I haven’t written a full review in over a month, but I’m so excited for my review of We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This, by Rachel Lynn Solomon! It’s a really amazing book, and I loved reading it so much!! I don’t have anything else to write, so I’m going to get right into the review!!
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 8th, 2021
Genre: Young adult, contemporary romance
Representation: Jewish main character with OCD, Muslim and Egyptian love interest with depression, Queer side characters and LGBTQ side relationships
A wedding harpist disillusioned with love and a hopeless romantic cater-waiter flirt and fight their way through a summer of weddings in this effervescent romantic comedy from the acclaimed author of Today Tonight Tomorrow.
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 a digital ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion and my review.
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This, by Rachel Lynn Solomon is a young adult contemporary romance about Quinn, an teenager who’s sworn off love, and Tarek, the most hopelessly romantic character you’ll ever meet, who loves grand gestures. Quinn’s parents are the owners of a wedding planning business, and Tarek’s parents own Mansours, a catering business. The two families often work together, and Quinn and Tarek are in for a summer of weddings.
From the moment I started reading the book, I had to know what happened next. The romance was fun, and the characters were loveable. However, there was also a perfect balance of more serious topics mixed in.
Quinn’s parents expected her to join the family business, and work for B & B, but a life of wedding planning isn’t exactly what Quinn wants. She struggles with wanting to tell her parents, and not wanting to dissapoint them and worries that her leaving would tear her family apart.
I also loved Quinn’s relationship with her best friend, Julia.
It freaked me out, so I told him we had to stop seeing each other. The guy you broke up with because he made you feel an emotion is how Julia refers to him, which is not only an attack but also false. If it was an emotion, it was frustration with myself for not ending the relationship earlier.
Quinn’s friendship with Julia is so important, and is so well written. They don’t get along perfectly, but who does? Rachel Lynn Solomon does an excelent job portraying the ups and downs of the friendship, when they aren’t always as close as possible, and also when they are.
Quinn’s relationship with her sister is also so wonderful. They are seven years apart, but Quinn really admires her older sister, Asher. Asher is getting married over the summer, but that is a bit hard for Quinn to adjust to, and the book talks about that a little.
“Is it okay to eat in here?” Tarek sits down on my bed next to Edith, who takes a tentative step into his lap. He scratches her head, behind her ears. “You’re asking the girl who hoards boxes of processed microwavable desserts in her room. Yes, it’s okay.”
The writing in We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This was so fun to read, and really engaging. I also loved all of the sarcastic comments from Quinn, the protagonist. Though Quinn could sometimes be a little annoying to have to listen to, her narration is so fun!!
Noelle nods like talking about therapy is the most normal thing in the world, and it should be. “Me too!” And she holds her hand out for some kind of therapy high-five.
There is a lot of mental health rep in this book; the main character, Quinn, has OCD which is talked about a lot. Tarek, the love interest had clinical depression and his diagnosis process and how he handles and treats it is talked about a lot as well.
We sip cups of cider and eat our fruit and bread and cheese in silence for a while, until Julia, who’s been gazing at Noelle with doe eyes, blurts out, “So what do you think about Kristen Stewart?” I choke on my cider. Julia throws me a panicked look, like she can’t believe what she said either. Noelle’s brow furrows, like she’s seriously considering the question. “Love her transformation. Respect her artistic choices.” “And she has great hair,” I put in, trying to be helpful, and Julia kicks me under the table. “She does.” Noelle looks right at Julia. “Although your hair is pretty great too.” Julia looks like she might combust. “Mm-hmm,” she squeaks out, and it’s impossible for me to miss the subtle way they lean closer together in their chairs.
I talked about her a little before, but I love Julia so much!! Julia, Quinn’s best friend, wasn’t the main character of the book, but I’d 100% read a spinoff about her!! Rachel Lynn Solomon does an amazing job really making the side characters have so much depth and each had an amazing story of their own.
“Quinn, how’s your summer?” Deb Kirschbaum asks. “We haven’t seen your parents at temple lately.” Ugh, Jewish guilt. “Busy!” I chirp back. “Shockingly, a lot of people like getting married when it’s nice out.”
It was so nice to just read a book with Jewish characters. A lot of the time, it’s hard to find book with Jewish characters outside of historical fiction, and while I love historical fiction, it’s so nice to see a Jewish teen in a book!
Quinn talked about doing BBYO, going to temple really only on high holidays, and overall, just was Jewish. That meant so much to read, and I really loved it!!
But after a while you grow weary of beautiful.
Music is a huge part of the book. Quinn plays the harp at a lot of the weddings, but since her grandmother died its felt like more of a chore for her. In We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This, we get to watch her discover the harp in a new way, and without spoiling anything I have to say it’s absolutely beautifully done!!
Rachel Lynn Solomon is the bestselling author of The Ex Talk, Today Tonight Tomorrow, We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This, and Weather Girl. Her romantic comedies for teens and adults have received praise from The New York Times, NPR, and Entertainment Weekly.
In high school, Rachel sang and played keyboard in an all-girl band, and she was once part of a group of people who broke a Guinness World Record for the most natural redheads in one place. After graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in journalism, she worked for Northwest media outlets such as The Seattle Times and KUOW Public Radio.
Originally from Seattle, she’s currently navigating expat life with her husband in Amsterdam, where she’s on a mission to try as many Dutch sweets as possible.
Rachel is represented by Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency.
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This, by Rachel Lynn Solomon, is an amazing book, and has become one of my favorite contemporaries! With an adorable romance, amazing representation, and hilarious and beautiful writing, I definitely recommend the book to fans of YA contemporary.