ARC Review: Keep My Heart in San Francisco by Amelia Diane Coombs

Title: Keep My Heart in San Francisco
Author: Amelia Diane Coombs
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 400 Pages
Publication Date: July 14th, 2020


Summary: 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.

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!) 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.

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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