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What I Like About You

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“Heartwarming, endearing, and sure to leave you swooning, What I Like About You shines with authentic characters you will absolutely fall in love with. This story is as sweet as the cupcakes you’ll be craving by the end!” —Rachael Lippincott, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Can a love triangle have only two people in it? Online, it can…but in the real world, its more complicated. In this debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson, Marisa Kanter hilariously and poignantly explores what happens when internet friends turn into IRL crushes.

Is it still a love triangle if there are only two people in it?

There are a million things that Halle Levitt likes about her online best friend, Nash.

He’s an incredibly talented graphic novelist. He loves books almost as much as she does. And she never has to deal with the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. They can talk about anything…

Except who she really is.

Because online, Halle isn’t Halle—she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. Kels has everything Halle doesn’t: friends, a growing platform, tons of confidence, and Nash.

That is, until Halle arrives to spend senior year in Gramps’s small town and finds herself face-to-face with real, human, not-behind-a-screen Nash. Nash, who is somehow everywhere she goes—in her classes, at the bakery, even at synagogue.

Nash who has no idea she’s actually Kels.

If Halle tells him who she is, it will ruin the non-awkward magic of their digital friendship. Not telling him though, means it can never be anything more. Because while she starts to fall for Nash as Halle…he’s in love with Kels.

Chapter One
One True Pastry—three years ago

Debuts You Should Be Reading / Cupcakes You Should Be Eating

FIREFLIES AND YOU by Alanna LaForest

Okay, here we are. #50. The post I’ve been teasing on Instagram all week.

I can’t believe I just typed #50. Fifty reviews. Fifty recipes. Do you have any idea how many cupcakes that is? I can’t even tell you, because my brother always starts eating them all before I have the chance to count. Thankfully. If you were worried about food waste, rest assured, these cupcakes never go to waste.

Today’s recipe is lemon cupcakes with lavender frosting, topped off with gold glitter. Inspired by my new favorite book you probably haven’t read. Which is absurd! So I thought, How can I get this book on YA Twitter’s radar? I can write a glowing review (see below!)—but I know way more people are engaged with my #CupcakeCoverReveals on Instagram.

So I turned thirty-six cupcakes into a book cover cake.

Fifty cupcakes recipes later, and I have finally taken #CupcakeCoverReveal literally. You’re welcome.

These cupcakes taste like spring and are the perfect pick-me-up to get through this endless winter. Which, evidently enough, is how I feel about FIREFLIES AND YOU. If you asked me how many times I’ve read this book, I’d say two.

I’d be lying. The answer is three. I’ve read this book three times and I am the definition of book hungover!

So, what’s the book about, Kels?

FIREFLIES AND YOU is the YA contemporary book of my dreams—one where the romance elements are squee-worthy as anything, but nothing compared to the core of the story—a friendship so complicated, so codependent, you never know whose side you’re supposed to be on.

Every year, Annalee waits for the fireflies. Summer is for swimming, working two part-time jobs to save up for college, kissing Jonah Beckett, and fireflies. It’s a phenomenon that marks her small town outside of Baton Rouge. No one can explain why the fireflies keep coming back. And when they do, so does Maisy Daniels, Annalee’s best friend, and everything is perfect.

Except this summer, Annalee and Maisy are broken and barely even speaking. Annalee’s POV is in chronological order and Maisy’s is reverse chronological, both intricately woven together leading up to the night they fell apart. It’s wild, but so worth the ride, figuring out what happened.

With that, I will say no more about plot because spoilers!

But in terms of feels, the thing I loved most about this book was the moments of levity. It sounds heavy, reading a book about a friendship breakup—hoping Annalee and Maisy will figure it out and find their way back to each other. Parts of it are. But it’s also a lot of laughter, a ton of atmosphere, and the best depiction of summers in the too-hot South I’ve ever read (speaking as someone who’s lived there!).

Anyways, how this book only has 24 ratings on Goodreads is a tragedy—I will be plugging and blasting and screaming about FIREFLIES AND YOU on social media until the end of time!

PLZ READ IT SO ALANNA CAN WRITE MORE AMAZING BOOKS.

With Love (& Cupcakes),

Kels

And, as always, tag me in your cupcake posts!! I LOVE seeing your beautiful bookish creations. [Showing Comments 1-20 of 1,782]
Photograph by Sam Cheung

Marisa Kanter is a young adult author, amateur baker, and reality television enthusiast. She is the author of What I Like About You and As If On Cue. Born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, her obsession with books led her to New York City, where she worked in the publishing industry to help books find their perfect readers. She currently lives in Los Angeles, writing love stories by day and searching for the perfect slice of pizza by night. Follow her at MarisaKanter.com.

"Heartwarming, endearing, and sure to leave you swooning, What I Like About You shines with authentic characters you will absolutely fall in love with. This story is as sweet as the cupcakes you’ll be craving by the end!"

– Rachael Lippincott, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Five Feet Apart

"With a charming, modern teen voice and a cast of characters I refuse to believe aren't real people, this debut explores the connections we make online and IRL. A love letter to storytelling, fandom, and all kinds of friendships, I'm still hugging What I Like About You tightly to my chest."

– Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone

"This book is like a cupcake - delicious and to be devoured in one sitting."

– Laura Silverman, author of Girl Out of Water and You Asked for Perfect

"We fell in love at first DM with this delightfully readable debut. Equal parts clever contemporary romance and celebration of the joys of reading and connecting with people regardless of distance or medium, What I Like About You is what we love about YA."

– Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of If I’m Being Honest

"What I Like About You is real, relatable, and as sweet as a One True Pastry cupcake. Marisa Kanter's voice will resonate with readers. I couldn't put this one down!"

– Gloria Chao, author of American Panda and Our Wayward Fate

"WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU is utterly unputdownable and completely enchanting. Along with fantastic Jewish representation, Kanter's debut is an ode to fandoms, teen readers, and the friendships we make through our communities, on and offline. So fun, so relatable, I was rooting for Halle and Nash the whole time."

 

 

– Katherine Locke, award-winning author of THE GIRL WITH THE RED BALLOON and co-editor of IT'S A WHOLE SPIEL

"Cupcake cute and Belle-brainy. Fans of Miranda Kenneally and Jenny Han will like Kanter’s smart (and a little bit awkward) main character whose romance is based on more than the physical...but also the physical"

– School Library Journal, February 2020

"With humor and compassion, Kanter’s debut is fun to read...Kudos to Kanter for featuring Jewish teens and telling a sweet story that also examines the blurring of online and real lives."
 
 

– Booklist, March 15, 2020

"A charming, witty story about authenticity in the social media age, told with a wink and a string of heart-eyes emojis."

 

– BookPage, April 2020

"Offering a fun look at the world of online dating, Marisa Kanter's What I Like About You will warm your heart."

– Insider.com, September 2020

More books from this author: Marisa Kanter