Published by Simon Pulse in July 2020
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Caroline “Chuck” Wilson has big plans for spring break—hit up estate sales to score vintage fashion finds and tour the fashion school she dreams of attending. But her dad wrecks those plans when he asks her to spend vacation working the counter at Bigmouth’s Bowl, her family’s failing bowling alley. Making things astronomically worse, Chuck finds out her dad is way behind on back rent—meaning they might be losing Bigmouth’s, the only thing keeping Chuck’s family in San Francisco.
And the one person other than Chuck who wants to do anything about it? Beckett Porter, her annoyingly attractive ex-best friend.
So when Beckett propositions Chuck with a plan to make serious cash infiltrating the Bay Area action bowling scene, she accepts. But she can’t shake the nagging feeling that she’s acting reckless—too much like her mother for comfort. Plus, despite her best efforts to keep things strictly business, Beckett’s charm is winning her back over...in ways that go beyond friendship.
If Chuck fails, Bigmouth’s Bowl and their San Francisco legacy are gone forever. But if she succeeds, she might just get everything she ever wanted.
Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are my own.
I picked up Keep My Heart in San Francisco by Amelia Diane Coombs because it brought back the nostalgia I have for the old bowling alley I used to hang out at after school, which is now long gone. Not only did Amelia Diane Coombs provide me that, but she created a story with a lovely romance and honest mental health representation.
Chuck and Beckett are ex-best friends that team up together to help save Bigmouth Bowling Alley, Chuck’s family business. Chuck doesn’t particularly care about the bowling alley itself, but without the bowling alley, Chuck’s future in San Francisco is in jeopardy.
I loved Chuck and Beckett. They both have their flaws but are good-hearted. It was fun reading about them trying to repair their friendship and watching their relationship bloom into something more. I understood both of their perspectives regarding the incident that broke their friendship, and I’m glad that through some illegal activity to raise enough money to save Bigmouths, they were able to reconcile their issues. I did predict the eventual train-wreck with their get money quick scheme coming a mile away though.
The mental health representation through Chuck and her family was very honest and quite possibly my favorite part of the story. Amelia Diane Coombs highlighted the need to be more open about mental health and how mental health is a spectrum. It’s not a one-size-fits-all sort of label. Chuck’s struggle was heartbreaking, and I loved the growth she had through the story.
If you’re looking for a YA romance that’s a bit quirky and has mental health representation, check out Keep My Heart in San Francisco by Amelia Diane Coombs. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. If you read Keep My Heart in San Francisco, what did you think about it? Let me know in the comments. 🙂
Keep My Heart in San Francisco by Amelia Diane Coombs releases TODAY!