Reviews for Meet Cute Diary, by Emery Lee

domreadsall's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

 I would say Meet Cute Diary is the trans romcom I didn’t know I needed, but I absolutely knew I needed it.

The novel follows Noah, a trans guy who’s spending the summer in Colorado with his brother. Noah runs a blog called Meet Cute Diary, a collection of fictional trans love stories in the form of ‘meet cutes’. The catch? Readers believe the stories are real. While in Colorado, an internet troll exposes the fictional nature of the stories. Through a charming romcom series of events, Noah meets Drew, a guy who is willing to fake-date him for the sake of providing real life content for Meet Cute Diary.

From the synopsis, I expected this novel to go in a different direction, and I was delighted with the journey it took me on in the end. One huge plus for me, aside from the obvious of having a trans person of color be the main character, was how much this novel emphasized joy and acceptance over struggle. While Noah and other side characters definitely experience believable conflict and some instances of transphobia, overall it’s just… heartwarming? The adjectives of swoon-worthy and heartwarming from the comp blurb do this justice for sure. There’s also other queer rep, including a prominent nonbinary and asexual side character, Devin.

Noah as a main character was captivating, flaws and all. Like literally everyone on the planet, he makes terrible decisions and great decisions, and while it can be frustrating as a reader, I also found it well crafted and authentic to the experience of being a teenager. He’s sixteen years old and I don’t know about y’all, but I certainly wasn’t the paragon of wisdom and discretion when I was sixteen either. Even when I was frustrated with him, I wanted to keep reading and rooting for him to figure out the lessons clear to me as a reader that wouldn’t necessarily be as clear to him as a character. I disagree with other reviews labeling him as an ‘unlikeable’ character for simply acting like a teenager.

Overall, I adored this novel from start to finish and am so glad that it will be a book that exists in the world. Meet Cute Diary is a book bursting with a delightful amount of trans joy and love, and I truly can't wait for Emery Lee's next work.

Thank you to Quill Tree Books and Edelweiss for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

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anniekslibrary's review

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5.0

Ever since I learned about this book's existence, I've been craving it so much. The more I heard about it, the more I knew this was something I desperately needed in my life. So I'm so grateful to have gotten the chance to read it early! My expectations were through the roof, but I can still say they were exceeded. This was a DELIGHT.

In the beginning of the book, Noah says he has his blog, the Meet Cute Diary, as a way "to bring love to trans kids in need", and I feel like that's also exactly what this book is going to do. It feels revolutionary to me to have a trans book that's this happy.

I've already seen some negative reviews saying people didn't like Noah, and honestly? Come at me. I will fight you. No, but seriously, Noah gets to be a real teenager in this book and I think that's so important. And that means he gets to be a little selfish and a little self-absorbed. I honestly really loved Noah as a main character, though, and I didn't find him unlikeable, just realistically flawed. I also think he went through a lot of character development throughout the story.

I cannot express how much I needed this book and the main reason for that is just how much it's filled with trans joy and how much it's a book about a trans MC that's so goddamn fluffy. Being trans, I've come to expect transphobia to always be a major part of any narrative about trans people, so I almost found myself anticipating it here, and it just never came. That isn't to say the book is unrealistic - the transphobia that Noah and his friends do deal with just doesn't get a spotlight. It stays in the background to create such a safe space for trans readers, and I know I will find myself rereading this book time and time again whenever I'm in need of comfort and trans joy.

CWs: mentions of past suicide attempt, panic attacks, references to transphobia, vomiting

thebookishfeminist's review against another edition

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hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

jonnygarzavilla's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted medium-paced
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

oceansofnovels's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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traeumenvonbuechern's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

ashleysarra's review

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emotional lighthearted medium-paced
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

Emery Lee's debut novel Meet Cute Diary strongest attribute in certainly in its representation. In the story, we have a trans and multi-racial protagonist with friends and family that love him. There is a Cuban supporting character who is genderqueer and asexual. The protagonist's best friend is a lesbian. Minor characters in the story are also shown to be a part of the LGBT community. The amount of casual questioning and embracing of pronouns and identity is a joy to see in Young Adult literature today. 

Noah Ramirez runs a popular blog dedicated to giving trans people everywhere hope for their "happily ever after." Only a few people know his secret, like his best friend Becca. When Noah decides to spend a summer in his brother's college town while his parents get their new home set up in California, he secretly hopes that finally, one of his fictional "Meet Cutes" can become the real deal. The premise of this book is very sweet, and is a relatable theme for teenagers everywhere learning to handle changes in their lives. This book discusses a range of relationships and the main character must learn for himself what it truly means to be in a healthy and dedicated relationship with another person.

At times, the book can be frustrating due to Noah's self-centered and dramatic nature. Many opportunities to provide support for friends and loved ones with dialogue are often exchanged for venting sessions and rants. Noah is a judgmental person with a quick temper, and none of these things change by the end of the book. Early on, opportunities for genuine connection are brushed aside for fantastical blog ideas. By the end of the book, Noah does learn some things about what it means to recognize others' needs (and his own), but there is a feeling that it is "too little, too late" to make a fully satisfying ending. 

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