Life is swirling for anxiety-prone high school senior Halle Levitt IRL — in real life. Her beloved grandmother has recently passed away; Hallie and her younger brother Ollie have moved from North Carolina to Connecticut to live with her grandfather; her documentary-film making parents have flown off to Israel; her desperate wish is to attend NYU next year. But online, Halle is the super cool and confident Nels, the enigma behind the blog, “One True Pastry,” which pairs Halle’s favorite things — reading and baking.
Nels’s online friends think she’s got it all. She’s a hot shot social media influencer who is chosen to create the cover reveal for a young adult best-selling author. She also has a special connection with another young adult blogger, Nash, who is a graphic novelist. They plan to meet up at BookCon — a blogger convention — but Halle is shocked when they unexpectedly meet in a library in her new hometown. She is so shocked in fact, that she neglects to tell Nash who she really is.
Halle settles in at her new school, makes friends, joins the synagogue youth group, and helps her grandfather cope with the loss of his beloved wife. But underneath all of these successes lies the conflict Halle created by hiding the truth about her real identity; Halle has to discover for herself that she is just as interesting as her online persona.
What I Like About You speaks to middle and high school readers by addressing concerns over — friendships, anxiety, grades, hopes, and issues in navigating social media. Readers will relate to both the first-person voice of Halle, and to the social media persona of Nels, who fakes her confidence in hashtags and abbreviations. This book will captivate with its engaging characters, dramatic story line, and contemporary setting.