You Bet Your Heart is an adorable rivals-to-lovers romance

You Bet Your Heart. Image courtesy Joy Revolution
You Bet Your Heart. Image courtesy Joy Revolution /

Joy Revolution is changing the game for young-adult books. Thus far, I’ve enjoyed all of their titles including the latest: You Bet Your Heart by Danielle Parker.

If you didn’t know, Joy Revolution is a publishing imprint under Penguin and it’s led by Nicola Yoon and David Yoon. You might recognize this dynamic duo as a married couple by day and best-selling authors by night.

In particular, their imprint has featured 2 beloved authors and now, a debut author. First up was Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert. Then came Queen Bee by Amalie Howard and now to cap off May, it’s You Bet Your Heart by Danielle Parker.

If you’re a fan of rivals-to-lovers, then you’re in for a real treat this summer as it takes that trope to an extreme. I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me an early copy to read before release.

You Bet Your Heart is a YA rivals-to-lovers that’ll steal your heart.

You Bet Your Heart has such an interesting premise. It follows Sasha Johnson-Sun who is studious and hard-working so it’s only right she’d be valedictorian. At the start of the book, she finds out she’s neck-and-neck with Ezra, her estranged childhood best friend.

Rather than give up what she’s worked for, SJ and Ezra decide to bet each other for their title which includes besting each other on 3 challenges. As you might imagine though, feelings start to get in the way and a romance soon begins to form.

What made You Bet Your Heart so readable for me was that these characters felt so real. Even though this is Danielle Parker’s debut, SJ and Ezra resonated with me. These two felt like real teenagers, going through these things and just trying to do their best. Yes, they were messy at times, but they’re teenagers.

I especially adored the focus on Sasha and her mother. Since Sasha’s father passed away, it’s just been the two of them and it’s clear they have a tight bond. With the pressure of school and everything weighing on her, these two do have a few tense moments yet it felt so realistic. As an adult reading, I know I’ve felt those same moments with my mother so it felt like a nice addition.

The only qualm I had was that the ending felt a little bit anticlimactic. Maybe I was just hoping for more drama or razzle-dazzle. Regardless, everyone got their happy ending which is what we always want. Plus the tension between SJ and Ezra was just undeniable especially when they’re in the photo room together, swooning.

All in all, You Bet Your Heart is another homerun for Joy Revolution. Even though I’m not a big YA reader, I know I’ll be on the lookout for more titles from the imprint.

dark. Next. Interview: Talia Hibbert talks HSAFC, characters, and more

You Bet Your Heart by Danielle Parker is out now wherever books are sold. 

Will you be picking up You Bet Your Heart on release day? Share with us in the comments.