All, Review, Tree


As If On Cue by Marisa Kanter
Publication Date: September 21, 2021

Plot:  Natalie and Reid have been rivals since middle school, but due to budget cuts in their high school they are now forced to co direct a play turned musical and emotions are high! But maybe they will realize that they were wrong about each other. 

Marisa is now a local ish author to me so I’ve seen her at a few recent book signings and she is so lovely and fun to chat with. See photographic proof that I’ve met her lol here. I bought As If On Cue while it was an ebook deal awhile ago to support her, but also because I still needed to read it. And I am happy to report that I loved it and next time I see her will have to tell her how much. I guess as a disclaimer/disclosure I should say that Marisa and I are mutuals on Instagram and chat every so often!!  


  • Rivals to Lovers is one of my favorite tropes and in YA it just hits harder!!
    • I think it is harder to pull off in adult romance or at least I haven’t seen it done well it usually is work related and that is just a bummer all around.
      • (if you have recs please send them my way)
  • Natalie and Reid had so many cute moments.
    • My favorite being when they see The Lion King musical together because we love a musical theater date. I literally texted my friend about how cute this was.
  • This novel is a love letter to theater kids and band kids and the struggles they face when school run into budget cuts.
    • I’m sure it is even worse than it was when I was in high school, but “budget cuts” was a common phrase in my district for a few years.
  • The grand gesture. Idk what it is about me but I love the whole “we have to skip school and drive somewhere to convince someone so I can right my wrong” trope and it goes hard here
  • The Jewish representation.
    • Marisa Kanter is Jewish and I loved how Natalie’s sister is preparing for her Bat Mitzvah and how the event itself is on page. (And not just because it means certain rivals end up dancing tighter).
  • The friends! I love a good friendship plot in any book and seeing Natalie make mistakes with her friends, but grow from the mistakes was lovely to see.
    • I also liked the mini plot line of her sister having friend drama as well.
  • I loved the conversation about following your creative dreams and what a risk that is!! Natalie’s parents being creatives was such an interesting foil to her life plans and I loved it.
  • I guess I just loved the strong family vibes all around!!


  • I will say some of the pranks were a bit much for me (like in terms of how serious they were), but I am all for giving space for messy teens who make mistakes so I personally was like NATALIE NO, but it was fine in the end. 
  • I also didn’t like the flashbacks because I am not a flashback fan!! I  didn’t think we really needed them.
  • The plot line with her dad was excellent, but resolved a bit too quickly for me to feel the full impact.

Overall I highly recommend this one to all of you YA contemporary fans! I gave it 4/5 stars, but it was such a good YA novel and I’m so hyped for Fitz’s book!

Thanks for reading & please leave all Rivals to Lovers recommendations in the comments lol.

xoxo, Tree

4 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: As If On Cue”

  1. Isn’t it so fun becoming friends with authors? It’s been one of the coolest parts of book blogging/bookstagram for me. I haven’t heard of Marisa’s books before, but you grabbed my attention immediately when you mentioned theatre. I’m a theatre nerd and did musical theatre for 6 years, so this totally sounds up my alley! I’ll have to pick it up soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahh yay! I hope you love it! It is such a love letter to high school theater and I could tell that Marisa really loves it (I think she met her husband doing theater??”

      xoxo, tree


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