Despite her abundance of confidence in real life, Kiki is forced to adopt a male persona and play anonymously online in order to avoid harassment. She never expected it to be a problem until she actually makes a real friend in game, a sweet cinnamon roll of a teenage boy who balks at the idea of that girls can’t game. When she finds out that he attends the same school she just transferred to for her senior year, Kiki does whatever she can to find out his identity without giving hers away.

A gamer girl, a cinnamon roll teen boy, a twist on You’ve Got Mail—honestly, what is there not to love about this book? Kiki was a fun side character in WELL, THAT WAS UNEXPECTED and it was an absolute joy to see her take the role of main character in this story.

Kiki as a character was a beautiful representation and direct response to the idea of “it could never be me” in the context of staying quiet when being bullied/harassed/etc. We are able to see the toll that the gaslighting, bullying, and harassment has on this confident young woman and how anyone can be forced into silence. Sutanto has a beautiful way of discussing heavy topics while still keeping the story light and comedic and that is exactly what happens in this book.

Despite the predictability of the story, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the overall story. Kiki, Liam, and several other characters were incredibly nuanced and had layers that revealed themself as the story went on. Some characters, however, were a bit one note in their villainy and actually made me angry and/or gag with some of the things that they said. In the end though, Sutanto’s witty writing and clever storytelling kept me completely engaged and excited to get to the end.

My biggest gripe about this book is the audacity to call my generation “ancient millennials.” I DID NOT COME TO BE ATTACK LIKE THIS, JESSE! (Never mind the fact that I do, in fact, feel ancient. We don’t talk about it, okay?!)

DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING by Jesse Q. Sutanto is the companion novel to 2022’s WELL, THAT WAS UNEXPECTED and you can pick up a copy here. While you don’t necessarily have to read the other book first, I personally think it’s a lot more fun if you do, so head over and grab a copy of WELL, THAT WAS UNEXPECTED as well!

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."