ARC Review: We Can't Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Title: We Can't Keep Meeting Like This
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 336 Pages
Publication Date: June 8th, 2021
Summary: Quinn Berkowitz and Tarek Mansour’s families have been in business together for years: Quinn’s parents are wedding planners, and Tarek’s own a catering company. At the end of last summer, Quinn confessed her crush on him in the form of a rambling email—and then he left for college without a response. Quinn has been dreading seeing him again almost as much as she dreads another summer playing the harp for her parents’ weddings. When he shows up at the first wedding of the summer, looking cuter than ever after a year apart, they clash immediately. Tarek’s always loved the grand gestures in weddings—the flashier, the better—while Quinn can’t see them as anything but fake. Even as they can’t seem to have one civil conversation, Quinn’s thrown together with Tarek wedding after wedding, from performing a daring cake rescue to filling in for a missing bridesmaid and groomsman. Quinn can’t deny her feelings for him are still there, especially after she learns the truth about his silence, opens up about her own fears, and begins learning the art of harp-making from an enigmatic teacher. Maybe love isn’t the enemy after all—and maybe allowing herself to fall is the most honest thing Quinn’s ever done.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, and I'm very glad that I did, because I ended up really enjoying this one! Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a major fan of any books involving wedding planners (I'm convinced that I was one in my past life), so when I found out that there was one coming out by Rachel Lynn Solomon, one of the most delightful contemporary authors I've ever read, I was over the moon and immediately knew I wanted to read it! So without further ado, here's my review:

As the summary explains, Quinn's family runs a very popular wedding planning business, and it's just expected that she's going to join the company once she graduates college. The only problem? Quinn doesn't even really believe in true love or happily ever afters, and she knows that she definitely doesn't want to work for the company. But telling her parents that means rehashing old wounds that could possibly split their family apart -- plus, Quinn doesn't even have any real idea of what she'd want to do with her life instead. On top of all of this, she's juggling the mortification of having the caterer's son, Tarek, return from college after she emailed him last summer telling him how much she loved him and he never replied. Which is part of the reason she swore off love in the first place, even if that isn't just what it's about. And now she feels a million different types of stuck, with no idea how to proceed.

I really enjoyed reading this book! I read this during the perfect moment right when the weather got warmer and I was able to sit in the sunshine and really dive into this book. As I mentioned above, I'm also convinced that I was a wedding planner in my past life, because any books having to do with wedding planners are an instant draw for me. This book felt like candy -- it was so sweet and delightful! And watching Quinn navigate her relationship with her faith alongside it all was also an interesting journey. I laughed, gasped, and swooned at so many different moments. There were some moments where I wasn't the biggest fan of Quinn, but overall, I still really enjoyed the book and had so much fun reading it. It was interesting to see the behind-the-scenes of a family wedding planning business, and I think some of my favorite moments in the book were when they were at weddings for clients. I'm truly such a hopeless romantic, so I loved reading those parts! 

I feel like Tarek is definitely the character I identified most with in this story. Like him, I am a fellow hopeless romantic -- a fan of big gestures, sweeping love stories, and showering the person you love with endless adoration. So I understand the struggle that he goes through when he comes across people who not only don't respond to that, but also seem to hate it, and it becomes this awkward position to be put in, because it's how you love to express your love for the people that are important to you, but it can upset someone who doesn't want it. I also understand the whole thing about wanting a sweeping, grand love story after having seen his parents and their incredible love story -- my parents were high school sweethearts since they were fourteen years old and met on the first day of high school, so I definitely understand the feeling of wanting to live up to something that grand that showed you how magnificent love can truly be.

As much as I loved Quinn, there were some moments throughout the book where I didn't necessarily love the way she was treating Tarek, even if I understand that it was how she was expressing herself in the plot. She acted like she didn't want a relationship and couldn't get attached because she didn't believe in love like that, but then whenever something in her life got stressful, he was the first person she ran to for comfort. But then once he offered the comfort, she would get upset and withdraw. I know that she was supposed to be confused about her emotions, but there were definitely some moments where I wanted to give her a light bonk on the head for being mean to Tarek when he was just offering her his love and affection in the best ways he knew how. But that's just my opinion on the subject, and it was still a great book regardless!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading WE CAN'T KEEP MEETING LIKE THIS, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet, hilarious, sugary rom-com to read by the pool or on the beach this year. I'm so glad that I picked up this book once the weather started getting warm, because it felt like the perfect mood to enjoy this story!

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