The time it was about What I Like About You

Posted April 3, 2020 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Interviews | 2 Comments

When I got the invite to be part of the blog tour for What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter, I couldn’t resist signing up.  I love the synopsis so much and even though I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, I’m so excited for it.

Before we get to Marisa’s interview, let’s check out the book.

Title: What I Like About You
Author: Marisa Kanter
Pages: 416
Pub Date: April 7, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Find It: S&S | Indiebound | B&N | Amazon | Goodreads

There are a million things that Halle Levitt likes about her online best friend, Nash.

He’s an incredibly talented graphic novelist. He loves books almost as much as she does. And she never has to deal with the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. They can talk about anything…

Except who she really is.

Because online, Halle isn’t Halle—she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. Kels has everything Halle doesn’t: friends, a growing platform, tons of confidence, and Nash.

That is, until Halle arrives to spend senior year in Gramps’s small town and finds herself face-to-face with real, human, not-behind-a-screen Nash. Nash, who is somehow everywhere she goes—in her classes, at the bakery, even at synagogue.

Nash who has no idea she’s actually Kels.

If Halle tells him who she is, it will ruin the non-awkward magic of their digital friendship. Not telling him though, means it can never be anything more. Because while she starts to fall for Nash as Halle…he’s in love with Kels.

Sounds good, right?

1. Please give the elevator pitch for What I Like About You. 

What I Like About You is a love letter to YA and internet friendship that asks the question: is it still a love triangle if there are only two people in it? It follows Halle, a pseudonymous teen book blogger who moves to a new town and starts running into her internet BFF everywhere—in class, at the library, at synagogue. The only problem is he has no idea who she is really is, and while he’s in love with her online persona, she’s falling for him in person.

2. Which came first: the plot line or the characters?

What I Like About You began with my desire to explore internet friendship in YA. As a teen, I made meaningful friendships and found my people online—but I had never seen that explored in a book before. As an adult, I’ve been lucky enough to meet many of my internet friends in person and it has always been a validating experience. But as a socially anxious teen, I would’ve been nervous meeting any internet friends IRL, like Halle. After concept, the characters came to me quickly. As far as the actual structure and plot of the book, I am a total pantser at the scene level, so plot really came together as I was drafting—and then torn apart and put back together again in revision!

3. Why do you love Halle and Nash and why should readers root for them?

I love Halle and Nash and how their friendship stems from a genuine love of books. I love how ambitious they are in pursuit of their dreams. I’m drawn to characters who are invested in arts and creative professions, so I love invested Halle is in book blogging being the jumping off point to a publishing career and Nash’s web comics and graphic novelist aspirations. I love that they’re Jewish teenagers who get to just be Jewish teenagers. And I love the scenes that make Halle question why she is still keeping her identity a secret. I certainly think they’re a couple to root for—and I hope readers do too!

4. Without spoilers, which scene was your favorite to write?

Ah, there are so many moments and relationship dynamics in this book that I loved writing. But if I have to pick one, I’m going to say the coffee shop scene. You’ll know it when you read it! I love that scene with my whole heart—and it’s one of the few moments in the book that remains mostly untouched from the first draft.

Speed {ish} round:

1. You find out that you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

Shock, tears, and immediately calling my mom! It was such a special, surreal moment processing the news and sharing it with my family.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island? 

The practical answer is sunscreen, my hydroflask, and flint to make fire. Yes, I’m assuming I’d need to survive. Yes, I watch a lot of Survivor.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. There are so many layers to this beautiful book, I feel like I’m even more blown away with every reread. It also makes me cry like no other book does, even though I’ve read it countless times and know how it ends!

4. Which book character would you want to hang out with?

A few characters that I would love to get together with for a cute brunch are Molly Peskin-Suso from The Upside of Unrequited, Dimple Shah from When Dimple Met Rishi, Alex Claremont-Diaz from Red White & Royal Blue, Owen Okita from Always Never Yours, and CeCe from Have a Little Faith in Me.


Marisa Kanter has worked in publicity for major publishers and covered YA books for MTV. Currently, she works in sales, on the distribution side of the publishing industry. She can often be found searching for the best iced chai in NYC, or reading on the 3 train. What I Like About You is her first novel.

website | twitter | instagram


Huge thanks to S&S for the invitation and to Marisa for taking the time! What I Like About You releases April 7 and the pre-order links are above.

Have you read What I Like About You? Will you be?

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