NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of the Brown Sisters trilogy, comes a laugh-out-loud story about a quirky content creator and a clean-cut athlete testing their abilities to survive the great outdoors—and each other.
Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.
Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption—yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)
These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.
Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Romance queen Talia Hibbert tries her hand at young-adult fiction—and absolutely nails it. Celine and Bradley didn’t always despise each other. They used to be inseparable, until Brad’s popularity and Celine’s nerdy awkwardness pushed them to opposite sides of their high school’s social scene. But all bets are off when an enrichment wilderness program brings the ex-besties together again. Hibbert is great at fleshing out her characters with relatable traits and issues, whether that’s Celine’s love of unnerving conspiracy theories or Brad’s struggles with mental illness (which the author covers with plenty of care and nuance). Plus, the pair’s witty banter made us laugh out loud. Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute is a delightful read that captures that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling.
Hibbert (the Brown Sisters series) imbues this enemies-to-lovers romance with whip-smart banter, British sensibilities, and energetic verve. Black high school student and aspiring lawyer Celine Bangura is determined to land a spot in the Breakspeare Enrichment survival course program, win one of the offered full-ride university scholarships, and rub her success in her estranged father's face. When a squabble with charming Black footballer and former best friend Bradly Graeme leads to the pair attending the program's info session together, Brad is persuaded to apply, hoping a scholarship can help mitigate his own financial woes. Upon acceptance, the duo participate in Breakspeare's wilderness-intensive exercises, and realize they must put their past feelings aside and rely on each other if they hope to compete with the other ruthless scholarship-hopefuls. As they rekindle their former friendship and grow close romantically, Celine wrestles with her emotionally avoidant tendencies while Brad manages his obsessive-compulsive disorder amid the program's competitive, high-stress events. With dialogue that juggles both laugh-out-loud humor and pull-at-the-heartstrings vulnerability amid an outdoorsy premise, Hibbert attentively captures Celine's feelings of abandonment and resentment, and Brad's mental health struggles while striking a quintessential balance of romance and comedy in this lively romp. Front matter includes a glossary of British slang and terms. Ages 12–up.
The banter and evolved love between Celine and Brad was extremely sweet. I wouldn’t call them enemies to lovers. It’s more like secret misunderstood mates to lovers. They have loved each other for years but were too scared to put their best foot forward. With a little ambitious rivalry and honesty, they were able to start seeing each other for they are. Ultimately they chose love.
Gobbled it up in one day. These two are super cute and funny humans.
Bradley <3 my bi king
Talia Hibbert is one of my favorite authors. I think this is some of her best writing yet. The TENSION was so good. This is my new favorite enemies-to-lovers romcom.