Book Review: Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

Meet Cute Diary  by Emery Lee Genre:  YA queer romance Synopsis:   Noah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his...

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

Genre: YA queer romance

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.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism/misogyny, gaslighting, anxiety disorder, self-harm/suicide attempts

Overall rating:  ★★★☆☆

There are many things I liked about Meet Cute Diary. I love the blog (tumblr) plot and the MCD to normalize trans relationships, give hope to trans kids that love is on option for them. But I kind of hate Noah. I didn’t notice it in the first couple of chapters, but quickly things became more apparent. He’s entitled and oblivious. He just expects handouts and for folks to really just revolve around his needs and it’s super frustrating. The relationship with Drew (not sure if it’s real at this point), he just keeps being in his own head and not appreciating what’s happening in the moment. Yes, it’s a fake dating trope, but he’s totally clueless to the realness of the moments and so he’s missing out on his own life being so preoccupied with his influencer status, he’s losing the real world. He’s basically unaware of what’s real and what’s fiction. And he’s entirely ungrateful for the opportunities presented to him and the things people do for him with no expectation that Noah will give anything in return.

"I’m not good in shared spaces. Or outdoor spaces. Or really any spaces that I can’t completely curate to my own personal preferences."

He makes assumptions about all the other characters and their identities, interests, etc. And overall is just a pretty shitty friend to his “best friend.” But he likes people better once he knows they’re not straight or cis. Like I get it, but also it’s judging folks for their identities and not their character, which in and of itself is problematic. 
There were so many things about this book that I wanted to like, but the MC is a real challenge and kind of ruined the entire book for me. 

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