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BOOK REVIEW: You Bet Your Heart

You Bet Your Heartby Danielle Parker 
Publication Date: May 30, 2023

Plot – This book follows Sasha’s last couple weeks of Senior Year where she realizes that she has competition for the valedictorian spot/scholarship. And that said competition is her ex childhood bestie who she thought didn’t care about school.

In February (I think?) I went to an author event for Elise Bryant (love her books) and one of the moderators was her friend Danielle who spoke about her debut. As soon as she mentioned academic rivals to lovers I WAS SOLD! So I did my best to get an ARC at Yallwest (see our recap here) and it all worked out!


  • Academic rivals to lovers is just such a fun trope.
    • Sure seeing the antics they attempt get a bit out of hand, but we are just here to have a fun time!! Plus teens are so messy.
  • I really enjoyed how Danielle wrote Sasha’s character.
    • When I started this book I was like Sasha…please realize that your value to your family is more than just grades and then Danielle shows us her growth! I often feel that character development is a bit fast, but in this book Danielle shows us that is takes Sasha a bit of time to grow and it felt very natural.
  • The romance was cute!
    • They have one date that was just so sweet, it made me grin.
    • It does move pretty fast, but hey, it’s a YA book.
  • The friend group goes on FRY-DATES at a restaurant that has (only? mostly?) potato food which is me dream.
  • This cover is so cute! The ARC is a bit muted, but the finished copy looks so vibrant and I love the little illustrations.
  • I loved one of the ending scenes with her mom. I’ll put it in white if you want to read it – her mom was nervous to go back to school and I loved seeing Sasha be there for her. 


  • Some of the aspects of the romance felt a tad juvenile to me.
    • like…y’all are in high school…it’s not that serious.
  • The friendships could have been a bit more developed.

TW: death of a parent, grief

Overall, this was a cute YA contemporary that I would recommend to those who like a book focused on Senior Year!

xoxo, Tree

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