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Love, Comment, Subscribe (Ponto Beach Reunion) Paperback – October 1, 2021
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From award-winning author Cathy Yardley comes Love, Comment, Subscribe, a fun, feisty romance about high school frenemies turned unlikely collaborators.
Back in high school, Lily Wang wanted to be popular, but she considered herself lucky to be part of a tight group of oddballs and honors students called the Nerd Herd. Now, at twenty-eight, she feels like she’s finally on the cusp of succeeding as a beauty influencer―if she can hit five million subscribers, brands will take notice and she could get her own makeup line.
Fellow Nerd Herd alum Tobin Bui has had a lot of success as a YouTube gamer. But the road to online stardom has been rocky. First, he disappointed his parents by dropping out of college, and now, after years of pranks, skits, and playthroughs, he’s struggling to come up with new content to satisfy his ever-growing fan base. His agents say he needs cross-audience appeal, a new twist.
When Nerd Herd frenemy Lily approaches Tobin about teaming up to do a video to bolster her brand and reinvigorate his, he agrees. But when their first collab video goes viral, their relationship heats up too. With the whole internet watching, will these two former misfits finally realize they’re perfect together?
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“A fun, lively romance mines the insecurities common in people transitioning to adulthood.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Cathy Yardley is the queen of modern love stories. Her books are clever and swoony and unputdownable!” ―Penny Reid, New York Times bestselling author
“Love, Comment, Subscribe is So. Much. Fun. Cathy Yardley wrote this modern romance with just the perfect amount of humor and heartwarming moments that I was all in for Lily and Tobin’s collab, both in business and in love.” ―Tif Marcelo, USA Today bestselling author of It Takes Heart
About the Author
Cathy Yardley is an award-winning author of romance, chick lit, and urban fantasy. She has sold over 1.2 million books with publishers like St. Martin’s Press, Avon, and Harlequin Books. She writes fun, geeky, and diverse characters who believe that underdogs can make good and that sometimes being a little wrong is just right. She likes writing about quirky, crazy adventures because she’s had plenty of her own: she had her own army in the Society for Creative Anachronism; she’s spent New Year’s on a three-day solitary vision quest in the Mojave Desert; and she had VIP access to the Viper Room in Los Angeles. Now, she spends her time writing in the wilds of East Seattle, trying to prevent her son from learning the truth about any of said adventures and riding herd on her two dogs (and one husband).
- Publisher : Montlake (October 1, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 335 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1542030005
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542030007
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #780,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2021
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So right off the bat we meet the protagonist at a low level influencer party with her trans makeup artist sidekick. She's trying to finesse some tickets to a bigger deal party with a mega-influencer who's apparently made it so big that she uses plural pronouns. JK.
Now I know there's a vocal minority who will insist my annoyance with that is because of hate or bigotry, but no, it's because I love words & how they allow us to express ourselves. We need words to mean what they mean, so that we can communicate in a shared language - that being the whole purpose of developing language in the first place. Better to make up your own instead of confusing people by trying to force new meanings on long established words.
It's a small thing, but it's an illustration of the effort the author has put into writing a romance that's acceptable to cancel culture. There's the villain Jeffrey who's white, sexist, shallow & corporate. She even throws in a mention of some evil white youtube guys who make fun of political correctness while also being racist - because, they'd just have to be, wouldn't they? 🙄
It's sad that 10 years later, Lily is still desperately trying to join the popular kids, as the story begins with us watching Lily working hard to be part of the popular crowd. And Tobin is adrift looking for direction, struggling with the YouTuber equivalent of writer's block.
Now, I like reading books that introduce me to jobs that I don't know much about. The problem is that the story more or less confirms the stereotype that social influencers are basically just varying levels of numbers-obsessed, hold-my-beer popularity chasers. Desperate to find or be the next big thing. Which is a shallow, meaningless existence. And boring. (I know there are plenty of exceptions, but what I'm saying is that I didn't learn that here)
At 25% into the story, it's still setting things up, and I'm so not getting into the story. Finally, chapter 12 begins their collaboration & the story picks up a bit. Lily's sympathetic but not especially likeable until Tobin starts bringing out her more relaxed side. Which helps. Some.
Then we get into Lily's need to scratch her sex itch. Bleh. Yes, talking about sex as an animal urge that needs to be satisfied is as engaging as talking about being hungry and wanting to eat. Way to make sex boring, too.
They're getting together because they're both sex starved, in proximity, & their subscribers are shipping them. How sentimental.
Wait! 66% in and Lily wants more than a shallow, meaningless hookup - I'm kind of pleasantly surprised, but waiting to see what that translates to in contemporary romance terms.
Their paths converge and then they diverge. Well that's a classic romance development.
Sure, Lily is self-absorbed in not seeing Tobin's needs, but Tobin actually told his followers his news before he sprung it on her which seems pretty crappy. Surprised that wasn't an issue, but I guess that's normal for media influencers?
After devoting the entire book to being carefully PC and in touch with the zeitgeist of the age, the end turns all Hallmarky (plus another sex scene added on) which I thought was pretty unintentionally & ironically funny.
There's actually a decent traditional romance plot mixed in with all the other stuff. Whether or not you enjoy it will depend on how you feel about all the other stuff.
Fairly frank talk; several graphic descriptions of sex
PC gender fluid & gay stereotyped characters
Medium level use of swears, including 31 f-bombs
Some 8 dozen disrespectful & insensitive uses of God's Name, including 4 as curses
The story follows Tobin and Lily, two people who are professional influencers. These two total opposites grew up together - and were even kind of/sort of friends for awhile - but their social media accounts couldn't be more different. Lily is career-driven, and she's still trying to get in with the popular crowd while posting about makeup and beauty. Tobin has always been a prankster, and he's made a career out of playing video games, joking around, and having a good time. Their careers are both stalling, so Lily and Tobin decide to team up on some videos - and find themselves falling in love in the process.
I would probably only recommend this to those who are already somewhat familiar with social media and influencers, because there is a LOT of focus on that. As I said before, I felt old reading it, lol. The tone does remain pretty light and rom com-esque throughout, though it touches on some heavier subjects. And there are some sexy moments to heat things up. I loved the childhood frenemies to lovers romance at the heart of this, and I also liked the writing style. It just gets bogged down by so much other stuff that it didn't end up feeling overly romantic. Lily's uptight personality and (unsuccessful) attempts to find a hookup to scratch the itch (after befriending Tobin again) did nothing to endear her to me, and there weren't many tender, romantic moments. I wanted to love this, and I did love parts of it, but it ended up being somewhat unsatisfying.
Top reviews from other countries
The characters were fun and relatable. Lily is driven and hard working. She's gotten where she is through strategic planning and refusing to deviate from her schedule.
Tobin is the opposite, hes creative and energetic and gotten where he is by winging it basically.
The characters are both professional youtubers who have been 'friends' since grade school but rub each other up the wrong way. They decide to collab to boost their subscribers.
Its a sweet premise, the dialogue and banter is good. It follows the general plot lines of chick lit, the slow build, the will they wont they and the all is lost moment.
Overall it was an easy cute read. I found the youtube aspect interesting, although maybe a touch alienating- maybe im just old now 🤷♀️ (31 🤫) i also thought there were too many side characters who got named and not really developed although I understand they may have their own stories in the series.
Its fluffy, its light, and you can read it in a night or two. I would recommend