Quinn Berkowitz and Tarek Mansour’s families have been in business together for years: Quinn’s parents are wedding planners, and Tarek’s own a catering company. At the end of last summer, Quinn confessed her crush on him in the form of a rambling email—and then he left for college without a response.
Quinn has been dreading seeing him again almost as much as she dreads another summer playing the harp for her parents’ weddings. When he shows up at the first wedding of the summer, looking cuter than ever after a year apart, they clash immediately. Tarek’s always loved the grand gestures in weddings—the flashier, the better—while Quinn can’t see them as anything but fake. Even as they can’t seem to have one civil conversation, Quinn’s thrown together with Tarek wedding after wedding, from performing a daring cake rescue to filling in for a missing bridesmaid and groomsman.
Quinn can’t deny her feelings for him are still there, especially after she learns the truth about his silence, opens up about her own fears, and begins learning the art of harp-making from an enigmatic teacher.
Maybe love isn’t the enemy after all—and maybe allowing herself to fall is the most honest thing Quinn’s ever done.
- Title: We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This
- Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
- Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
- Genre: YA, Romance
- Targeted Age Range: Young Adult
- Trigger Warnings: death of a grandparent, discussions about mental health
- Rating: ★★★★★
I started We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This on a rainy Seattle Sunday morning, and didn’t expect to devour it as quickly as I did. I read Today, Tonight, Tomorrow last fall, after hearing the most wonderful things about it from my dear friend Quinn (@pagesofquinn), and then read and loved The Ex-Talk, so it’s no surprise that I loved We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This too. To be completely honest, I knew going into We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This that I’d love it. After all, a rom-com set in Seattle, with mental health representation? How could I not?
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This is many things; it’s funny, it’s charming, it’s a love letter to rom coms and wedding season and Seattle, but what truly makes it shine — and what has cemented it on my favorites list — is its exploration of breaking away from predetermined paths, standing up for yourself, and its honest mental health representation. I really wish I’d gotten to read a book like this when I was younger, but I’m so so glad that We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This exists now.
The way Quinn’s OCD and anxiety, as well as Tarek’s depression, is discussed felt so honest and authentic. I don’t want to give too much away, but I know that in the future, I’ll probably just send quotes from We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This and say “this is what it’s like, for me”.
Rachel Lynn Solomon has a knack for writing characters that feel so relatable and three dimensional. They’re messy. They’re funny. They’re real. They’re a little unlikable and also so easy to love. Whether that’s Rowan and Neil, Shay and Dominic, or Quinn and Tarek, I’m constantly blown away by how all of Solomon’s characters feel like real people I know and love. When we first meet Quinn, she’s cynical and bitter — we soon come to learn why she doesn’t believe in love. I don’t usually love cynical characters, but I really adored Quinn. It really was easy to empathize with her, and see why she viewed the world the way she did. I loved following her journey, watching her come into her own, and breaking away from her family path and tradition.
As a love interest, I loved Tarek — I loved his love for romance, his optimism, and good heart. I found him to be incredibly charming, and earnest, and just good. It was evident how much he cared for Quinn, even before they got back together. I’m a sucker for tropes (Which tropes, you ask? All of them) and I loved the childhood friends to lovers aspect of this — and the hopeless romantic/cynic pairing. Quinn and Tarek truly complimented each other well, and while I was anticipating the conflict, and the getting back together, they had such chemistry and I couldn’t help but root for them as a couple.
Without giving too much away, I did let out an audible scream when I noticed a cameo from some characters from one of Rachel Lynn Solomon’s other books. I found the conversation that occurred between one of them and Quinn to be so sweet, and I loved how that tied the two books together. I always get such a kick out of when authors tie their books together — like it’s their own little universe.
I was utterly fascinated by every character in We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This — I just couldn’t get enough of them. I wanted to know more about Quinn’s family, about Tarek’s, about their friends and the people they meet along the way. Each of them played a special role in Quinn and Tarek’s journeys, and what I wouldn’t do to find out more about them.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I absolutely adored We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This, and will be recommending it highly to quite literally everyone I meet.
Rachel Lynn Solomon writes, tap dances, and collects lipstick in Seattle, Washington. Her romance and YA novels include The Ex Talk (an indie bestseller), Today Tonight Tomorrow (a National Jewish Book Award finalist), You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone (a Sydney Taylor Honor Book and an Indies Introduce title), and We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This (June 2021). Once she helped set a Guinness World Record for the most natural redheads in one place.
After graduating from the University of Washington with a B.A. in journalism, she worked for Northwest media outlets such as The Seattle Times and KUOW Public Radio. She then spent several years at a test prep company and maintains a fondness for both multiple-choice questions and the quadratic formula. She currently writes full time.
Photo credit: Sabreen Lakhani