Cover Image: We Can't Keep Meeting Like This

We Can't Keep Meeting Like This

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Member Reviews

I read We Can’t Keep Meeting like this as an #ownvoices Jewish reviewer. Quinn, a recent high school graduate works for her family’s wedding planning business playing harp, among other duties. As much as her family is in the business of lover, her parent’s 6 month separation when she was 8 years old makes her mistrust relationships and all the lovey dicey stuff. Her family has used Manoush catering for years and she has grown up with Tarek, their son who is all about big romantic gestures. Last summer she declared that she “likes” him in and email, and never got a response. Which added to her antiromance sentiments. But, this summer he’s back and one thing leads to another.  I loved how mental health was discussed in this story and how Quinn addressed how she felt about her Jewish identity, and not really feeling Jewish enough, especially as her sister begins to be more observant. What a complex and fun YA romance.
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Is Rachel Lynn Solomon actually Erato, Greek muse of love poetry? Who knows? (Rachel, if you are, *wink wink* don't worry, I won't tell). WE CAN'T KEEP MEETING LIKE THIS is a beautiful story of reluctant love and allowing yourself to open up to the possibilities of getting hurt, but also getting so much more in return. Also, when we see certain people...I gasped. Grab your copy if you love Rachel Lynn Solomon's books!
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The first half started off a little rough for me. It felt like there was a lot of history and backstory that needed to be covered before I got a good grasp on the characters. After the halfway mark though? Everything started clicking. I even teared up at a scene towards the end, and that rarely happens.

It took a while for me to warm up to Quinn, but I think that just showcases her character arc throughout the story. As long as readers are willing to be patient while reading, they will come to understand Quinn and root for her.
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This is a solid YA book about a girl finding her place in the world, learning to trust herself, and letting in others to find love. It’s well written and a fun read, but also delves into what it’s like living with OCD and depression.  I’d definitely recommend it to others.
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It’s a beautiful day for a YA recommendation with some fabulous Jewish Rep! ✡️⠀
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Rachel Lynn Solomon—the queen of providing me with the messiest romances, the most endearing characters, and Jewish rep that makes me say “oh yeah, my mom has said that before”⠀
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If you’ve read the Ex Talk or Today ,Tonight, Tomorrow, I’m happy to say you will also get along with these characters very well and love them just as much. (And if you haven’t read an RLS book yet, please grab one. like now.) One of my favorite parts of RLS books is the banter. Never have I laughed so many times while reading and been so envious of how witty and quick on their feet these characters are. ⠀
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I also need to mention the exploration of mental health is this one. As a therapist, I’ve learned a fair share about OCD as well as spoken with patients who were diagnosed with this disorder. Solomon does such an amazing job at representing what it truly means to have this diagnosis—and no, it’s just not someone who is organized and “washes their hands a lot”. There’s also discussions about depression that are so well done and will really give readers a better idea of what depression feels and looks like.⠀
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Overall, this was such a fab book. I’ve yet to meet a Solomon book I didn’t like and I dont think I ever will. ⠀
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Thank you SO much to @rlynn_solomon , @simonteen, @netgalley for the advances copy. We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This is out on June 8th!⠀
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Being able to master weaving romance with religion and mental disorders seems like a giant feat, but Rachel Lynn Solomon did it perfectly. I cared for these characters from the get-go and felt for Tarek when he just wanted to be loved and wanted to comfort Quinn when no one was understanding her needs. Such a marvelous story.
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I was so excited to get an ARC of WE CAN'T KEEP MEETING LIKE THIS because I loved Solomon's last two books, THE EX TALK and TODAY, TONIGHT, TOMORROW. She writes sweet, sexy romances about Jewish characters with imperfect lives. There is very little Jewish rep in both YA and adult romance so it's wonderful to see a writer consistently doing that.

This one is a YA romance about a girl named Quinn who works for her family's wedding planning business. She plays the harp but doesn't find much joy in it and isn't looking forward to a life working in weddings. The love interest is Tarek, whose family's catering company works Quinn's family's weddings. Tarek is into big grand gestures and documenting his "perfect" relationships on social media, which is in direct conflict with Quinn's anti-romance stance.

Quinn has a relationship with boys and sex unlike one I've ever read about in YA before. She keeps her relationships entirely physical and anytime the guy shows any romantic interest in her, she bolts. Quinn is a fun character and Tarek is sweet, but I didn't totally buy into the root of her trauma, and Tarek's characterization similarly fell flat for me.

That said, this is a sweet, quick read. It was a bit cluttered, I think, but Quinn is interesting and fun, and Solomon is a skilled writer whose prose shines in this book.
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This book has so much going on and yet it is SOLID and delightful.  There are heavy themes like mental health, medication, parent separation, pressure to continue in the 'family business,' insecurity, and LOVE (which is reallllly stressful, when you think about it.)  Solomon uses her adorably unique, well-crafted characters as a vehicle to tell the story of a girl afraid of love and heartbreak, of letting someone in enough that they might hurt you, of telling the people you love how you feel because you are afraid of breaking them all. She taps into that strange balance of "this is who I am" and "I have no idea who I am supposed to become" that many high schoolers straddle.  Tarek has a character arc of his own, and I applaud Solomon for crafting an honest, imperfect, adorable baker boy that is still growing and learning (as he should be at 19 years) instead of a perfect, dreamboat, has it all together (what guy under 26 really does, anyway?).  
I really enjoyed the arc that Quinn goes through in this book and I enjoyed the HFN ending.  I also enjoyed seeing appearances from Neil and Rowan  from Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.     
Thanks so much for this ARC.  Can't wait to get this in our library for the fall.
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This is one of Rachel Lynn Solomon's best books yet! I've been such a fan of her YA and adult romances so far, and this one took everything I've loved about the others to a new level. Tarek and Quinn were such interesting, complex characters with a wonderful history and chemistry together. The representation of mental illness, particularly OCD and depression, was handled so well and felt very honest, as did Quinn's examination of her relationship to Judaism. Most of all, though, this book was fun! I enjoyed the wedding setting and watching two sort-of-friends-sort-of-more figure out their real feelings for each other and pick apart the way the each view love and romance. This was a thoughtful, super entertaining YA that made me eager for whatever Solomon writes next!
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Sign me up for anything by Rachel Lynn Solomon! Her character-driven stories never disappoint and We Can't Keep Meeting This Way is another read that fills my need for unique and realistic contemporary YA. Quinn comes from a family of wedding planners and is trying to figure out where she fits in to the business. The son of caterers, Tarek, is a boy she's known for a long time, but has complicated feelings towards. Quinn and Tarek's backstory is a key piece in their slow-burn, rocky road to figuring out what they are or could be. And while the romance is part of this book, I appreciate that both Quinn and Tarek are busy with other players in their lives, working through identity development and pursuing interests that don't evolve around each other. Solomon is a thoughtful writer that gives readers comprehensive characters to root for, unique story lines, and, always, that complicated element of love that she twists throughout. Another memorable read!
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The trend of me being head over heels for Rachel Lynn Solomon's books continues. This has all of the charm and humor of the previous stories while managing to discuss more serious topics like mental health and relationships. As someone with generalized anxiety disorder, her thought spirals and amplified feelings rang true to my experience. Adding in the element of a wedding planning business made everything feel more romantic and led to some hilarious moments. Overall big fan, and RLS? You made it grand.

*Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing for an ARC in exchange for my honest review*
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I recently fell in love with Rachel Lynn Solomon’s The Ex Talk, and I was thrilled that I got the chance to be a Jewish own voices reviewer for We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This. I was emotional over how “seen” I felt by The Ex Talk, but that was even more true for me in this book.

We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This centers around Quinn Berkowitz, whose parents run a wedding planning business that they expect her to join when she graduates from college. She doesn’t quite know how to tell her parents that she would rather pursue a different career. Her parents have worked for years with Tarek Mansour and his parents, who run a catering company. Tarek is a hopeless romantic who will do his best to shake Quinn of her disillusion with romance and the wedding industry.

Quinn is appealing as a main character precisely because she is not perfect. She loses track of time and forgets to screen an art gallery for her parents; she worries that she will never be able to find true love; she can be clumsy. These flaws end up making her easier to like because she is never put on a pedastal. She is easy to relate to and root for. Not only did I want her to realize that she is worthy of love, but I wanted her to figure out her career aspirations as well.

I am so grateful to Rachel Lynn Solomon for delving into both Quinn and Tarek’s mental health issues. As someone who struggles with many of the same issues, it was so important to me to see them discussed. There are so many misconceptions about OCD that I so appreciated the descriptions of Quinn’s experience with that diagnosis. Tarek also asks Quinn questions to try to better understand what she’s going through, which is not only empathetic on Tarek’s part, but useful for readers who don’t understand OCD.

The fact that Quinn and Tarek are able to discuss their experiences dealing with OCD, anxiety, and depression also shows that they trust and support each other. Quinn initially assumes that Tarek never responded to an email she sent confessing her feelings for him because he didn’t feel the same way. However, she learns that it was because his depression had left him unable to respond in the way he wanted to. This is an important reminder that you never know what someone is going through unless you ask.

There are so many moments that made me especially appreciate reading this book as a Jew. I’ve been intentionally reading more books with Jewish representation lately, and I love that Rachel Lynn Solomon makes her characters’ Jewishness an important part of their indentities. The brunch where the Berkowitzes joked about being “bad Jews” while eating bacon feels so real to me. (However, this Jew will add that not following the laws of Kashrut doesn’t make you a “bad Jew” even though I have definitely had those feelings before).

As a major foodie, I loved the descriptions of the food that Tarek cooks. I wanted to eat the macarons and wedding cake (and everything else) that he bakes throughout the novel. The way he relishes Quinn’s reactions to his food is so sweet. It warmed my heart that Tarek made her a mug cake because he knows she loves them. As someone whose love language is feeding others, I can definitely relate.

I am so grateful that I had the chance to read We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This, and I’m already looking forward to reading my next book by Rachel Lynn Solomon.
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There are many things to love about We Can't Keep Meeting Like This. 

The book is filled with earnest characters, who strike a chord with me because they feel so real, in dialogue, in action and in reaction, in thoughts they have, in fears they share. It's excellence, every voice in this book. I love the family element of the book, for both Quinn and for Tarek, as they work as part of the "family business," and what kind of a toll that takes on them, especially as weddings and love are that business. I loved Quinn's cynical attitude juxtaposed with Tarek's grand idea of love, both stemming from their parents. It's the stuff that rom-coms and excellent YA books are made of. 

What sets this book apart from the crowd is the diversity that gives the characters their world-views. 

I loved learning about who Quinn and Tarek were in their religious upbringings, because it helped color their decisions and their devotion to their families. I loved the inclusion of OCD, anxiety, and depression and the real way it's portrayed between them. There's a point in the story where Tarek asks Quinn what she's feeling as she checks her purse for her keys, and her explanation to him is one of the easiest breakdowns I've ever heard of the OCD thought pattern. It's brilliant writing. I also loved Quinn's bisexual best friend's side love story, as it was really sweet and it was really cool to read Quinn's encouragement of Julia. And I liked seeing flawed parents who step up and admit their flaws when called out on them. 

I also really loved the sex positivity in this book, something we don't get enough of, especially not in YA. It's okay to have sex, talk about orgasms in mixed company, and to talk with a partner about needs and wants and disappointments in sex. I think the more that the target audience reads dialogue like this, and situations like this, the closer we get to normalizing these conversations all around.

Quinn was a wonderful character to spend time with while she decided who she wanted to be, what she wanted to do, who she wanted to do it with, and how she'd accomplish it. I think that more YA books need a Quinn, someone realistic, flawed, and honest with a big heart and lots of great things that will bring joy and comfort to a reader. 

And I was a huge fan of seeing characters from Today Tonight Tomorrow pop into the story. I love when authors create their own universes where other characters can drop in and out, giving us a glimpse into what they're doing now.

Thanks to @netgalley for a digital ARC in exchange for my honest thoughts!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book!

Whoa. Rachel Lynn Solomon, where have you and your writing been my whole life?

This was honestly such a fun read, heartfelt and quirky, and everything I love to see in a good YA romcom. Honestly, this might be my favorite YA romcom I have read in a very long time. I found myself resonating with Quinn — her mental illness (I also have OCD), her self-sabotaging tendencies, and her desire to follow her heart versus her desire to do what she should for her family. Wow, just wow. 

It honestly .... it honestly blew me away. I want all romcoms to be like this — honest and open and vulnerable. Funny and real. 

Points for good writing! Points for diversity! Points for well-described mental illness! 

5.00 stars / 5.00 stars
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I absolutely loved this book! Rachel Lynn Solomon is one of my very favorite authors and this book did not disappoint. I really enjoyed the family dynamics and the romance was great! The love interest was a great character and I loved their journey. I also enjoyed the Jewish representation and the way the main character struggled with figuring out what faith means to her.
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There were many things that were great about this book. The characters were well developed and the conversation was honest and real. The pressure from the outside (parents) and within were very honest. You could feel the characters frustration and anxiety. I think many people will relate.
My only issue was the lack of action. There was a lot of self reflection. I prefer more situations that reflect emotions. That’s just me though. I think most readers will love this book.
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Rachel Lynn Solomon has done it again. This was a such a heartfelt, funny, and unique read. There were a lot of important conversations about college, career decisions, marriage, and religion. I really appreciated these important topics in a YA novel. I really wish I had read something like this when I was a senior in high school struggling with life decisions and college major choices. 

This book had a lot of great things going on:
- A love interest who loves to bake & cook
- Friends to lovers 😍
- I felt that Tarek and Quinn were such unique main characters. This is a something I really love about Rachel’s books. I loved that Quinn was a harpist, such a fun talent that I loved reading about. 
- That Rowan & Neil scene 😍😍😍😍 LOVE THEM 
- Sex positive story!!

I honestly could go on for a while. I love this book and can’t wait for more people to read it! 
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an early review copy!
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We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This follows Quinn Berkowitz and Tarek Mansour, whose families have been together in business for years. Quinn’s parents are wedding planners who are determined to have Quinn follow in their footsteps, planning her entire life for her from the moment she starts playing the harp at their weddings; Tarek’s family owns a catering company and for years Quinn and Tarek’s paths have crossed and a friendship has evolved. When Quinn confesses her feelings to Tarek in an email right before he heads off to college only to be left on read for the better part of a year, the already romance cynic Quinn knows not to fall in love—or trust in it—ever again. Safe to say that things between Tarek and Quinn are frosty when he returns for his semester break and wants to rekindle their friendship.

A lot of things have changed in that one year—Quinn has no interest in playing the harp anymore, doesn’t want to take over her parents’ business, and Tarek seems different too —but one thing has stayed the same: they’re on opposing sides when it comes to love. Tarek, who’s enamoured with weddings and grand gestures, and Quinn, who thinks love is a sham, keep clashing. But as they keep being thrown together wedding after wedding, Quinn can’t deny that the feelings she had for Tarek still linger…and maybe love isn’t the enemy she thought it to be, after all.

This was my second dive into Solomon’s books and I can safely say, that woman knows how to write. We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This is an unputdownable YA rom-com with incredibly fleshed-out characters, painfully relatable conundrums, and a romance that puts Sleepless in Seattle to shame (yes, that’s an insider reference to Quinn’s and Tarek’s love story).

Let’s get right into the biggest and best part of this book. The portrayal of love—in all its infinite ways from platonic to romantic love—is beautifully illustrated in We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This.

Tarek’s indomitable belief in true love and the importance of romantic gestures is beautifully juxtaposed with Quinn’s (well-earned) cynicism and general disbelief of love’s ability to last. On the one hand, you have this guy that would go to the ends of the earth for his partner, and on the other, a girl who has been in the wedding business for ages, knows the divorce rate of those people who paid for splashy weddings and who, on top of all of that, worries her parents’ marriage will fall apart if anything rocks the boat. Quinn’s stance on love and the journey she goes on in this book was riveting and I could relate to her mistrust so much and I loved that even when Tarek came up with grand gestures, she didn’t just go along but actually told him that she wasn’t about that. Their relationship has its ups and downs, and relatable struggles, but their communication was truly a joy to follow—not to mention the sizzling chemistry and fun banter they’ve got going on.

Quinn, beyond her issues with love, also struggles with her family’s plans for her in this book. Already sick of playing the same songs on her harp at every wedding, she doesn’t know how to tell her parents that she doesn’t want to study business at college and certainly does not want to take over the wedding planning business once she graduates. I loved how, not only through her friendship with her best friend, but also her sister, Tarek, and a professional harpist, Quinn got to explore what she wanted to do with her life and learn how to stand up to her parents.

It is incredibly hard to talk about the parts that I related to most in this book and that made it the unforgettable read that it was without spoiling pretty much everything you get to slowly unpack as a reader, so apologies in advance for vague descriptions. Solomon explores mental illness and seamlessly includes discussions about OCD and depression in the story. Quinn has been dealing with OCD and comorbid anxiety for years and though she is no longer in therapy for it, she still takes medication and experiences compulsive moments. While mental health plays a key role in the story, it doesn’t take over the narrative. It is an important part of Quinn’s identity and the way she lives her life but it’s not the focus. Somehow, this representation meant all the more to me because of that and I think anyone who’s ever dealt with or lives with a mental illness knows how hard it is to not let it define you and this representation was so refreshing because it showed that it doesn’t have to.

Another thing that struck me as really well done was the way Solomon integrated religion into this book. Quinn’s family is Jewish, yet they don’t adhere to all of the rules, such as when Quinn’s sister’s fiancé becomes a more prominent part in their lives and her sister starts eating kosher, this causes Quinn to think about the way even these “non-traditional ways of keeping with tradition” bring her family closer together. Similarly, Tarek is Muslim and while he doesn’t adhere to all of the traditions, he still values the role they play in his relationship with his parents. While I can’t speak for the authenticity of either of those religions, I do want to point out how thoughtfully these beliefs were interweaved in the story and how it showed such a wonderfully modern way of appreciating these traditions and what they mean to people.

Beyond all those wonderful aspects, this book also was a lot of fun—there’s hilarious banter and super awkward encounters, not to mention the disasters that happen at the weddings Quinn and Tarek attend. Despite the sometimes heavy subject matter, this story was also lighthearted, fluffy, and entertaining!

Throwing a disillusioned wedding harpist together with a diehard romantic baker, We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This is a funny, thoughtful and vulnerable exploration of what it means to love and let love, even when the odds seem stacked against you.
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Representation: Jewish MC, Egyptian American LI, queer side characters, OCD, and depression

Content warnings: Discussion of depression, discussion of parental separation.

Firstly, thanks to NetGalley for the ARC! (Which I received as part of Rachel Lynn Solomon's street team, the Raincoats.)

WE CAN'T KEEP MEETING LIKE THIS follows Quinn, a jaded wedding harpist whose parents run a wedding planning business, and Tarek, a hopeless romantic/talented baker whose parents run a catering company. Quinn confessed her feelings for Tarek in an email, and he never responded. However, after they're thrown together through various weddings--from saving a cake, to filling in for a wedding party, and more--they start to realize that they're falling for each other.

I loved the exploration of mental health throughout the book, both from Quinn living with her OCD and Tarek being open about depression. Quinn and Tarek's romance was also done wonderfully. (I mean, this is Rachel Lynn Solomon, after all.)

However, Quinn was difficult for me to like as a character. The reason that she's jaded happened ten years ago. Her jadedness here seemed excessive, which, unfortunately, led me to being frustrated in how she handled her relationship with Tarek.

Overall though, WE CAN'T KEEP MEETING LIKE THIS is a sweet rom-com that I think a lot of people will enjoy.
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I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this! I've definitely fallen off reading YA as much as I used to (just casual aging things) but because I loved THE EX-TALK (an adult contemporary by this same author) I thought I'd dive back in to another book from her. And this is exactly the sort of YA I'm still so happy to read. While this is a romance, it's also so much more complex, as our main character deals with OCD and anxiety, abandonment and commitment issues, questions about her future, and how she relates to the people in her life. I loved all the discussions about what it actually takes to make a relationship (any relationship!) work, and that while romantic stories definitely have value, we need to make sure that we are really seeing the people we love and what they need. This is a slightly older YA, too, with the MC being 18 and out of high school, and her love interest having just finished his freshman year of college. Overall, I really enjoyed this and think lots of readers will get so much out of it!
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