"A sweetly charming love story that leaves the reader with a lasting sense of hope.” —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star
"The perfect novel to snuggle up with.” —Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read
A heartwarming and thoughtful enemies-to-lovers rom-com about two teens—one trying to save his family's failing pinball arcade, the other working for her tech genius dad who wants to take it over—who get trapped together in a snowstorm.
Adam Stillwater is in over his head. But the pinball arcade is the only piece of his dad that Adam has left, and he’s determined to protect it from Philadelphia’s newest tech mogul, who wants to turn it into another one of his cold, lifeless gaming cafés.
Whitney Mitchell doesn’t know how she got here. Her parents split up. Her boyfriend dumped her. And now she’s spending her senior year running social media for her dad’s chain of super successful gaming cafés—which mostly consists of trading insults with that decrepit old pinball arcade across town.
But when a huge snowstorm hits, Adam and Whitney find themselves trapped inside the arcade. Cut off from their families, their worlds, and their responsibilities, the tension between them seems to melt away, leaving something else in its place. But what happens when the storm ends?
Once close friends, high school seniors Adam Stillwater and Whitney Mitchell now spar on Twitter via their respective family businesses' social media accounts. Palestinian and Sicilian American Adam is trying to keep his deceased father's beloved pinball arcade alive, but his mother is exhausted, and it's time for him to think about college. Cued-white Whitney, meanwhile, is trying to get her father an entrepreneur who's finally hit it big with an e-sports place to notice her by handling his social media. Whitney and Adam drifted apart when high school started: she got cool, while he got caught up in running the arcade. Set in the run-up to their Philadelphia neighborhood's winter festival, and told alternatingly by Adam and Whitney and their snarky social media exchanges the book shows Adam's lingering grief, and Whitney's doubts about her mean-girl friend choices. Then a snowstorm threatens to derail the festival and thrusts Adam and Whitney together. Smith (Don't Read the Comments) does a nice job setting up the camaraderie between local merchants; while excerpts from an imaginary pinball repair guide grow a bit wearying, it's a pleasure to see the two leads work through the past to build a future. Ages 13 up. Agent: Dawn Frederick, Red Sofa Literary.
Felt super connected to the characters from beginning to end, which is what made me keep turning those pages into the morning hours.