You’ve Got Mail!
Tweet Cute is the debut novel from author Emma Lord. She elegantly captures the struggle of High School seniors as graduation nears and they are stuck between being adult enough to make life-altering choices about their future, but not adult enough to avoid parental peer-pressure.
We are first introduced to Pepper who is a fairly new transplant to New York City and hasn’t quite found her footing. Staying safely in her 7 block cocoon of familiarity she is trying to prove her worth at a school for the teens of the elite class. Growing up helping her parents in their homegrown burger shop did not prepare her for the privileged life she would lead once their business found success. Pepper works her hardest to maintain grades and extra-curricular activities with the hope of pleasing her mother by getting into a prestigious school after graduation. Those plans are threatened however when she is brought into a Twitter feud with a local deli claiming her family’s business has stolen a recipe. Her ability to create snarky responses makes her the go-to for the businesses’s social media accounts which are viewed by millions of people all over the world… no pressure! While trying to keep her family’s business from succumbing to Twitter-failure she has the added distraction of new relationships both virtual and in real-life that leave her second-guessing every move she makes.
Jack is the class clown who forever lives in the shadow of his popular and more “successful” twin brother. His penchant for app development has led him to create an anonymous chat platform for the kids of his school. Little does he know that the mysterious online friend he’s growing attached too is the same person he is dueling in a public twitter sparring match. As revelations are made he feels the pressure to stand up for his family which may jeopardize the future he envisions for himself.
The obvious comparison to this story is “You’ve got Mail” which gave all of us who grew up in the age of AOL chat rooms the hope that the person on the other end of the message board could be the person of our dreams. Most undoubtedly, they were not. The classic online-strangers love story is brought into a current setting that makes the issues that come with constant and anonymous interaction more real. It shows the impact one small comment on a platform such as Twitter can have either for the better or worse. Those who hold the power on the internet are those with the ability to influence the masses. If someone with a million followers says they dislike something, if even a fraction of their followers decide to change their support it can have an enormous impact. While this is not always a negative, it does go to show that the old adage “with great power, comes great responsibility” is overwhelmingly true today. Emma Lord is able to explore the social media addiction in today’s culture and place it in the middle of a sweet coming-of-age tale without weighing it down which is a true testament to her storytelling ability.
The complex messages woven throughout the storyline speak to the talents of a seasoned writer which gives readers assurance that they have found a new one-click author at the start of what is assuredly they beginning of a long promising career. Congrats on an amazing debut!