Love, Comment, Subscribe
By Cathy Yardley
A 5-⭐️ Book Review
What happens when an up-and-coming beauty influencer and a nerdy gamer reconnect from high school to bring fresh content for their YouTube channels? Sparks fly and subscribers love it, that’s what!
Lily Wang – aka EverLily – is hyper-driven and focused on hitting the 6 million subscribers mark on her YouTube channel so she can secure a deal to create her own palette and join the ranks of other popular beauty influencers. She lives and breathes by her rigid content calendar and her Social Blade stats. But her numbers aren’t moving as quickly as she planned and a chance encounter with frenemy Daisy, a Flapper-esque YouTuber with an enviable YT channel, forces Lily to rethink her strategy.
Enter Tobin Bui – aka GoofyBui – whose Lord of the Rings tribute video has just gone viral. Lily and Tobin were part of the Nerd Herd at Ponto Beach High a decade before, and their friends consistently bet on whether the pair would either hook up or throttle each other. Tobin is smart, cute, and funny, but his impulsivity and jokester persona doesn’t vibe with Lily’s carefully curated look. Tobin has his own problems: he’s creatively blocked now that he has to surpass the numbers for his gone-viral video, his parents don’t understand his job, and nothing his agents bring to him feels right.
Lily rarely speaks to Tobin now, but when she’s backed into a corner, she reaches out and pitches a collaboration, six videos across their channels. Will they be able to turn their beauty and gamer personalities into videos that people want to watch? Of course. With a lot of our-of-the-box thinking, compromise, and sexual chemistry.
Love, Comment, Subscribe is a sweet romcom with a ton of heart. Author Cathy Yardley’s book isn’t just about YouTubers finding love. She builds the relationship between Lily and Tobin by crafting internal and external tension for her characters, whether it’s their mutually felt pressure to succeed, or Lily’s desire to finally be popular and not part of the Nerd Herd, or Tobin’s own battle to earn a living at what he loves without compromising his morals. This tension and pressure is what pushed the book to a 5-star rating for me as I could so very much relate to those struggles.
Love, Comment, Subscribe is a 5-star for other reasons, too. Here are a few more things a loved about this book:
- The diversity of the characters. Lily and Tobin are Asian American protagonists, which is refreshing to see in romcoms, as is the LGBTQIA representation by characters like Asad, Mikki, and Chrysalis.
- The YouTube/influencer environment. I don’t watch much YouTube unless I’m researching something for work, and I’d be hard-pressed to name any famous beauty influencers. But, I enjoyed reading about what it’s like to be in this sphere.
- The high school Nerd Herd/popular kids trope. The throwback scenes gave me Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion and Can’t Buy Me Love vibes, both of which are two of my favorite high school movies.
- Tobin’s arc as a carefree prankster with a heart of gold.
- The steam between Lily and Tobin. This is a romcom that does it right. There was just the right amount of steam to be realistic for the plot.
- The cameos by Lily and Tobin’s high school friends. I wanted more of Emily, Josh, and Asad, just to name a few, so I’m thrilled to know that Ms. Yardley is writing a Ponto Beach Reunion series! Gouda Friends will be released in March 2022 and will focus on Josh and Lily’s friend Tam.
Thank you to Cathy Yardley and InkSlingerPR for the opportunity to read and review Love, Comment, Subscribe! Pick up this book today!