Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.
Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.
All’s fair in love and cheese — that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life — on an anonymous chat app Jack built.
As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate — people on the internet are shipping them?? — their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.
Emma Lord is Not Emery Lord
Tweet Cute was so much more relatable than I had anticipated. Based off the title alone, I probably wouldn’t have picked up the audiobook. But I did remember enjoying Open Road Summer years ago, not realising that Emma Lord wasn’t Emery Lord. Oops. ‘Twas a good mix-up though because I really enjoyed Tweet Cute.
Dynamics of Family Businesses
Combining family and business can get complicated pretty fast. Tweet Cute cast potential problems in the spotlight well with loyalties put into question. For Jack and his twin brother, they were very proud of their parents and wanted to do everything they could to help boost their family’s deli. To do that, they turned to social media and they were willing to fight if they needed to.
Pepper on the other hand, had no choice. Her mother expected her to take charge of their social media accounts. Given her type A personality, she juggled that responsibility with her school work and co-curricular activities, doing everything she could to still come out top. Her sister however, had dissociated herself from their mother as soon she could leave for college and avoided any involvement. It’s no wonder that Pepper felt like she was caught in the middle.
Reminiscent of My Own Experiences
Personally, I especially related to Pepper. I’ve had to take over social media accounts for a family business before. Even though eventually someone was hired for the job, I was still expected to be involved contributing when their creative juices ran out. On that front, I totally understood Pepper’s mixed feelings about wanting to help but also feeling exhausted trying to keep up with other responsibilities since being an account manager wasn’t actually my primary job.
I thought that Emma Lord captured Pepper’s emotions, thoughts and actions quite well, especially as she tried to navigate the family dynamics with divorced parents, her sister who thought Pepper was doing too much, and a parent who was completely consumed by her career aspirations.
When Twitter Wars Get Personal
Anyone who’s spent any amount of time on Twitter quickly realises that it’s hard not to take things personal. I liked how Tweet Cute handled that as Jack and Ethan got very riled up in defending their family’s deli. The situational irony was great as Jack developed an interest in Pepper without knowing that he was interacting with her on three levels: their family’s business Twitter accounts, on a private messaging app he had developed for students at their school, and in person at school. That led to multi-layered developments of their rivalry, friendship and potential for romance.
Pepper too got really invested but also felt drained and concerned about the impact on her family’s business after she accidentally started a Twitter war with a small family deli. Even as her mother thought it only took her a couple of minutes to come up with tweets, she spent a lot of time monitoring responses, feedback and controversy. On the private messaging app front, she had no idea either that she was talking to Jack, assuming that it was someone else. When all of these collided, Pepper’s world felt like it was crumbling, leading to so much conflict, it made for a very good story.
I felt Tweet Cute had a lot to offer and is worth picking up. This year’s been riddled with a massive reading slump for me but this book helped pull me out of it quite a bit as I found joy and escape in reading again.