Single Sundays: Sweetheart by Cookie O’Gorman

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Sweetheart (from Goodreads):
Sweetheart (suh-weet-hart): Someone who is kind, friendly, and/or lovable. For reference, see Scarlett Kent.

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Kent likes the idea of love—in theory. She’s just never had time for romance. Voted Most Likely to Succeed, founder of a youth mentoring program, and an aspiring professional violinist, Scarlett has goals—and a list of “firsts” she’d like to complete before graduation.

One thing that’s not on her list: Falling for Sam Bishop.

Flirtatious jocks who sleep through class aren’t her type—no matter how good Sam looks in his jersey. But when her car breaks down, Sam stops to help…which leads to an unexpected offer.

Sam volunteers to help Scarlett complete her list. In return, she’ll help him win back his ex.

It’s a sweetheart deal that should benefit everyone.

But between kissing lessons and pretend dates, Scarlett realizes Sam is the perfect fake boyfriend. And if she’s not careful, he could be her first real heartbreak.

This book features two souls who’re meant to be, one fake arrangement, so many heart-melting kisses and answers the question:

What happens when a perfectionist falls for a player?


SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Author: Cookie O’Gorman
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: April 25, 2024
Source & Format: Author–eARC


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I’m at the point where Cookie writes it, I read it. Her books always put a smile on my face when I read them. I’ve been following her since her debut and I’ve really enjoyed watching her develop her signature style.

The World:

There are so many cameos from Cookie’s other books in this one, so it was fun to see everyone come together. But the main two links: Sam is the son of the leads from The Good Girl’s Guide to Being Bad; and Scarlett is the sister of Charlotte from Bookworm. Everything can be read independently but it’s a treat for past readers.

The Plot:

It has been a while since I read a book that centered around completing a “list” so that was a fun aspect to the plot. I also liked that there wasn’t all this crazy drama; instead the story focused on growing up, being comfortable with who you are and sweet kisses. Reading this made me so happy; there is just something so enlightening when reading about first love.

I felt like the pacing was a little off in the middle. While I loved watching Scarlett with her family, I wanted more scenes with Sam. Their scenes together were what I loved.

The Characters:

As someone who has read (nearly) all of Cookie’s books, I’ve certainly come to enjoy her writing style. She knows how to write swoon worthy book boyfriends and heroines that readers can connect with in one way or another. Everyone is just so likeable and real and I loved that.

The Romance:

What I like most about Sam is that he is simply a nice guy. While I love a brooding bad boy as much as the next girl, there is something endearing about an unproblematic guy who puts his family and friends first.
Their romance is sweet as they reconnect after their friendship has dimmed over the years. I love when it’s super obvious that one lead is all in and the other is oblivious to it; and that is executed well here.

My Rating: 4/5


A great book to binge when you need a pick me up!

Read if You Like: sweet YA romance, coming of age
Avoid if You: want a bad boy hero


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