"Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee unpacks how complicated and ever-evolving exploring gender can be against a fun backdrop of your favorite relationship tropes and teenage mishaps. The diverse cast of characters, pronouns and gender expressions creates opportunities for readers to finally see themselves represented in a book. It's abundantly clear that Lee wrote this story with love and tenderness for eir community. Meet Cute Diary is both about, and for, helping transgender youth feel connected, seen, and worthy of not just an epic meet cute, but a happily ever after.”
"How lucky are we that this sweet, subversive, utter delight of a book exists? Meet Cute Diary is here to flip tropes and flip hearts."
Full of warmth, love, and hope, Meet Cute Diary is a groundbreaking book that we’re all lucky to have.”
"Don't say perfect romances don't exist, because there's one right in front of you!"
Meet Cute Diary is the rom-com of my dreams! I’m over-the-moon excited for any and all readers, but especially those who are young, trans, and nonbinary, who’ll get to discover this hilarious, poignant story and fall absolutely in love. With a fast-paced, well-crafted plot that’ll have you itching to read the entire book in one sitting and a voice that’s chef’s kiss immaculate, this is truly one of my new favorite books of all time.
The perfect balance of adorkable and affirming, Meet Cute Diary is a sincere, uplifting debut. Emery Lee delivers a story bursting with joy, identity, friendship, humor, and the unexpectedness of first love. A necessity for romcom fans everywhere.
A poignant, heartfelt story about the complexities of identity, growing up, and defining ourselves.”
Gr 9 Up—Lee's #OwnVoices debut is a butterflies-inducing rom-com. Mere weeks after coming out to his parents, trans teen Noah Ramirez finds himself spending summer with his college-student brother in Denver. Surrounded by beautiful trees, mountains, and boys, Noah writes embellished trans love stories based on real-life encounters for his viral blog "Meet Cute Diary." A failed job interview reacquaints Noah with Drew (aka "Ice Cream Shop Guy"), who calls Noah out for featuring him on the blog twice. When Noah explains the truth about the blog, Drew agrees to pretend to date him—including taking photos—to help keep internet trolls at bay. Their pretending "for the Diary" quickly becomes real, but when Noah gets a job at a camp, he also grows close to his coworker Devin (who is nonbinary and asexual) and tensions arise. With his best friend and confidante Becca long-distance and MIA, what is a boy to do? Structured around Noah's "Twelve Steps to the Perfect Relationship" framework, Lee's writing smartly and reverently serves as a rom-com metanarrative. The characters are sharply drawn and their rich relationships run the gamut between familial, platonic, and romantic love. Though not without a few transphobic gaffes, the vast majority of characters notably accept and respect the fluidity of individuals' pronouns and identities. Noah is white, Japanese, and Afro-Caribbean. Drew is white and Devin is Cuban. VERDICT Adorable, heartfelt, and affirming, this is a must-purchase for all collections serving teens.—Alec Chunn, Eugene P.L., OR
A transgender boy in love with the idea of falling in love charts a course for the ultimate relationship to save his viral blog from a troll attack.
Noah Ramirez, a Japanese, White, and Afro-Caribbean 16-year-old, is stuck in Denver with his college-age brother while his parents relocate from Florida to California. He plans to spend his summer exploring selfie-worthy shops as inspiration for his popular blog, a diary of clandestine, romantic, first trans love encounters. Reality hits him hard when his mom insists he get a job and a troll targets his blog with true accusations that his stories are fake. As Noah’s readership plummets, a seemingly perfect solution presents itself in the form of a gorgeous, White, cisgender boy who volunteers to fake date Noah in order to save the blog. Throughout the narrative, Noah demonstrates significant character growth: He begins the story naïve and self-absorbed but learns through his mistakes how to set boundaries, identify his needs in a relationship, and be a more supportive friend. The book’s explorations of gender identity and sexuality stand out for important representation of questioning and nonlinear self-discovery; one of the primary characters, an asexual, nonbinary, Cuban teen, tries out multiple labels and pronouns. High emotional tension and mounting stakes maintain a page-turning momentum. While the coming-of-age story awakens Noah to a less fluffy side of romantic relationships, the resolution is loving and hopeful.
A heart-swelling debut. (Fiction. 14-18)