, I wanted to smack Halle now and then, and sure sometimes things were a little flukey or lucky, but this book was just also such an accurate portrayal of teenagers. They were a little messy, but aren't we all?This book is far from perfect, but I loved it with my entire heart anyways.
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  • Autumn
    January 1, 1970
    "The flowers are dead, I'm surrounded by orange, and a suitcase has been disemboweled in the search for a phone charger."I'm a firm believer that the first line of a book is incredibly important. This one caught my interest and before I knew it, I was face-to-face with a main character who might as well have been me, only she gets a more fun YA adventure than my actual life. I mean, a bookstagrammer, blogger, book reviewer girl who is incredibly bad at making friends and talking to people in "The flowers are dead, I'm surrounded by orange, and a suitcase has been disemboweled in the search for a phone charger."I'm a firm believer that the first line of a book is incredibly important. This one caught my interest and before I knew it, I was face-to-face with a main character who might as well have been me, only she gets a more fun YA adventure than my actual life. I mean, a bookstagrammer, blogger, book reviewer girl who is incredibly bad at making friends and talking to people in real life? A girl who walks around in "The Book Was Better" t-shirts and has a Harry Potter obsession? It was like reading a book written about myself. Halle is a book nerd--she is an avid lover of books, particularly the YA genre. She also loves cupcakes and out of that, One True Pastry, a bookstagram account, was born. However, she goes by Kels on there because Kels can be what Halle isn't--cool, fun, adored by people. Out of all her online friends, Nash is the one she is the closest too. They've been online friends for years, dreaming of the day they could meet. So when Halle accidentally ends up going to the same school as Nash, she has no idea what to do. She ISN'T Kels--or is she? Pretending that she is just simply Halle, she cleverly maneuvers through her real life relationships and her online ones. This book sounds pretty light, but this book has some dark themes. Death, grief, panic attacks, etc. I expected some angst, given that always seems to be the case when one is living a double life, but I wasn't expecting this. As Halle grows closer to Nash, a horrible yet wonderful truth comes to light: Nash loves Kels. Who is Halle. But not Halle. At what point does Halle need to come clean? How far is too far? Halle has to tell him eventually, but will she lose him and all of her friends in the process? This book was absolutely fantastic, though I might be biased since the main character sounds so similar to myself. The author's dedication to such small details is so impressive and makes the read even more entrancing. She writes out some of the reviews, emails, DMs, text messages, etc. and does it so so well! She created such a relatable character people can connect to and feel for throughout the book. Watching Halle go through so many ups and downs was hard because I could relate. I'm slightly jealous of Halle though, as the fact remains that she's a very influential bookstagrammer and reviewer and managed to make friends IRL. Ultimately, this book was amazing and funny and sad and relatable and beautiful and fun! I loved reading it from start to finish. Any YA romance fans out there need to pick up a copy of this book when it hits the shelves!
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  • Gretal
    January 1, 1970
    This was very good. Honestly it reminded me of Eliza and Her Monsters in a lot of ways, and obviously it couldn't compare to that book in my heart, but I had a really great time reading it. I loved Halle and Nash, I loved all their friends, I loved how it was written with the narration and the texts and tweets and dms and emails placed in between.
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  • aarya
    January 1, 1970
    CW:(view spoiler)[grief related to deceased grandmother and sibling, anxiety, panic attacks (hide spoiler)]I hated this so much. Shouldve been a DNF but I was motivated to finish and see if the ending pissed me off, too. It did. CW:(view spoiler)[grief related to deceased grandmother and sibling, anxiety, panic attacks (hide spoiler)]I hated this so much. Should’ve been a DNF but I was motivated to finish and see if the ending pissed me off, too. It did.
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  • Mary H
    January 1, 1970
    I think I've had a realization about book ratings. I'm sure this will sound ridiculous to some people that I'm just now having this realization, but here goes: my ratings aren't a measure of how good a book is. It's a measure of how much I enjoy the book and the experience of reading it. What I Like About You is very cute and sweet, but even though it's about YA book bloggers, this book was not written for me, and I don't relate to the experiences inside it. I enjoyed some parts, but I am not I think I've had a realization about book ratings. I'm sure this will sound ridiculous to some people that I'm just now having this realization, but here goes: my ratings aren't a measure of how good a book is. It's a measure of how much I enjoy the book and the experience of reading it. What I Like About You is very cute and sweet, but even though it's about YA book bloggers, this book was not written for me, and I don't relate to the experiences inside it. I enjoyed some parts, but I am not the intended audience and felt very much on the outside of this story, and that's okay. I think (I hope) it will find success with other readers.Pre-review:What I like about you, you hold me tightTell me I'm the only one, wanna' come over tonight, yeaWhat I like about you, you really know how to danceWhen you go up, down, jump around, think about true romance, yeaKeep on whispering in my earTell me all the things that I wanna' to hear, 'cause that's trueThat's what I like about you
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  • The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
    January 1, 1970
    Full Review on The Candid CoverWhat I Like About You by Marisa Kanter is a story about a love triangle that really only has two people in it. I normally shy away from books about social media or books since they are generally cringey, but this one has a little more depth to it.I enjoyed the balance of wholesome moments with more heavy ones, but the main character became a little bit frustrating. The love triangle is meant to be a nice tension, but since Halle brings all the drama upon herself Full Review on The Candid CoverWhat I Like About You by Marisa Kanter is a story about a love triangle that really only has two people in it. I normally shy away from books about social media or books since they are generally cringey, but this one has a little more depth to it.I enjoyed the balance of wholesome moments with more heavy ones, but the main character became a little bit frustrating. The love triangle is meant to be a nice tension, but since Halle brings all the drama upon herself and technically has the power to end it at any time, it is difficult to feel sorry for her. However, I still liked the overall concept, and I enjoyed reading the book.This book follows Halle, a popular book blogger who moves to a small town. She is friends with a graphic novelist named Nash online, and when she ends up at his school, she finds herself falling for him in real life. The only issue is that Nash doesn’t know Halle’s real life identity, and his feelings for her online persona start to hold him back. There are many interesting details in the story such as Halle’s parents being prominent documentary directors and the fact that she is a book blogger. The book also has a good mix of fun and seriousness since the wholesome moments are juxtaposed with the main character grieving the loss of her grandmother. It is a pretty far-fetched story, but these elements make up for it.❀ AUTHENTIC MAIN CHARACTERThere is great representation through the characters in the book, and they feel realistic for their age. Halle is Jewish, and I could appreciate how hard she works to maintain her blog. That being said, she is such a frustrating character since she refuses to share her true identity with Nash. She has multiple opportunities to tell him the truth, and her brother reminds her of this, but she continues to complain about what she did as if she can’t undo it if she tried. It is hard to sympathize with her in that sense, especially since she outright lies to Nash, pretends not to know anything about him despite them being best friends online, and then ghosts him. However, I did like her authentic voice.❀ A CUTE STORYWhat I Like About You by Marisa Kanter is a cute story about online relationships vs. real world relationships. I enjoyed the book’s representation and its more serious themes, but Halle’s drama with Nash was not easy to sympathize with. I did enjoy the book despite this frustration, but I am hesitant to recommend it since it is not for everyone.
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  • Sakina (aforestofbooks)
    January 1, 1970
    Hi, I love this book! It was exactly what I needed to get out of this weird book slump. And I wish it was out for everyone else to read since I think it's a perfect distraction when you're social distancing. I will say though, this book is STRESSFUL. It actually gave me anxiety, but in a good way. I loved the feeling, yet also didn't at the same time, but that's one of the wonderful things about books. The fact that they can make you feel this way, and just totally immerse you into a story, is Hi, I love this book! It was exactly what I needed to get out of this weird book slump. And I wish it was out for everyone else to read since I think it's a perfect distraction when you're social distancing. I will say though, this book is STRESSFUL. It actually gave me anxiety, but in a good way. I loved the feeling, yet also didn't at the same time, but that's one of the wonderful things about books. The fact that they can make you feel this way, and just totally immerse you into a story, is amazing!I definitely got major Eliza and Her Monsters vibes from this book. I think there was even a little reference, though I'm not sure. It's a lot more painful for the reader though since both Halle and Nash have an established relationship online when they actually meet irl. But it's great, and intense, and also full of really sweet moments.I loved Halle and Ollie's relationship so much! I wish there were more great sibling relationships in YA. Ollie is honestly the best brother ever. He's always there for Halle, even when she isn't always there for him. He's understanding and supportive and cares so much, yet he also tells her how it is and doesn't excuse her for her bad decisions.I also really enjoyed all the Jewish aspects of this book. It's not something I've seen a lot in books? Though I also very rarely read YA contemporary. But it was nice to see Halle and Ollie going along to Shabbat and the other Jewish celebrations and holidays. I like how it was just a part of their regular lives, and even though they aren't super practicing, seeing them attend services and become a part of the community was just a nice touch. I like reading about characters who have that other part to their lives just because it's something I can relate to more as a Muslim.While this book is a YA contemporary romance, I did like the focus on friendship and how difficult it can be maintaining a friendship, especially when life is a mess. I grew to love Molly and Amanda a lot. They're great friends to Halle, and I liked seeing the journey Halle goes on discovering who she is and how she can become a better friend to others.As for Halle and Nash. They were super cute and I did love all their moments and interactions. The whole build up to the reveal was terrifying and so stressful though, and Nash's reaction was honestly perfect, but I will admit that I was a little disappointed with how things were resolved. I just felt like we needed a bit more. Halle explaining things in more detail, Nash finally listening, but also super hesitant and needing time. I wasn't expecting things to jump back to normal right away. And I honestly wanted more even after that? I wanted to see Halle graduate, maybe get a scene of her settling into college, and I wanted more backstory on how Nash convinced his parents to let him go away for college.But overall, it was a really great read. I loved the format of this book especially. The texts and tweets and emails were a nice way to tell the story and broke up the regular prose really well. I love books with unique formats and honestly want more of them just because of how quick and easy they are to read, plus also super relatable.Overall: 4 stars!
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