Book Review: Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert. Image courtesy
Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert. Image courtesy /

If you’re a romance reader, no doubt you’re familiar with Talia Hibbert. If you’re not, then I’m surprised.

While she’s most known for her adult romances, she is moving into young adult romances with Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute. Honestly, I feel like the title is enough to make you want to read this book.

If it isn’t, then that’s fair but I mean have you seen the cover? All joking aside, I was thankfully given the privilege of being able to read an ARC of Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert.

If you haven’t read the book yet, no worries as I won’t be discussing any spoilers. With that being said, let’s get into my review of Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert.

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute is a new chapter for Talia Hibbert.

When it comes to adult romances, Talia Hibbert is my go-to author so when I was given the chance to read her young adult debut, I jumped at the chance. If you’re a fan of hers, I’m sure you can agree in saying we’ve been hearing about this book for what feels like years and it’s finally here.

If you didn’t know, this book follows Celine and Bradley, former friends turned enemies who end up together on a survival trip with a scholarship on the line. With that comes camping trips, lots of car rides, and tons of forced proximity. Coupled with the teenage angst between the two, Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute is Talia Hibbert for the YA reader.

While the book does feature a romance between Celine and Brad, a lot of the story is about those two working out their own issues and coming together. Both Celine and Brad have a clear path to success in their minds yet throughout the book, things change and they end up making mistakes and growing together.

Speaking of growing, this story also touches on mental health as Bradley has OCD and it’s a huge part of his character. Not only does he discuss it a lot with his family and friends, but Brad also sees a therapist to help him. As evidenced by the author’s note, it’s clear the representation is very personal to Talia, too.

What I really loved about this book though was seeing the slow-burn romance between Brad and Celine develop. Celine was so resistant to him and watching him slowly break down her walls and see the two trust each other was delightful. This is also a Black love story which I feel like we rarely see especially in traditionally published stories.

Overall, this wasn’t my perfect book from Talia Hibbert but I enjoyed my time, reading it. I am curious to see what she does with the other characters, especially Aurora. I just need to see a romance between Aurora and someone else because she was just the cutest and sweetest little bean.

Since this is a review, I do have a few qualms. The one major issue I had was that the chapters felt a little bit longer. The other issue was that I felt like the third-act conflict happened a bit too late into the story. I wish there had been more page time for the two to work it out before getting back into a relationship. Lastly, I wish the relationship had developed sooner, but those were my only issues.

Personally, I’m not a huge YA reader anymore, but Talia Hibbert put together a solid story and I can’t be mad about it. If you’re a Talia Hibbert fan, then I highly recommend this one. However, if you love Talia Hibbert, then I’m sure this one is either already in your hands or high up on your TBR.

Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert is out wherever books are sold. 

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Are you a Talia Hibbert fan? Will you be picking her YA debut novel? If so, I’d love for you to share your thoughts on Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute below.