Popsugar Reading Challenge category: A romance by a BIPOC author
Book: Hold Me, by Courtney Milan
This book makes good use of the You've Got Mail trope: Maria Lopez and Jay na Thalang have fallen in love online under pseudonyms, not realizing that they've met in person and they hate each other. As in any traditional romance, they have to overcome the obstacles they've created and find their way to each other.
Less traditional: there are some hints, but we're over 100 pages into the book before it's revealed that Maria is transgender. Refreshingly, the conflict does not involve Jay being bothered by that: he's bi/pan and considers it a non-issue. It's relevant because Maria's parents kicked her out at age 12, and she finds it difficult to trust people or ask for what she needs. Jay has his own adolescent trauma that's made him hold himself and others to impossible standards.
I also enjoyed the return of Tina and Blake from the first book, Trade Me, where Maria was a side character. The friendship between maria and Tina really rings true.
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