What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter
What I Like About You follows teenage Halle, who under the pseudonym Kels runs a popular book blog called One True Pastry. Kels has an entire community online, most notably with her online best friend Nash, an incredibly talented graphic novelist and fellow book lover. But when Halle moves in with her grandfather, she ends up meeting Nash in real life. Instead of telling Nash that she’s Kels, she tries to ignore him. Sooner or later she has to tell Nash the truth, especially when she finds out that Nash is secretly in love with Kels.
I thoroughly enjoyed What I Like About You. It is told entirely in the first-person from Halle’s perspective. I really liked both Halle and Nash as characters, although Halle started to frustrate me a bit as the story went on.
This is definitely what I would refer to as wholesome YA. There’s no sexual content or underage drinking, and a big focus on family, friendship, and responsibility. The majority of the characters and the town are Jewish and very involved in their community and synagogue. Some of my favorite parts of this story focus on Halle’s relationship with her grandfather, and the anecdotes about her late grandmother.
What I liked most about this book is that the author just gets the essence of being a book reviewer and book lover: the obsession over cover reveals, the excitement over receiving an arc you’ve been waiting for, and the creativity, hard work, and joy involved in running a successful platform. That along with a great story about identity and what it means to belong make What I Like About You a classic for the modern age.
Thank you to Netgalley and Simon Teen for my review copy!