Title: IT’S KIND OF A CHEESY LOVE STORY
Author: LAUREN MORRILL
Publication Date: MARCH 9, 2021
ABOUT THE BOOK
After her mother gave birth to her in the bathroom of a local pizzeria, Beck Brix been given the dubious privilege of having minor fame, free pizza for life, and a guaranteed job when she turns sixteen—a job she unfortunately can’t afford to turn down.
Stuck with geeky co-workers instead of taking Instagram-ready shots with her wealthy, photogenic friends, Beck finally realizes what she’s spent her whole life trying to hide: that Hot ‘n Crusty is a part of her.
Then disaster strikes the beloved pizza parlor that’s become like home, Beck realizes that it takes losing something to really know what it’s worth.
This book is just like the title, it’s cheesy but the good kind of cheesy. I enjoyed it from the start to finish and find the story interesting. This is a lighthearted YA (Young Adult) book that can be enjoy by many people from any age group.
I liked how this story is about a 16-year-old girl named Beck who was born in Hot ‘N Crusty pizzeria and later grew up as the widely known Pizza Princess, and Bathroom Baby. This isn’t just a cheesy story about how she easily get a job at the pizzeria or about her crush or about her relationship. This story is about how Beck slowly find herself and be true to herself. It’s about how she fix the things that are broken in her life, and how she put back together the things she’d lost or about to lose.
At first, I thought nothing big would happen but then out of nowhere something big happened and that put Beck in a lot of misery. She lost the thing she despised the most and she was about to lose the one precious thing she never want to lose. In the end, she managed to fix everything. It was apparent how much the tragedy affected her.
This book also showed how a few high school students have many group of friends and in each of those groups they act differently in order to fit in. Many may not believe this but this kind of thing did happen in real life, and I’ve known a few from my high school back then. It boggles my mind how they can easily shifted into a different person—faking their personality and attitude. This is exactly what Beck did in this book. She has two different group of friends, the geek/pizza squad and the glam/rich squad.
The geek/pizza squad is consist of Beck, Julianne, Tristan, Greg, Frank and Jason. These are Beck friends that she made when she was working at the pizzeria. I loved this group so much more than the other one due to how much fun this group has been. They always hang out together every weekend to do some fun things, they always eat at a different pizzeria every night after their shifts, they always talk about good stuffs instead of gossiping, and they always play a simple fun game every night before they clocked out. I much prefer this group for Beck because with these bunch, she doesn’t have to pretend to be someone she’s not or fake anything just to fit in. She fit in just fine without even trying and this is the right group for someone like her. This group definitely has its own charms.
As for the the glam/rich squad, it’s not the kind of group I would want for Beck. This group is consist of Beck, Natalie, Cora, Tamsin, Colin, Mac and Eli. This group is pretty judgmental and loved to gossip about other students. I wanted Beck to grow a backbone and fight Tamsin back since Tamsin and her big mouth always put her down. I feel bad for Beck since she had to adjust herself a lot by faking her personality and attitude just to fit in with this group. She acted differently here than when she was in the other group. Here, she had to control herself while in the other group she doesn’t need to control herself and just be free. I liked it better when she was with her geek/pizza squad.
The glam/rich squad always hangs out together without inviting her, and they easily left her out without a problem. That one time they hang out together at Tamsin’s house and didn’t even let her know. There are a lot of things that irks me about the girls in this group but one thing that irks me the most was how they complained about Beck couldn’t hang out with them every Friday night ever since she started working at Hot ‘N Crusty pizzeria. Can’t they support Beck or at least understand that she needed the job because she needed to earn her own money for college?
At one point, I was wondering about what will happen if the glam/rich squad meet the geek/pizza squad. I got what I was wishing for at the end, and let’s just say that these two groups aren’t friends with one another but instead they respect one another. Their conversation flowed easily, and there wasn’t a single struggle. Beck knew how to bring her two group of friends together, and of course she wouldn’t force them to be friends if they don’t want to. I liked how Beck doesn’t have to choose which group she want to stay with but instead get to keep both, as long as she doesn’t have to pretend anymore and just embrace her true self without feeling embarrassed. This is the kind of ending that made this book even better. I liked that it ended like this; with everyone happy.
There are a few lessons that can be taken from this book, especially about finding yourself and embracing your true self. The purpose of the story is for Beck to find herself and be true to herself instead of pretending to be someone she’s not. Losing the one place she started to love and nearly losing her boyfriend put a lot of pressure on her, and that is what boost her to embrace her true self instead of hiding who she truly is. As was seen at the end of this book, she managed to fix the things that are broken in her life. For example, fixing things with her boyfriend and then find a way to put back together the one place she’d lost by starting up a charity campaign to rebuild the place into a new one. She handled it all too well for a 16-year-old girl, she was really quick at finding the solution.
The whole storyline was enjoyable and I really find it entertaining, and as for the plot it was unclear at first but the more I read the book, the more it became clear what the plot was. It was always about Beck making new friends and that way it was easy for her to find herself and figure out what she really wants. That has been the focus of this book since the beginning. It was done in a clever way.
Now let’s talk about the characters…
Beck is the female lead in this story and I liked how the author fleshed out her character more. Since this is her story, it make a lot of sense for her to shine more than the others. At first, she was struggling a lot with herself especially with how she should act around her pizza friends when she started working at the pizzeria. It wasn’t easy to just be carefree and embracing her true self, especially since she never done it before outside of her home. She was always pretending when she was around her rich friends. I can’t blame her since her rich friends are very judgmental.
This book shows how much she struggles with being true to herself when she was with her pizza friends in front of her rich friends. She had to balance out her friendship with the glam/rich squad and the geek/pizza squad. There was a little bit of petty friendship drama that was quickly resolved. I find it surprising how fast she diffuse the situation, but also grateful it didn’t blow up into a big flame. She had a lot of lessons to learn and a lot of thinking to make, especially when her friendship and relationship are on the verge of crumbling. Beck is a kind-hearted girl who did things with good intentions. She is easily a likable person and always put a lot of thoughts when it comes to keeping the people she care about close to her and also she has always been there for them.
In the end, everything works out for her and she get to be herself while still keeping her friends, and that’s what matters the most. Beck’s character growth in this book was really good to see, I was speechless by how well the author handle it. The development of her character made her more likable than she already is.
Tristan is the male lead in this story and also the love interest. This guy had me intrigued ever since the first time he showed up. He was so mysterious but very fascinating. I didn’t even know where he came from at first since he just appeared and disappeared whenever he liked to. Beck also didn’t know where he was when they first met, and when Julianne said that the guy doesn’t always show his face to his co-workers because he’s the pizza delivery guy and he doesn’t always stay at the pizzeria like the others do unless it was to take the pizza for delivery, that’s when I find him to be a mystery. Not many truly knows him.
He was a bit rude at first and he was like the exact person who easily gets frustrated and annoyed by other people. He shielded himself and guarded his heart so that he won’t feel pain and broken again. Not wanting to face his co-workers and always be alone by himself is how he cope with the pain he felt on the inside. Not everyone deal with pain the same way, and this is the only way Tristan knew how. He might pretend he doesn’t care much about other people, especially Beck but deep down he cared too much and it scared him.
Tristan is actually a good guy with a kind heart. I really liked his character, the more I get to understand his past and get to know him much better, the more I find him easily likable as Beck. He’s not only kind but also talented too. He’s good at carpentry and his skills are immeasurable. Whenever anyone need his help, he always come through. Never once did he ever deserted someone or abandon them when they needed him the most. He is an overall a character with a great attitude and a big personality which makes him interesting.
As for the romance between Beck and Tristan, I loved how well this turns out to be. From the beginning, Beck always had a crush on Mac and always said about wanting to kiss him but whenever she was thinking about Mac or talking about him, I cringed. I didn’t feel they are the perfect match and Mac is clearly not the love interest, it was way too easy and too predictable if it went that way. I’m glad that it didn’t but instead the story introduced Tristan and that opens up the door for him to have a strong potential to be Beck’s love interest.
Beck and Tristan are similar in some ways, and they can easily relate to each other’s situations. Their chemistry and connection are powerful. I really liked how the author ended up making them as the couple of this story. He helped Beck when she was struggling and whenever she was crying due to what she was feeling on the inside. He boost up her confidence, and also the main person who helps her find herself. She embraced the true her and show who she really is to the outside world with the help of Tristan.
As for Tristan, he also had a lot to deal with in his life and he never show to anyone what he’d been struggling with for years except for Beck. She was the only person he opens up to and the only person to help him ease his own pain. With her by his side, he can do anything and he doesn’t need to feel like his shoulders are heavy for carrying a lot of burden. She saved him from difficult conversations with other people, and always find a way to help him in any way she can. Their romance was beautiful and epic, and they brought positive influence on each other’s lives which is why they are perfectly matched. There was a time when they argued but they find a way to mend things.
I liked their relationship, it was super healthy and they are definitely good for each other. From their own struggles and how they are helping each other, it made a lot of sense for them to be together romantically. The author nailed it writing Beck and Tristan slow-burn enemies-to-friends-to-lovers romance. When they first met, they couldn’t stand each other and easily get annoyed by each other’s presence, but they can’t always pretend like there was nothing between them when it was clear as a day that there was something between them. The more time they spend together, the closer they get, the more they know about each other, and the more easier it was for them open up to each other about their lives and who they really are as a person. When the right time comes for them to acknowledge their feelings and pursued a romantic relationship, their romance blossoming beautifully. It was really epic and I loved seeing it. These two are a match made in heaven.
Overall, I find that this book was really entertaining and enjoyable. The storyline, the plot, and the characters are solid. The ending was written in a nice way and it was what I’ve been hoping for. The author knew how to deliver a good story, and this book is now one of my top favorite YA books. It has a great storytelling, a large cast of fun characters, and pizza. You can’t leave out the pizza because it’s really important. If you’re looking for a fun book to read, pick this one up. You’ll have a great time reading it.
Lauren Morrill grew up in Maryville, Tennessee, where she was a short-term Girl Scout, a (not so) proud member of the marching band, and a trouble-making editor for the school newspaper. She graduated from Indiana University with a major in history and a minor in rock & roll, and now lives in Macon, GA with her husband and sons.