Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee


Felix Ever After meets Becky Albertalli in this swoon-worthy, heartfelt rom-com about how a transgender teen’s first love challenges his ideas about perfect relationships.

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.

My Rating - 5 Stars!

Meet Cute Diary is a wonderful young adult book. This Emery Lee tale features a coming of age journey for a trans boy and his non cis friend. 

Noah is in town for the summer, living with his brother, and living as a boy for the first time. He runs a popular blog about trans men finding love. All of this is in an effort to give trans people hope of finding love. 

In the beginning, I found Noah to be annoying. Yes, he's a self centered teen who thinks his problems are everything. But, seriously, it's spot on behavior for a sixteen year old. And wow, the social media part of this story is also spot on. Every single part of it.

Noah's journey towards finding his real self, and his real feelings about love, is a long, bumpy road.

When someone learns that Noah is the blogger, he's suddenly in a "cute on paper" romance with Drew that doesn't always feel right.  

And all the while, Noah's spending time with his co-worker Devin, who's trying to figure out what gender terms work for em. Their conversations are wonderful, poignant, and well worth a read. Everything about Devin is impressive, written with knowledge and a whole lot of care. Their friendship is important, full of understanding, compassion, caring, support, and encouragement. Their friendship changes both of them for the better. I enjoy the realistic and honest feel to their relationship.

And for both teens, the trouble involved with their journeys are deeply explored. Being trans. Body dysphoria. Gender definitions and the ongoing fluidity of figuring of what feels right. Seeing pronoun changes throughout is stellar representation of the struggle. Best of all, there's no open homophobia or transphobia that's illustrated. Yes, it's there but it's not in the forefront at all, which is wonderful. Instead, this story is all about their ever evolving feelings about themselves.

Race is also an aspect that is seen, but not a big issue, which is amazing. Noah is tri-racial and it's never a big part of his story. How fantastic!

As well, Noah's relationship with his best friend Becca is an ongoing aspect of this story. The author excels in exploring the give and take in friendships, and the value of true friendship. Living with teen drama every day, I love the way this is explored. 

I highly recommend Meet Cute Diary for anyone looking for some understanding of the non-cis journey. Trans. Non-binary. Gender queer. Emery Lee explores it all through these two fabulous characters. I wish every teen had this as required reading. I also would love to see this as movie. Visibility is important and this book is a wonderful way for anyone questioning their gender to feel seen. 

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