Tuesday, April 20, 2021

It's Kind of a Cheesy Love Story, by Lauren Morrill

Beck has spent the first sixteen years of her life trying to live down her notoriety as the girl who was born in the bathroom of the local pizza joint.  Sure, being the "Hot n' Crusty Baby" earned her free pizza for life, but it's not exactly something she wants to be known for.  She's trying to fit in and play down the embarrassing facts about her life and this hardly helps!  But she needs work and, in addition to the free pizzas, the boss of the restaurant promised her a job when she turned sixteen.  So, here she is answering phones and greeting customers at the site of her birth!

Afraid of what her cooler friends will think, she tries to hide the fact that she's working at Hot n' Crusty.  That gets hard as her long hours interfere with her ability to hang out and as she finds that she likes her co-workers (and the dark and distant delivery driver Tristan in particular).  She has fun at work and with her new friends, but she remains worried about what each group will think of the other and so she holds the two worlds apart.

Inevitably, she finds that she can't really separate them and, faced with losing both sets of friends, she has to stand up for who she is and stop trying to be what others think she should be.  The shocking realization that she was the only one who really cared about her image is an eye opener and everything ends up just fine.

It's sweet and entertaining, but light on substance.  The characters are largely stock and the situations recycled from other teen romances.  It is striking that everyone's pretty nice to each other.  You won't find any mean girls in this book! That makes for gentle reading but also very little drama.  Harmless, but also pointless.

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