Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
Thanks to the publisher for providing a ARC for review.
Plot Summary of Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He's a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.
Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption--yet, she's still not cool enough for the popular kids' table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that's how Celine sees it.)
These days, there's nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she's surprised to find Brad right beside her.
Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?
Review of Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
So this is the first book published by Joy Revolution, which is the Penguin Random House YA imprint run by Nicola and David Yoon.
What did I think?
This book was not at all suspicious and highly cute.
I love Talia Hibbert's adorable adult romances, about the Brown sisters. Take a Hint, Dani Brown is one of my favorite rom com books of all time! so I was super excited to see that Hibbert was trying her hand atwriting YA.
Overall, I thought Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute was a fantastic YA rom com.
The book had so many things I look for in a YA romance: characters that are interesting and well-drawn, a family element, and a couple I can root for. This book also had mental health representation and a great Grumpy/Sunshine pairing (something Hibbert does really well!) Plus, the book has an injured heroine subplot that Jane Austen would have applauded.
All good rom coms also need a highly adorable premise, and this book had one. Two former friends are forced to work together in a competitive outdoors program. Since this book was British, I immediately thought of Snowflake Mountain on Netflix. Seriously, watch it!
My only negative about this book that it a) seemed a little short. I felt the outdoor stuff got shortchanged a bit and b) was VERY talky. I wanted more outdoorsy hijinks and a tiny bit less banter.
(I KNOW! I can't believe I am saying this as I love banter. But I do think you can have too much. Hibbert's characters tend to be "in their heads" types of characters (like me) and sometimes it can be a lot.
But highly recommend this unfairly cute YA rom com! Try it and you will not be disappointed!