Cover for We Cant Keep Meeting Like: A guy and girl sit on the floor on either side of a toppling wedding cake

About the Book

Title: We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This
Published: 2021
Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Cover Story: Cartoony Cute
BFF Charm: Big Sister
Talky Talk: School of Sarah Dessen
Bonus Factors: Mental Health, Harps, Tasty Business
Relationship Status: Engaged

Cover Story: Cartoony Cute

The little cartoon people are very cute! The lilac feels appropriate for a book where much of the action happens around weddings.

The Deal:

Quinn is not looking forward to seeing Tarek home from college this summer, not after the regretful email she sent him where she confessed her crush and he never wrote her back. (Eek!) But since their families are both in the wedding business—hers are wedding planners and his own a catering company—and they practically grew up together at weddings, it’s an inevitable truth.

What’s also inevitable? Quinn going to business school so she can come home and join the family business as a full partner. But even though that’s always been the plan, the idea of spending the rest of her life soothing frazzled brides and rounding up vendors makes Quinn light-headed. Is this the summer she can be finally brave enough to be honest with everyone about what she really wants?

BFF Charm: Big Sister

BFF Charm Big Sister with Clarissa from Clarissa Explains It All's face

Quinn is hiding so much of herself behind her anxieties and self-doubt that, for right now, she’s a tough person to like because she doesn’t actually like herself. She’s never gotten over the six months her mom and dad were separated when she was twelve; it shattered the illusion that her home was a safe and protected space. Her OCD also makes her anxious, and she while she’s sure she doesn’t want to keep working in the wedding industry, she has no idea what she does want. I sympathized with Quinn, but sometimes I wanted to shake her and tell her to speak her truth! Or, at the very least, send her to a therapist, because her fixation on her continued participation in the family business being the only thing that keeps her parents’ marriage together without ever actually talking to them about it got very worrisome.

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Tarek and Quinn have very opposite ideas of love: he is all about the grand gestures of romance and falls hard and fast, while Quinn thinks happily-ever-after rarely goes right. Both of them have a lot of learning to do, but first they need to get past what happened last summer. I thought Tarek was a sweet guy—and Lord knows I love a man who can cook!—plus I liked how he had his own stuff to sort through before they could make anything work.

Talky Talk: School Of Sarah Dessen                                              

Despite Quinn and Tarek being featured on the front cover in a way that screams “I’m a romance novel!”, this actually isn’t. Sure, the romance is there, but the focus is more on Quinn’s internal struggles, and delves into quite a few heavy topics like mental health, family dynamics, and finding your passion after high school. Really, I should’ve expected nothing less than a well-rounded book from Rachel Lynn Solomon, who follows in the footsteps of other great contemporary writers (like our queen Miss Dessen) who aren’t afraid to make their characters messy and honest. These are the kinds of books I would’ve clung tightly to when I was an actual teen, because they make you feel seen and normal in your (perceived) idiosyncrasies.

Bonus Factor: Mental Health

Silhouette of a woman sitting sadly on the floor in front of a balcony

I don’t want to delve too deeply in spoilers, but I love how Quinn and some other characters are so open about their struggles and getting help.

Bonus Factor: Harps

Close up of a harp.

I can guarantee I’ve never spent much time thinking about the harp as an instrument. Quinn learned how to play from her grandmother, but time and, of course, her parents using her hobby as a business bonus (“we have just the harpist for you!”) have sucked the joy out of it. When she receives a less-than-flattering critique on her musical stylings from a wedding guest, Quinn learns the woman herself is a harpist who has her own workshop where she builds them. Between learning about how harps are made and their unlikely friendship, I really liked this subplot.

Bonus Factor: Tasty Business

Wedding cake

I mentioned Tarek’s parents are caterers, right? My ears tend to perk up when there’s discussion of food present, even when that food is wedding food, which often isn’t typically the best (you try making chicken for 90 people!). But since this is fiction and Mansour’s deals only with fresh and organic ingredients, I have no compunctions in picturing it as stellar catering food. (I actually think my own wedding caterer was fantastic and the food was pretty damn tasty compared to others I’ve been to, but I am fully aware I am a biased witness.)

Relationship Status: Engaged

Our relationship has weathered some highs and lows, Book, but you’ve been open and honest with me and I can’t help but admire you for it. I know you come from a solid family and I look forward to seeing what comes next for us, so, what the hell—it’s a yes!

Literary Matchmaking

Once and For All

Speaking of Sarah Dessen, she has her own novel about a daughter of a wedding planner who happens to need some help with love, and I say, the more the merrier! Check out Once and For All.

Save the Date

Morgan Matson’s “girl at a wedding” book features the sister of the bride and all the family drama that it entails in her charming and yet also surprisingly poignant, Save the Date.

The Rest of the Story

If you want less weddings but the same amount of thoughtfulness and former childhood friends reconnecting, then (sorry not sorry) check out another Sarah Dessen classic, The Rest of the Story.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Simon & Schuster. I received neither money nor peanut butter cups in exchange for this review. We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This is available now.

Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.