Monday, May 17, 2021

Shipped by Meredith Tate - OPTIONAL

by Meredith Tate
, 372 pages. G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Random House), 2021. $19. 

Language: R (150 swears, 5 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG



Stella and Wesley are competing head-to-head to be valedictorian this year, mostly for the scholarship, though the bragging rights over the loser is certainly appealing. Unbeknownst to them, they have become allies online after meeting on a website dedicated to their fandom, Warship Seven. How can these two rivals overcome preconceived notions and prejudices IRL?

Frankly, I’m not a big fan of the enemies-to-lovers trope. Stella and Wesley are downright mean to each other for no good reason, and I spent most of the book either embarrassed for them or dreading their imminent poor choices. While Tate tries to give the two enemies common ground and reasons to start liking the other, the ending still felt forced and awkward, like the changes happened too quickly for the characters to acclimate to their new friendship, not to mention a dating relationship. My favorite parts of the book are when Tate proffers the readers inventive anecdotes from the characters’ perspective. The mature content rating is for innuendo, partial nudity, and implied sex.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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