Cover Image: When the Vibe Is Right

When the Vibe Is Right

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Member Reviews

I cannot get enough of Sara Dass’s writing, and how joyful every book is by her. When The Rhythm is Right was amazing so I knew When The Vibe is Right will be also amazing.

In this new book, we follow Tess who is very into designing costumes and fabrics are her whole personality. She lives for the carnival that happens every year and she is helping her uncle’s business (they design costumes for the Carnival), until she accidentally messes up, get forced to work with her rival (or nemesis, call it what you want) and learns that her Uncle’s business is about to go bankrupt.

The book is set in Trinidad, so you not only learn about their culture but will feel like you are experiencing the joy, the adventure the Carnival season brings,

I really enjoyed reading about Tess overcoming her trauma and what happened to her parents, and how she learns to be kind and more sincere towards her family and the boy she is definitely falling for.

This was a fast paced, delightful and entertaining reading experience, which tackled topics like fear from accidents, fear of future, choosing family and learning to be kind and accept the love given to you.

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Thank you for the Arc and allowing me to read this book.
I loved it, it was funny & had some sass to it which was such an enjoyable read!

3.5 Stars

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The best part of this book was the Trinidadian culture. I loved getting to travel to Trinidad through this book and spend time learning about the people, the food, Carnival, and everything else. Unfortunately for me, the romance wasn't quite as developed as I'd hoped, and I never really felt an attachment to the protagonist, Tess. Still, this was a fun read, and I enjoyed it overall.

(Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change upon final publication.)

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Tess, a teenager in Trinidad, fights to save her family's Carnival costume business, eventually turning to her enemy Brandon for help.

I barely finished this. The characters weren't anything special. The plot was predictable. It wasn't quite bad enough for me to not finish it but it also just... wasn't good.

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"When the Vibe Is Right" by Sarah Dass is a delightful and heartwarming exploration of love and connection. Dass masterfully creates a world where emotions and relationships come to life, offering readers a journey of self-discovery and romance. The book's relatable characters and authentic portrayal of human interactions make it a joy to read. Dass's skillful storytelling and ability to capture the essence of genuine emotions shine through on every page. "When the Vibe Is Right" is a charming reminder that sometimes, all it takes is the right moment and the right people to create something truly magical.

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I really enjoyed this enemies to lovers story. I thought the build-up to tess and Brandon finally getting together was perfect. As a Black American, I don't know much about carnival so I enjoyed the exploration of that and I thought the book being set in Trinidad really livened the story up and added a beautiful element of culture.
All of the characters had such depth and substance to them. I loved that Tess and her Uncle could disagree but the love was still apparent.
All in all I thought this was a beautiful and rich story.

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Meh.

The characters feel like they are adults, and yet the book itself isn't written like an adult romance novel would be. The romance was okay at best, and I just never really cared? Or maybe I just didn't believe it.

I will say that Dass successfully showed Trinidadian culture from carnival to food.

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This is my first time reading a book by the author Sara Dass and I most definitely will be reading more of her work. This is such an enjoyable read set in Trinidad an island that I would love to vacation in. This a young adult book that from the book cover looks more like adults. This is Brandon and Tess enemies to lovers journey which is one of my favorite reading tropes. Brandon and Tess are such a cute couple with their witty camaraderie, great chemistry and attraction to each other. Tess wants to be a Trinidadian Carnival costume designer and inherit leadership of the family’s masquerade band, Grandeur. Brandon who is a social media influencer who is working with Tess’s biggest competitor. With the Grandeur band facing a set back Brandon and Tess join together to get things back on track. With the two-spending time together their enemy relationship takes a step back as to embark on a more engaging relationship with love in the air.
I reading enjoyed reading about Brandon and Tess and the island of Trinidad that is now on my bucket list of places to travel.

I received an ARC via books NetGalley HarperCollins Children's Books, Balzer + Bray Romance | Teens & YA and I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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You're about to experience an amazing romance that is taking place in the beautiful land of Trinidad! Sarah Dass is creating a lovely story of enemies falling in love. Meet Tess Crawford, who, like her famous uncle, is going to be a bigshot Trinidadian Carnival costume designer. But the twist is that she can't get along with her former classmate, Brandon Richards, an Internet celebrity. Uh-oh!


A charming story, where enemies become lovers, is being told by Sarah Dass.Meet Tess Crawford, who, like her famous uncle, is going to be a bigshot Trinidadian Carnival costume designer.But there's a twist here, she's not comfortable with her classmates, Brandon Richards, a social media star.

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Get ready to dive into an excellent romance that takes place in the stunning land of Trinidad! Sarah Dass weaves a charming story where enemies become lovers. Meet Tess Crawford, who's all set to be a big-shot Trinidadian Carnival costume designer like her famous uncle. But here's the twist - she can't stand her classmate, Brandon Richards, a social media star. Uh-oh!

When Tess's family's masquerade band, Grandeur, faces trouble, they must join forces, even if they'd rather not. But guess what? As they spend time together, things get interesting! Love starts blooming in the most unexpected places, and the beautiful setting of Trinidad's Carnival makes it even more exciting.

Sarah Dass's storytelling is pure magic! The romance is heartwarming, and you'll feel like you're part of the Carnival celebrations yourself. When the Vibe Is Right is a fun read that shows us that love can surprise us when we least expect it. So, jump in and enjoy this extraordinary journey of love and discovery!

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The romance is a slow burn and the story took a little bit for me to get into but there's plenty of banter and great chemistry to prevent readers from being bored.

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This was a cute romance. I really liked the banter/bickering between Tess and Brandon and there chemistry was definitely there. It was especially great seeing Tess realise her feelings for Brandon were changing from enemy to more meaningful.

The setting of Carnival was good and it was interesting reading about the costume making process and how much Tess cared for Grandeur.

The side characters were interesting too. I especially liked Tess' cousin, Hazel, who is a budding romance author! One thing I did struggle with was that there was a few too many subplots going on and I did struggle to keep track of who some people were and what was happening.

Overall, though this was a cute enemies to lovers story that has good character development.

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This was fresh and inspired!!! Loved the bicker and banter, adored the setting, and I absolutely love any story that is a Shakespeare retelling. The Much Ado About Nothing vibes are on par!!! The romance is very front and center, which I appreciate and is what I was looking for, but I liked that we also saw Tess’s personal growth throughout the narrative. My only complaint would be that Tess and Brandon feel like they should be in their early 20s, not teens.

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I loved this book. Tess is such a relatable protagonist (at least for me). The relationship between Hazel and Tess is so wholesome. How Brandon and Tess are such opposites is the best and makes their feelings more believable. And getting to see a different culture portrayed in this story was amazing. The foods mentioned gave me a sense of nostalgia.

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Read for my world reading challenge at https://ya-world-challenge.tumblr.com

Tess has plans for the future, and they all involve designing Carnival costumes for her uncle's mas band. So when her uncle announces that he wants to shut down the band after a series of bad years, Tess does not plan to let that happen. She also doesn't plan on having anything to do with Brandon, social media influencer extraordinaire, on the PR team for a rival mas band, and Tess's arch-nemesis since grade school. Guess which plan doesn't work out?

This is a cute enemies-to-lovers with a stubborn protagonist who's shut herself up after trauma and a laid-back love interest. Contemporary romance isn't usually my genre but the characters were solid and I enjoyed the peeks behind the scenes of Trinidad's Carnival. This would be a fun beach read for the summer for romance-lovers, especially if you like the rivals type of dynamic.

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This was such a cute and fun read! I really enjoyed how they integrated Trinidadian culture throughout the book. and seeing how much work goes into the carnival the costumes our mc designed!

Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an ARC.

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HOW CUTEEEEE!!!

A story based around Carnival in T&T and all the chaos, beauty, rivalry, and bacchanal that comes along with it. I loved reading this and got really connected to all of the characters. I found myself with flutters and giggles reading this, I promise it was so cute!

Sarah Dass really transport you to T&T and its Carnival atmosphere, allowing you an interesting insight into the lives of the people most closely involved.

It is definitely a slooooowww burn romance, but definitely still engaging.

A light read for the summer!

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THIS. My opinion on retellings is you take the bones and what makes sense and then make it your own. I want a reason to read the retelling because it's fresh and inventive and not it's the exact same story set in a different time and place.

And that is how Sarah Dass does retellings. I LOVED Where the Rhythm Takes You for this (and other) reasons and I was so excited to read this one hoping for the same. And I got it.

When the Vibe is Right is a Much Ado About Nothing retelling that sneaks up on you. There are aspects that are VERY Much Ado About Nothing, but some parts are gone, some are subtle, and some are turned completely on their head. Sarah Dass took what in the story made sense for the story she was telling and used what she needed. I loved it.

Since it's Much Ado, you know the story and I don't want to spoil anything by talking about any of the things that are different. So I'll just leave it at read it--you won't regret it :) (Also the audiobook is quite good)

Thanks to NetGalley and Balzer and Bray for an advanced readers copy of this book (and my local library for the audiobook once the book came out). All opinions are my own.

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It's funny that this Romeo & Juilet retelling starts by talking about other Romeo and Juliet retellings. Honestly, I liked this book way more than expected. It was very well done and touched on several difficult topics. Tess was real, and fierce, and you rooted for her at the same time you felt for her. The family feuds had a very plausible and tangible explanation and was addressed several times throughout the book. The dynamics between Tess and Brandon grew and smoothly changed as the story went on.

Added to all that is the introduction to this whole Carnival and Mas Band culture, which was just fascinating. You learn more about the traditions from a local standpoint, giving it a much deeper meaning. The book on the whole captured my attention and begged me to keep reading.

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I liked the whole plot as well as learning more about Trinidad’s Carnival celebration. I really had no idea what went into it with the bands as well as the costumes and I really liked reading about it. The whole frenemies trope was cute too, I enjoyed reading the relationship blossom between Tess and Brandon.


Some parts were a tad boring and I kinda just skimmed through. I also thought this book was fairly mediocre. Like it was good but it wasn’t great. I wish there was a bit more banter to make it more engaging.

3.9 stars rounded to 4 for me!

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