Title: Meet Cute Diary
Author: Emery Lee
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Review Copy: Copy provided by Publisher
Availability: Available now
Summary: Noah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary, a collection of trans happily ever afters. There’s just one problem—all the stories are fake. What started as the fantasies of a trans boy afraid to step out of the closet has grown into a beacon of hope for trans readers across the globe.
When a troll exposes the blog as fiction, Noah’s world unravels. The only way to save the Diary is to convince everyone that the stories are true, but he doesn’t have any proof. Then Drew walks into Noah’s life, and the pieces fall into place: Drew is willing to fake-date Noah to save the Diary. But when Noah’s feelings grow beyond their staged romance, he realizes that dating in real life isn’t quite the same as finding love on the page.
In this charming novel by Emery Lee, Noah will have to choose between following his own rules for love or discovering that the most romantic endings are the ones that go off script.
Review: If you’ve been reading our blog for some time now you’ll know that I usually plan to take my time reading my review book, but ever so often end up quickly reading through it because I’m so into it. Well, Meet Cute Diary is another one of those books. I ended up spending a whole day just snuggled in a blanket spending time with Noah and his journey to understanding love.
I just really fell in love with Noah and his hopeless romantic snarky self. Noah truly believes in the power of love, hence why he started the Meet Cute Diary, and is a true believer in romance tropes. In fact, he creates a “Twelve Steps to the Perfect Relationship” based on the structure of romance novels which is what ultimately leads him to make some bad decisions as he dates Drew because he believes that a relationship should follow a strict path in order to be successful. And as the story goes, “the course of true love never ran smooth”. Noah has a growing friendship with his co-worker Devin who is a lovely foil for Drew because Devin is a quiet, thoughtful character, while Drew is very charismatic and the “ideal romance hero” until he isn’t. While Noah initially dates him to save his blog, and for a minute their relationship is true, Noah does come to realize that his 12 Steps don’t actually work and he comes to understand what real love is and how real love develops. I really enjoyed being with Noah as he takes in the advice from people who do care about him, but is also able to reflect on his decisions and make amends. I loved how Noah changed in a way that didn’t completely change who he was, but just made him a better version of himself.
I also love that “Meet Cute Diary’ is much like “Felix Ever After” in that the story focuses on the main character falling in love rather than the main character’s coming out story. Those stories are definitely valid and need to be told, but trans kids need to also have fun romances and Meet Cute Diary is it. The novel is full of sweet romantic moments that made me smile as I was reading. I’m not going to spoil it, but the Grand Gesture (Step 11) towards the end was completely swoon-worthy (and with a twist that is just 😍). As a lover of romance books, this is the perfect light-hearted romance that I needed.