January 8, 2023

BLOG TOUR Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

Hi friends! I'm so excited to be hosting a stop on the tour organized by TBR and Beyond Tours for Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert. Make sure you show the other hosts some love as well to - the link to the schedule is below.

About the Book

Genre: Young Adult Romance
Publishing date: January 3rd, 2023

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  Indigo | IndieBound

Rep: Black, OCD, Fat

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Brown Sisters trilogy, comes a laugh-out-loud story about a quirky content creator and a clean-cut athlete testing their abilities to survive the great outdoors–and each other.

Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.

Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption–yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)

These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.

Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?

REVIEW of Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Release Date: January 3, 2023
Format: eARC (Courtesy of Publisher and TBR and Beyond Tours) + Audiobook (Borrowed from Library)
Publisher: Joy Revolution

Talia Hibbert’s young adult romance debut Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute is one of the first books released by Nicola and David Yoon’s Joy Revolution publishing imprint, and they absolutely knocked it out of the park. 

Celine Bangura and Bradley Graeme would be happy if they never saw each other again. Once best friends now turned rivals, their relationship is tense and complicated by the fact that their mothers are best friends. When they both apply for the same scholarship, they are forced to work together during their trek through the wilderness, and the proximity makes them remember what their relationship used to be like. 

I’ve been hearing a lot about Talia Hibbert’s books, and this is the first book I’ve read by her (but likely not the last). She did an excellent job capturing that awkward phase of not quite being an adult yet wanting to be in her main characters. She also did a great job with the representation in the book (black, body positivity, queer rep, and OCD). I was quite amused by how determined Celine and Brad were to not give in to their feelings. For example, I started snickering when Celine expressed that “it’s true that I am unfortunately in love with him, but that doesn’t make us dating.”

Readers who enjoy humorous contemporary romantic comedy novels with some tender emotional moments should definitely give this book a chance. Audiobook narrators Aina Koroma and Jonathan Andrew Hume did an excellent job bringing Celine and Bradley’s perspectives to life (and I love how they both had British accents like the characters, which isn’t a 100% guarantee with an audiobook). I also want to give a shout out to the glossary of British terms the author included at the beginning of the book for those who might not be familiar - it really made a difference, and some of them are quite fun to say (pillock, slagging off, and Maccies to name a few). 

Thank you to the author, the publisher Joy Revolution, the team at TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me with a review copy of Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute as part of my participation in the blog tour. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review the book immensely. 

About the Author

Talia Hibbert is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who lives in a bedroom full of books. Supposedly, there is a world beyond that room, but she has yet to drum up enough interest to investigate.

She writes steamy, diverse romance because she believes that people of marginalised identities need honest and positive representation. Her interests include makeup, junk food, and unnecessary sarcasm. Talia and her many books reside in the English Midlands.

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