Meet Cute Diary

HarperCollins/Quill Tree. May 2021. 400p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780063038837.
Gr 9 Up–Lee’s #OwnVoices debut is a butterflies-inducing rom-com. Mere weeks after coming out to his parents, trans teen Noah Ramirez finds himself spending summer with his college-student brother in Denver. Surrounded by beautiful trees, mountains, and boys, Noah writes embellished trans love stories based on real-life encounters for his viral blog “Meet Cute Diary.” A failed job interview reacquaints Noah with Drew (aka “Ice Cream Shop Guy”), who calls Noah out for featuring him on the blog twice. When Noah explains the truth about the blog, Drew agrees to pretend to date him—including taking photos—to help keep internet trolls at bay. Their pretending “for the Diary” quickly becomes real, but when Noah gets a job at a camp, he also grows close to his coworker Devin (who is nonbinary and asexual) and tensions arise. With his best friend and confidante Becca long-distance and MIA, what is a boy to do? Structured around Noah’s “Twelve Steps to the Perfect Relationship” framework, Lee’s writing smartly and reverently serves as a rom-com metanarrative. The characters are sharply drawn and their rich relationships run the gamut between familial, platonic, and romantic love. Though not without a few transphobic gaffes, the vast majority of characters notably accept and respect the fluidity of individuals’ pronouns and identities. Noah is white, Japanese, and Afro-Caribbean. Drew is white and Devin is Cuban.
VERDICT Adorable, heartfelt, and affirming, this is a must-purchase for all collections serving teens.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing