A review by domreadsall
Meet-Cute Diary, by Emery Lee

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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