Reviewed by Kaelin Lee, age 15

What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter

Online, Halle Levitt is known as Kels, the creator of One True Pastry, a popular young adult (YA) book blog that pairs custom cupcakes with book covers and reviews. From tons of confidence to friends, Kels has everything that Halle doesn’t, including Nash Kim, her online best friend and a talented graphic novelist. For years Halle has treasured being able to exchange witty banter with him and talk to him about anything and everything. That is except her real identity, face, name, and all. She made the decision to not reveal that on the internet to prevent nepotism through association with her grandmother, who was editing royalty. However, when Halle arrives in Connecticut for her senior year of high school and to live with her grandfather, who’s struggling with the recent passing of her grandmother, she unexpectedly comes face to face with Nash. At school, Nash’s friend group, Le Crew, welcomes her in, and Halle quickly discovers Nash is just as charming and amazing in person as on screen. She has to reveal her identity, despite her fears of ruining their digital friendship, because while she is falling for Nash as Halle, he is already in love with Kels. What I took notice of quickly is how the wonderful execution of the writing was able to enhance the concept of the story and make it an enjoyable read. From perfect pacing, as author Marisa Kanter moved through each plot point to the development of engaging subplots, the book kept me excited to read the next chapter without feeling as though the story was being rushed. Some important storylines include Halle learning more about her Jewish culture, dealing with loss, and struggling to maintain personal relationships. The exploration of each aspect of Halle’s life, including her online presence, and how she navigates them makes her feel like a fully-flushed-out, realistic character. The only point of contention I have with the character is her consistent dishonesty with Nash. It was hard to look past, but I still evidently found their romance to be cute and endearing. There was no “cringey” dialogue between the two but rather funny and sweet conversations that contributed to the natural progression of their feelings for one another. Nash and Halle’s common interests and complementing personalities made me enthusiastically root for the pair’s romance. I’d definitely recommend this loveable story as a good read for young teenagers.

4 stars of 5 stars

Find this book in our catalog: What I Like About You

Catalog Number: YA FIC KANTER,M

412 pages