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Keep My Heart in San Francisco

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Sparks fly when two ex-best-friends team up to save a family business in this swoon-worthy and witty debut perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett and Sarah Dessen. 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 va Sparks fly when two ex-best-friends team up to save a family business in this swoon-worthy and witty debut perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett and Sarah Dessen. 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.


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Sparks fly when two ex-best-friends team up to save a family business in this swoon-worthy and witty debut perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett and Sarah Dessen. 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 va Sparks fly when two ex-best-friends team up to save a family business in this swoon-worthy and witty debut perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett and Sarah Dessen. 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.

30 review for Keep My Heart in San Francisco

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vicky Again

    Sweet, heartfelt, and atmospheric, Keep My Heart in San Francisco is a genuine but light story of romance, family, and home. Think the family struggles of Lauren Spieller's She's the Worst meets the ex-best friends to lovers of Jenn Bennett's Starry Eyes, all wrapped up in San Francisco, bowling, and with mental illness rep! Would definitely highly recommend for an entertaining and modern romance. Sweet, heartfelt, and atmospheric, Keep My Heart in San Francisco is a genuine but light story of romance, family, and home. Think the family struggles of Lauren Spieller's She's the Worst meets the ex-best friends to lovers of Jenn Bennett's Starry Eyes, all wrapped up in San Francisco, bowling, and with mental illness rep! Would definitely highly recommend for an entertaining and modern romance.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    ARC received via publisher!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    This is a charming and romantic read from author Amelia Diane Coombs that stole my heart for its characters, the setting in beautiful San Francisco, a bowling alley, and ex-best friends trying to fight to save a family business! I recommend this contemporary YA novel that is full of heart that I really enjoyed!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    2.5 stars This might've had the most ridiculous premise of any book I've ever read, but I had fun. Trying to save her family's failing bowling alley by going undercover and hustling games to try and make eight grand in a week with her former best friend and crush, Chuck Wilson has a lot on her plate. Many hi-jinks and adventures ensure in this story. I enjoyed seeing Chuck and Beckett's relationship reform after a fallout in freshman year but the actual plot is so wacky it was definitely hard to 2.5 stars This might've had the most ridiculous premise of any book I've ever read, but I had fun. Trying to save her family's failing bowling alley by going undercover and hustling games to try and make eight grand in a week with her former best friend and crush, Chuck Wilson has a lot on her plate. Many hi-jinks and adventures ensure in this story. I enjoyed seeing Chuck and Beckett's relationship reform after a fallout in freshman year but the actual plot is so wacky it was definitely hard to take it seriously at time. But it was still a quick and light-hearted read. I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Solomon

    A unique, retro contemporary YA romance that revolves around bowling! These flawed, layered characters are written with so much depth and empathy. I'm a huge fan of setting as character, and this book truly captures the heartbeat of San Fransisco. Perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett. A unique, retro contemporary YA romance that revolves around bowling! These flawed, layered characters are written with so much depth and empathy. I'm a huge fan of setting as character, and this book truly captures the heartbeat of San Fransisco. Perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    4/3/2020: Quick update that KEEP MY HEART will now be released on July 14th, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. So sorry for the delay, but I can't wait for you all to meet Chuck and Beckett. 10/16/19: We have a cover! And a release date! KEEP MY HEART will release on June 23rd, 2020! 6/23/2019: I’m so thrilled to announce my debut’s new title, KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO! I don’t think I can adequately express how excited (and terrified?!) I am to share this book with the world! First, this 4/3/2020: Quick update that KEEP MY HEART will now be released on July 14th, 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. So sorry for the delay, but I can't wait for you all to meet Chuck and Beckett. 10/16/19: We have a cover! And a release date! KEEP MY HEART will release on June 23rd, 2020! 6/23/2019: I’m so thrilled to announce my debut’s new title, KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO! I don’t think I can adequately express how excited (and terrified?!) I am to share this book with the world! First, this book was mine—a messy-quirky story that helped me during a dark time. Then, this book belonged to my agent, who found the perfect editor for KMHISF. An editor who understood the heart of this book and brought it to life. And now, this book belongs to you, dear readers! I hope you enjoy Chuck & Beckett’s story, learn a lot of awful bowling puns, and fall in love with San Francisco. Thank you, thank you, thank you. -Amelia P.S. My publisher was wonderful and added content warnings to KMHISF, but I’d also like to list them here. Be aware that KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO includes content relating to mental health (bipolar disorder) and conservations surrounding suicide.

  7. 4 out of 5

    chloe ♡

    3.5 stars • best friends to enemies to best friends to lovers?? (+ bonus points for the slow burn romance) • bipolar disorder / depression representation • some parts were predictable, but nonetheless i enjoyed the story • bowling bowling bowling!!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    The family business is in trouble, and Chuck knows that if it fails, she will be forced to leave San Francisco. She loves this city! It's a part of her, and she would do just about anything to stay. But she wonders if it's worth reconciling with her former best friend after his betrayal? I won't lie. I expected this to be fluffier than it was. That said, I throughly enjoyed it anyway. Chuck was looking to keep her heart in San Francisco, and she did a great job showing me why. I absolutely love wh The family business is in trouble, and Chuck knows that if it fails, she will be forced to leave San Francisco. She loves this city! It's a part of her, and she would do just about anything to stay. But she wonders if it's worth reconciling with her former best friend after his betrayal? I won't lie. I expected this to be fluffier than it was. That said, I throughly enjoyed it anyway. Chuck was looking to keep her heart in San Francisco, and she did a great job showing me why. I absolutely love when a book takes me places, and Coombs deftly whisked me away to San Fran. She took me throughout the city, showing me places that are well known, as well as some I had was unaware of. Her admiration for the city was clearly displayed throughout the story, and I had a fantastic time touring the city. I also loved Chuck. She really spoke to me. She was very witty, a bit snarky, and she charmed the pants off of me. Her loneliness and struggles with her mental health were things I easily related to, but I was also fond of her passion for fashion. I ate up all the little fashion and design morsels peppered throughout the story, and I loved trying to imagine what she was wearing. I have a soft spot for creative types, and it was fun getting to peek at her design dreams. Though Beckett betrayed Chuck and seemed to give up on her, I had nothing but love for him. It was wonderful watching him and Chuck reconnect, because they were both sort of lost without the other. Chuck and Beckett experienced a lot of disappointment in their year apart, and they survived, but they were much stronger together. These two knew each other inside and out, and it was nice to see Beckett fighting to save their friendship. Then, there was bowling. Fact: I am a terrible bowler, but I grew up around it and rather enjoy the game. I liked being immersed in the bowling world with these two, and I found the game sequences quite exhilarating. I was happy to be cheering for Chuck as she attempted to save the business and couldn't stop hoping that she could turn her family situation around. Overall: I found this to be a wonderful story of family, friendship, and mental health, which warmed my heart and had me rooting for the little guy to win. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  9. 4 out of 5

    hope

    Loved this book! Chuck was a great MC, and I liked watching her grow over the course of the novel, even if sometimes she made poor choices. I stand by my earlier opinion that Beckett is one of the best YA boyfriends ever. He was funny and sweet and very thoughtful, and I really liked how good he was at communicating with Chuck. It was refreshing to see a YA book where miscommunication wasn't used as a plot device. Also, I loved seeing how much the author loves San Francisco. This book was just as Loved this book! Chuck was a great MC, and I liked watching her grow over the course of the novel, even if sometimes she made poor choices. I stand by my earlier opinion that Beckett is one of the best YA boyfriends ever. He was funny and sweet and very thoughtful, and I really liked how good he was at communicating with Chuck. It was refreshing to see a YA book where miscommunication wasn't used as a plot device. Also, I loved seeing how much the author loves San Francisco. This book was just as much of a romance between Chuck and the city as it was her and Beckett. Great read!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    All kinds of ridiculous wrapped into a fun and entertaining book. Keep My Heart in San Francisco introduces you to Caroline Wilson. She also goes by Chuck. She works at her family-owned bowling alley for free and comes up with this plan to save them from closing down. I mean, yeah, what kid wouldn't do that? Before she even comes to this idea, we meet her ex-best friend Beckett. Basically gorgeous and overall super sweet. Unless they start to bicker, which gives you some insight into some serious All kinds of ridiculous wrapped into a fun and entertaining book. Keep My Heart in San Francisco introduces you to Caroline Wilson. She also goes by Chuck. She works at her family-owned bowling alley for free and comes up with this plan to save them from closing down. I mean, yeah, what kid wouldn't do that? Before she even comes to this idea, we meet her ex-best friend Beckett. Basically gorgeous and overall super sweet. Unless they start to bicker, which gives you some insight into some serious tension. Together they come up with the plan to hustle their way into some major cash. It doesn't hurt that while they are working together, they start to get closer than ever. When the feelings, chemistry, and sparks start to fly - it was pretty easy to ship these two together. Yet, the entire time I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop (meaning they get caught and have to deal with some serious consequences). This didn't stop me from enjoying the book though. In the end, it was cute and they were cute.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    In the interest of full disclosure, my best friend is the author's agent, and I sent her this string of text messages midway through: DO THEY SAVE THE BOWLING ALLEY DO THEY GET CAUGHT HUSTLING AND BETTING THIS ISN'T RELAXING I AM VERY CONCERNED FOR THEM Despite how non-relaxed I was while fretting over the characters' well-being, this was the lighthearted read I needed right now and it was a fantastic escape from Pandemic 2020. As far as YA contemporary romance characters go, Chuck and Beckett are a In the interest of full disclosure, my best friend is the author's agent, and I sent her this string of text messages midway through: DO THEY SAVE THE BOWLING ALLEY DO THEY GET CAUGHT HUSTLING AND BETTING THIS ISN'T RELAXING I AM VERY CONCERNED FOR THEM Despite how non-relaxed I was while fretting over the characters' well-being, this was the lighthearted read I needed right now and it was a fantastic escape from Pandemic 2020. As far as YA contemporary romance characters go, Chuck and Beckett are a perfect mix of strong and messy. I really enjoyed spending time with them and watching them try to find their footing with each other. Their successes felt earned and the author also did an excellent job giving them consequences for their mistakes when they got in over their heads. I also was really satisfied with the ending - and also relieved I no longer had to chew my fingernails in worry over what those kids were going to get themselves into.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The romance in this book had strong echoes of Jenn Bennett, so if that's your kind of swoony guy--sweet, smart, endearing, funny--then you will enjoy Beckett immensely. Hands down my favorite parts of the novel! This book was a nice mix of serious and fun. Chuck's grappling with secrets about her mom, her mental health, and that horrible feeling when you're not in control of your own life, specifically when your parent is the one who decides where you rest your head. I think it helps that I have The romance in this book had strong echoes of Jenn Bennett, so if that's your kind of swoony guy--sweet, smart, endearing, funny--then you will enjoy Beckett immensely. Hands down my favorite parts of the novel! This book was a nice mix of serious and fun. Chuck's grappling with secrets about her mom, her mental health, and that horrible feeling when you're not in control of your own life, specifically when your parent is the one who decides where you rest your head. I think it helps that I have visited San Francisco before, so I could understand personally some of the reasons Chuck loves it so much and its little quirks. If it's one of your favorite cities I bet you will commiserate with her desperation to stay. Like in many books, sometimes it felt like some of Chuck's problems could be solved if she just TALKED to her dad, but I could understand, intimately, how that seems like a completely insurmountable task when you are a teenager, so I can give her a pass for that. A solid debut novel that makes me look forward to what Coombs has up her sleeve next! (Anyone up for a friendly game of bowling? I promise I will definitely NOT be able to hustle you.)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]

    ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! Well, I really wanted to like this book. It sounded like a cute rom-com with sparks flying between ex-best friends (aka one of my favourite relationship dynamics). But, despite good discussions of mental health, it had a tepid storyline featuring flat and somewhat incredibly stupid characters. Seventeen-year-old Caroline ‘Chuck’ Wilson is a hardcore loner. Ever since she broke from her best friend Beckett Porter for betraying her, ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! Well, I really wanted to like this book. It sounded like a cute rom-com with sparks flying between ex-best friends (aka one of my favourite relationship dynamics). But, despite good discussions of mental health, it had a tepid storyline featuring flat and somewhat incredibly stupid characters. Seventeen-year-old Caroline ‘Chuck’ Wilson is a hardcore loner. Ever since she broke from her best friend Beckett Porter for betraying her, she’s done nothing but go to school and dream about studying fashion. And, of course, work: she’s an assistant at Bigmouth’s Bowl, a bowling alley owned by her dad. But they’re in severe financial difficulties. When Beckett accidentally re-enters her life, they quickly realise that unless something is done soon, Chuck will have to leave San Francisco – the city of her heart. They have ten days to come up with $8000 or Bigmouth’s Bowl is finished. So, confronted with this seemingly insurmountable problem, what do these intrepid teenagers do? That’s right. They turn to hustling, and not just any hustling – bowling hustling. Turns out tenpin bowling is a shadier rig than it seems, and there are all sorts of people willing to run gambles on it. Chuck is a brilliant bowler, and she and Beckett soon start building up funds. But of course, it’s a dangerous business, as they quickly find out. And… yeah, it has to be said that neither of these characters really wowed me with their intelligence . Especially Beckett, whose idea the hustling was in the first place. $8000 is a chunky enough sum that you aren’t going to get it quickly without playing for serious stakes, which of course means the potential for serious losses. I know they were desperate, but the fact that they didn’t even consider any other options before this stupid one is not something that really bowls me over. (Sorry, had to work that in somewhere). The romance also leaves me dubious. Beckett is a pretty lifeless character, and I didn’t feel any tension or investment in their relationship. Plus, maybe reading all these historical romances has just made me old-fashioned, but I don’t like that he’d drop her off at her house past midnight and then drive away without making sure she’d actually gone in. Chuck and Beckett are the only friend the other has, so it’s also kind of an ‘uh… you guys are in a really closed circle here’ situation. It’s a really codependent relationship in that neither of them have a single other friend to turn to. Now onto the mental health. Essentially, Chuck is on the bipolar spectrum, and has had depressive episodes in the past. (It’s an #ownvoices novel in this regard). Over the course of the book she understands that she shouldn’t let her fear of BPD hold her back from doing things, which is good. But I don’t know that she’s in a totally healthy place for a romantic relationship – when her friendship with Beckett fell apart, it felt like she existed in limbo until she patched things up with him. This goes back to the ‘codependency’ thing again and makes me even more averse to the romance. OVERALL Not as funny as I hoped it would be (or at all) and with characters who distinctly did not capture my imagination. [Blog] - [Bookstagram]

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate Waggoner

    Thank you to #NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing for allowing me to read a digital ARC of Keep My Heart in San Francisco by Amelia Diane Coombs. This contemporary young adult novel is set to be released in August of 2020. All opinions are my own. Caroline "Chuck" Wilson plans to spend her spring break antiquing and touring the fashion school she hopes to attend when she graduates. Those plans go down the drain when her dad informs her that one of their employees (they own a bow Thank you to #NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing for allowing me to read a digital ARC of Keep My Heart in San Francisco by Amelia Diane Coombs. This contemporary young adult novel is set to be released in August of 2020. All opinions are my own. Caroline "Chuck" Wilson plans to spend her spring break antiquing and touring the fashion school she hopes to attend when she graduates. Those plans go down the drain when her dad informs her that one of their employees (they own a bowling alley called Bigmouth's) has quit and she'll need to cover for him. Chuck begrudgingly agrees and is forced to face her former best friend, Beckett, on her first day of spring break. The two overhear her father talking to the landlord and learn that Chuck's dad is way behind on back rent. Beckett approaches Chuck with a plan to save the bowling alley. She agrees to participate but things get complicated as their friendship starts to heal and it seems like it might be something more. I wanted to read this book for the cover and concept of ex-best friends being thrown together to complete a wacky scheme where sparks were sure to fly. This book, however, is so much more than a YA romance. It deals with a topic not often covered in books or even really spoken about: mental health. The relationship between Chuck and Beckett and losing Bigmouth are both conflicts in the novel, but I think the larger and more important conflict is Chuck's internal struggle with her mental health and her view/understanding of her mother. Her mental health journey and the realizations she makes throughout the book are incredibly powerful. I think it makes it even more powerful that this story is in some ways a reflection of the author's own journey with her mental health. Mental disorders are highly stigmatized and this book does an amazing job of explaining this and helping the reader develop a better understanding of mental disorders and those affected by them. I really enjoyed this book and think it is an important book to include in a classroom library due to the topics it addresses.

  15. 4 out of 5

    beth {hiatus} F.

    Charming with deeper twists. Have to say, I wasn't expecting the story. It took me by surprise. The prose was endearing and kept me interested. Whenever I picked it up again after not reading it for a while, it sucked me into the story. The characters are pretty cool. The plot twists are pretty crazy. Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for providing me with an ARC. Charming with deeper twists. Have to say, I wasn't expecting the story. It took me by surprise. The prose was endearing and kept me interested. Whenever I picked it up again after not reading it for a while, it sucked me into the story. The characters are pretty cool. The plot twists are pretty crazy. Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for providing me with an ARC.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Krysti

    A heartfelt, own voices story about love, mental health, and the meaning of home. When Chuck Wilson finds out that her dad is behind on the rent for the family bowling alley, she leaps in to try to help out. Terrified that if they go under, she'll have to move to Arizona, Chuck's desperate to save the business and finish high school in her beloved city, San Francisco. She'll do anything, including agreeing to her annoyingly attractive friend Beckett's somewhat illegal plan to take part in the Ba A heartfelt, own voices story about love, mental health, and the meaning of home. When Chuck Wilson finds out that her dad is behind on the rent for the family bowling alley, she leaps in to try to help out. Terrified that if they go under, she'll have to move to Arizona, Chuck's desperate to save the business and finish high school in her beloved city, San Francisco. She'll do anything, including agreeing to her annoyingly attractive friend Beckett's somewhat illegal plan to take part in the Bay Area's underground bowling league. As they hustle the other bowlers for much-needed cash, Chuck becomes increasingly confused both by her changing feelings for Beckett, and the torment of emotions constantly flooding her and taking control of her life. This book has an adorable romance, yet it's also got great depth and touches on some very serious and important issues. I enjoyed it immensely and can't wait to see more from this author in the future.

  17. 4 out of 5

    J B Mills

    I had the fortune of reading this book before there was a publishing contract and I knew it would sell! A YA bowling alley story set in San Francisco? Yes, please! The main characters, Chuck and Beckett, are former BFFs on the outs, but they work together in an attempt to save her father’s bowling alley. The vibe is a little bit retro, a little bit quirky and a lotta bit fun. I enjoyed it as an adult and will definitely be buying it for my daughter!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel 007

    Funny, delightful, charming, and perfect for fans of Jenn Bennett.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This review and more can be found at www.thebookbratz.blogspot.com. I received an ARC of KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO in exchange for an honest review, and I'm so glad that I did, because this book was so sweet and delightful! So without further ado, let's get into my review! As the summary explains, Chuck Wilson wants to do anything possible to stay in San Francisco, the city of her heart. But when her family's bowling alley is going under with no savior in sight, she takes things in her own ha This review and more can be found at www.thebookbratz.blogspot.com. I received an ARC of KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO in exchange for an honest review, and I'm so glad that I did, because this book was so sweet and delightful! So without further ado, let's get into my review! As the summary explains, Chuck Wilson wants to do anything possible to stay in San Francisco, the city of her heart. But when her family's bowling alley is going under with no savior in sight, she takes things in her own hands. Because if Bigmouth's closes, not only is that part of her childhood is gone, but also she's going to have to move to Arizona. Which she's desperate not to do. The only problem? The plan to save Bigmouth's involves her ex-best friend, Beckett, with whom she had a particularly nasty falling out with the year before. But can they come together to save Chuck's future, or will she be catching the next flight out of her favorite place in the world? I really enjoyed reading this book! I thought it was a super cute romance and save-the-day story, and I'd also never really read anything with bowling as such a main focus before, so I thought that was really interesting. (My dad is a big bowler, so this is definitely the kind of story he'd love!) The story itself was really cute and funny and kept me hooked from the beginning right up until the end. I read almost an entire half of the book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down because I always wanted to know what antics Chuck was going to get up to next. I've also never been out west at all (I know, I know!!! I've skipped right over California to visit my brother, who lives in Hawaii, but that's about it), so seeing Chuck's devotion to her city and all of the little things she loves about it was really cute and made me really eager as a reader to visit San Francisco one day. It's definitely been added to my destinations bucket list, that's for sure! My favorite character in this book was definitely Beckett. I thought he was so funny and his sarcasm really made me laugh out loud. I also thought he was such a great guy, even when Chuck had her moments where she didn't see it. I was cheering for him from pretty early on and I thought he was so sweet and hilarious and adorable. I also really liked Chuck's character, and how determined she was to save her family's legacy. The fact that she knows what she wants and doesn't stop until she gets it -- and never turns her back on her family -- was really inspiring for me to see as a reader. And then...I don't really want to keep talking and accidentally spoil how things shake down between her and Beckett, but all I'll say is that some things come to light about the night that their friendship broke up that neither of them are expecting. (Minor spoilers in this paragraph, so skip to the next one to avoid them!) (view spoiler)[My only question that I had about the book is the fact that if her dad had been planning for everything to work out fine in the end, when did he think he was going to tell Caroline about Bigmouth's? I just felt a little confused and a little bit like things were wrapped up a little too neatly, especially since so much of the book is about the predicament seeing like there was no logical and possible way out of it other than the bowling hustle. I didn't hate the ending by any means, I just felt a little thrown off because it seemed like there were such simple and easy solutions to the problems that were so monumental for so much of the book. And Beckett's dad comes back but we don't even hear much about it or about how his mom reacted or any of that story. (hide spoiler)] Overall, I really enjoyed reading KEEP MY HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO. It was a sweet, adorable story about coming together and piecing together the past to help save your future. It was also the first book I've ever read with a bowling alley setting, which I thought was really fascinating and cool and different. If you're looking for a sweet summer read to pick up and give you all the feels with some surprising twists, then I definitely recommend picking up this one!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Morgan- Nothing Better Than a Book

    This was such an enjoyable read that I flew through! It was very easy to read, and I found myself finishing the book before I knew it! This book does address suicide and mental health, but it doesn’t get super dark. I addresses the important of getting professional help and taking medicine, along with leaning on your family for support. The romance in this book was very sweet and innocent, but still managed to be swoony! I love a best friends romance, and that’s exactly what this was. With a bes This was such an enjoyable read that I flew through! It was very easy to read, and I found myself finishing the book before I knew it! This book does address suicide and mental health, but it doesn’t get super dark. I addresses the important of getting professional help and taking medicine, along with leaning on your family for support. The romance in this book was very sweet and innocent, but still managed to be swoony! I love a best friends romance, and that’s exactly what this was. With a best friends romance, they already have the connection and the strong friendship, so they are able to build their romance off of that. I also absolutely loved the bowling and the hustling aspect of this book. While I was in it for the romance, the bowling was a main plot point, and one that only enhanced the story. This had be turning pages at lightning speed to make sure they were going to be okay and to find out if they would win and save the bowling alley. 4 stars I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Em

    There was a lot to Chuck's story that worked for me, especially the depiction of her mental health. Her worries about growing to exhibit signs, of bipolar disorder as her mother had were well developed and made her relatable. The premise (illegal bowling!) was just absurd enough to be believable and fun. The writing was fun and light, but strong. Where this fell apart for me was the setting. I grew up in and around San Francisco and I never bought into Chuck's love of the city. Her fear of leavi There was a lot to Chuck's story that worked for me, especially the depiction of her mental health. Her worries about growing to exhibit signs, of bipolar disorder as her mother had were well developed and made her relatable. The premise (illegal bowling!) was just absurd enough to be believable and fun. The writing was fun and light, but strong. Where this fell apart for me was the setting. I grew up in and around San Francisco and I never bought into Chuck's love of the city. Her fear of leaving seemed more about fear of change/leaving her home town than specifically about losing San Francisco. Other than some geographic references I felt like this could have taken place anywhere. That city has so much personality, so much color, and to see it come through so flatly in this book was disappointing.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This book completely and utterly captured my heart. Well both Chuck and Beckett did. This story was so authentic and real. It made me laugh, cry, and gave me those butterflies in my stomach. The representation of depression, bipolar, and suicide in this book truly floored me. It felt real and relatable. And the author’s note at the end? Had a lump in my throat. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re not alone. Even with a mental illness, there are people around you who support you and there’s This book completely and utterly captured my heart. Well both Chuck and Beckett did. This story was so authentic and real. It made me laugh, cry, and gave me those butterflies in my stomach. The representation of depression, bipolar, and suicide in this book truly floored me. It felt real and relatable. And the author’s note at the end? Had a lump in my throat. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that you’re not alone. Even with a mental illness, there are people around you who support you and there’s always a support system with books. It was a nice reminder for me especially when times upstairs have been harder than usual. Sending my love to Amelia Dians Coombs. I needed this book. Thank you.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    That plot did not go how I expected at all. I also didn’t like Chuck, she was too whiny and it had nothing to do with her mental health. Beckett was also a bad influence and I don’t like how everyone thinks he’s so great.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Forever Young Adult

    Graded By: Rosemary Cover Story: Montell Jordan BFF Charm: Yay! Swoonworthy Scale: 7 Talky Talk: Straight Up San Fran Bonus Factors: Bowling Relationship Status: Bowlmates Read the full book report here. Graded By: Rosemary Cover Story: Montell Jordan BFF Charm: Yay! Swoonworthy Scale: 7 Talky Talk: Straight Up San Fran Bonus Factors: Bowling Relationship Status: Bowlmates Read the full book report here.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Wildenstein

    Very cute romance with a solid plot that made me want to go bowling the entire time!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Nicely joins other solid YA titles with mental health at their core (When We Collided, Under Rose-Tainted Skies, Dancing on the Edge, etc.). I especially enjoyed the Bay Area setting and even learned a few things. Hello Lake Merritt? Who knew? Also, very fun to read about Jennie in the acknowledgements. To think I knew her way back when she was just a recovering lawyer starting the FYA Book Club in in SF, now she's a literary agent extraordinaire! :) Nicely joins other solid YA titles with mental health at their core (When We Collided, Under Rose-Tainted Skies, Dancing on the Edge, etc.). I especially enjoyed the Bay Area setting and even learned a few things. Hello Lake Merritt? Who knew? Also, very fun to read about Jennie in the acknowledgements. To think I knew her way back when she was just a recovering lawyer starting the FYA Book Club in in SF, now she's a literary agent extraordinaire! :)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Yung

    Rofl. Imagine writing a book set in SF without any significant people of color, queer rep, or even ~ethnic~ food and then literally including quotes like this: “From its fraught history to the Gold Rush boom to the 1906 earthquake to the AIDs crisis, San Francisco’s had a rough life. A city felled by earthquakes and scorched by fire. A city that built itself back up. A city so diverse, welcoming, and unique. Streets without judgment, nights without limits. I can’t imagine living somewhere that is Rofl. Imagine writing a book set in SF without any significant people of color, queer rep, or even ~ethnic~ food and then literally including quotes like this: “From its fraught history to the Gold Rush boom to the 1906 earthquake to the AIDs crisis, San Francisco’s had a rough life. A city felled by earthquakes and scorched by fire. A city that built itself back up. A city so diverse, welcoming, and unique. Streets without judgment, nights without limits. I can’t imagine living somewhere that isn’t steeped in diversity like San Francisco. A city where I can be myself.” In the whole novel, there are two (2) Asians (both Japanese, one is described as,,, Zen and the other is just there to "accept his fate without a fight") and one wlw character (only revealed at the very end). Even if you were to disregard the total absence of Black / Latinx / Native / mixed rep (which... I don't know why you would), the U.S. Census shows Asian Americans are the largest minority group in SF County (34.3% Asian vs. 45.4% white), and like ~20% of those are Chinese (with ~1% Japanese, so...). Anyway, I'm getting tired of trotting out percentages, but I think it's fair to say that SF also has one of the highest percentages of LGBTQ+ individuals / households in the U.S., so the lack of rep there is also Bad. Moving on from that, for a book with San Francisco in the title, this reads like it's by someone who didn't grow up here, or even in the Bay Area. If she did, I bet it's somewhere far from SF lol—the setting feels ungrounded. A lot of the places mentioned are newer / touristy (i.e., Dynamo over Bob's, Booksmith instead of Green Apple, Miette over Schubert's, etc.)—and this might just be a preference thing, I'll admit, but it doesn't sit entirely well with me that on top of only having white characters, they primarily go to white-owned restaurants in S.F. (There's one Thai restaurant that goes unnamed.) Like, what's the point? Coombs literally could've thrown in b. Patisserie if she was looking for a POC-led French bakery to name, but you know she didn't think about that. Additionally, the protags travel around SF and the Bay more than my friends and I ever would've in high school (honestly, we would not willingly go to Berkeley / Brisbane / Alameda / etc. all in one week, but maybe that's an us thing). And I get that food isn't everyone's priority, but going to Dolores Park without stopping by Bi-Rite and heading into the Mission without getting tacos is just?? Quibble: What's the point of making up Castelli High when it plays no real part in the narration? Coombs could have stuck her hand into a hat with the names with the Founding Fathers and gotten something more accurate (Wash and Jefferson are right there,,, and everyone knows about Lowell and Lick if she wanted something non-presidential). Another quibble: Old music... authors, please. Do a little research instead of pulling from whatever era you grew up in. Frightened Rabbit? Manchester Orchestra as one of Chuck's "more recent favorite bands"? Father John Misty? We get it, you're an older Millennial! I'm not asking for 100 gecs to be thrown in there, but c'mon. Honestly, there are some decent bits—the discussion of mental health, while definitely unsubtle (especially in that egregious epilogue), is worthwhile, and Chuck and Beckett have some genuine moments. Still, this managed to tick a whole bunch of boxes on my pet peeves list (as you can likely tell by this review's length) and the tonal unevenness was also an issue, so two stars is kinda generous (taking into consideration 1) I'm harder on books set in the Bay 2) this is a debut).

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christina G.

    This was a great read! It is a sweet romance between ex best friends Chuck and Beckett. I did not expect to love reading a story about the Bay Area bowling scene would be so entertaining but as Chuck and Beckett come together you can’t help but root for them. I truly loved Chuck’s growth throughout the story. She has been through a lot in her life and is a strong character who may not always make the best choices but does it for the right reasons. My favorite part of this book is how it addresses This was a great read! It is a sweet romance between ex best friends Chuck and Beckett. I did not expect to love reading a story about the Bay Area bowling scene would be so entertaining but as Chuck and Beckett come together you can’t help but root for them. I truly loved Chuck’s growth throughout the story. She has been through a lot in her life and is a strong character who may not always make the best choices but does it for the right reasons. My favorite part of this book is how it addresses the stigma associated with being diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Having family members who live with a mental health diagnosis I feel particularly sensitive to how these diseases are often portrayed in movies and the media. This story helps to highlight how damaging these stigmas can be in a person’s mental health journey and I truly appreciate the author including that message within this book. I was provided a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rajasree Jayaram

    This was a sweet and entertaining YA book about the lengths a girl goes to rustle up cash in order to save her family's bowling alley so that she can stay in the city of her heart with the loves. Despite the cover prominently featuring bowling pins, in between obtaining the book and starting to read it, for some reason I'd misremembered the plot as related to saving a diner rather than a bowling alley. Caroline 'Chuck' Wilson is a likeable teen who is struggling with mental health issues. She wo This was a sweet and entertaining YA book about the lengths a girl goes to rustle up cash in order to save her family's bowling alley so that she can stay in the city of her heart with the loves. Despite the cover prominently featuring bowling pins, in between obtaining the book and starting to read it, for some reason I'd misremembered the plot as related to saving a diner rather than a bowling alley. Caroline 'Chuck' Wilson is a likeable teen who is struggling with mental health issues. She worries about the similarities between her mother and herself and tries too hard to not follow in her mother's footsteps. She also has to deal with her ex-BFF Becket Porter, who continues to be distractingly attractive and won't take no for an answer. As the title implies, this book is a love letter to San Francisco, with Chuck's love for the city clear in every page. The author has described with great detail the different neighbourhoods and atmosphere of the city. It was a little too much sometimes because my imagination can only go so far, but anyone who has ever lived in the city will probably appreciate it a lot more. I've visited bowling alleys only a handful of times in my life and played casually, so it was interesting to look deeper into how they're run and how, like all businesses, they need to adapt and keep up with the times by introducing new features. Chuck was a likeable heroine and I could empathize with her struggles. The important message in this book is about how media hypes up the extreme manifestations of mental illnesses but it is a spectrum, and how, with proper care and medication, it is possible to maintain relatively stable mental health and lead happy and fulfilling lives.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karen (^ v ^)

    This one surprised me with its themes on mental health. A cute hate-to-love childhood friends romance again after a falling out. Criticisms are that yes the premise and activities our MC and love interest engage in are a tad bit ridiculous for 17 year olds (view spoiler)[ honestly surprised they didn't get caught sooner (hide spoiler)] This one surprised me with its themes on mental health. A cute hate-to-love childhood friends romance again after a falling out. Criticisms are that yes the premise and activities our MC and love interest engage in are a tad bit ridiculous for 17 year olds (view spoiler)[ honestly surprised they didn't get caught sooner (hide spoiler)]

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