Shipped – Meredith Tate – ARC Review

Title: Shipped
: Meredith Tate
Genre: YA, Contemporary
: May 18th, 2021 (G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR)

Synopsis: Can two IRL enemies find their happily ever after online?

Stella Greene and Wesley Clarke are Gene Connolly Memorial High School’s biggest rivals. While the two have been battling it out for top student, it’s a race to the bottom when it comes to snide comments and pulling the dirtiest prank. For years, Stella and Wes have been the villain in each other’s story, and now it’s all-out war.

And there is no bigger battle than the one for valedictorian, and more specifically, the coveted valedictorian scholarship.

But Stella and Wes have more in common than they think. Both are huge fans of Warship Seven, a popular sci-fi TV drama with a dedicated online following, and the two start chatting under aliases–without a clue that their rival is just beyond the screen. They realize that they’re both attending SciCon this year, so they plan to dress in their best cosplay and finally meet IRL.

While tensions at school are rising and SciCon inches closer and closer, the enemy lines between Stella and Wes blur when a class project shows them they might understand one another better than anyone else–and not just in cosplay.

From the author of The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly comes a heartfelt story about rivalry, friendships, and defying preconceived notions–even the ones about yourself.

Thank you to the publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Stella Greene and Wesley Clarke are long time rivals and their battle reaches new heights this year as they are their high school’s top contenders for the prized position of valedictorian, and the scholarship that comes with it. While in real life, they can’t stand each other, they’ve unknowingly been chatting online in a forum for fans of a famous sci-fi TV show. When they realize they are both planning to attend SciCon this year, they make plans to meet in person for the first time. The end of the school year, and with it, SciCon, draw closer by the day, and when Stella and Wes are forced to pair up for a major class project, they start to realize that when they’re not fighting, they actually work well together and share more things in common than they realized.

I love books that delve into fan culture, and an enemies to lovers storyline is always a favourite with me, so it was no surprise when I flew through this book in a single sitting. This reminded me a lot of Geekerella and You’ve Got Mail, and there was a lot of discussion on fandom and respecting people’s differing opinions, while also touching on topics like parental pressure, the competitiveness and stress surrounding college admissions and more.

The characters were great and it was a good choice to narrate it from both Stella and Wes’ perspectives, which really made it easy to understand their motivations, choices and personalities. Their banter is great and while they are both extremely competitive, it was nice to see them begin to work together. Stella in particular was extremely relatable for me, and it brought to mind my own high school days which, while fun, were also a couple of very intense and insanely competitive years. While I didn’t like Wes initially, given that he seemed to be the stereotypical rich boy complaining about problems which seemed so minimal compared to Stella’s situation, he eventually became a much more likeable character, especially with the choice he made at the end of the book.

While it was really nice to see how the two of them bonded over their love of the same show despite their vastly differing opinions on some of the characters, I didn’t much enjoy the interludes from the show. Personally, I felt that the story was just getting interrupted over and over again to show us snippets from the show that we only know the barest outline of – though there are admittedly some interesting parallels between the main ship in the show and Wesley and Stella. Then there is the question of both their family problems which don’t really get a satisfactory ending.

To be completely frank, Shipped was a really cute read, and if I hadn’t read Geekerella before this, I might have even rated this 4.5 stars. Though the premises are different, there are a lot of similarities that make it near impossible not to compare the two and I am unfortunately very biased. However, this was a fast pace and enjoyable read and it is one that I would definitely recommend.

Shipped releases on May 18th, 2021.

Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
All quotes in this review were taken from an advance reader’s edition and may differ from the final version of the book.


22 thoughts on “Shipped – Meredith Tate – ARC Review

  1. Jodie | That Happy Reader May 4, 2021 / 9:52 am

    I love books that are told from multiple perspectives and I like the premise of this book! Great review! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. CristinaR May 4, 2021 / 10:41 am

    This sounds like a great read! I love books with multiple POVs and it’s interesting that they delve into the fandom world! A sure add on to my reading list, thanks for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. GWT May 4, 2021 / 11:07 am

    With a title like ‘Shipped’ it sits well in the young adult genre. And, a definite page-turner since it was finished in one sitting. I get the impression, it narrowly missed out on a solid 5 from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarah May 4, 2021 / 11:19 am

    What a fun-sounding book. I have to admit, I love the idea of books that include fandoms but I haven’t read many, or any of them. I’m also a fan of hate to love relationships, so this book has quite a few things that would make me pick it up. The cover is also great – yes I often pick up books purely because of their covers. I will add this one to my TBR and hopefully get to it in a reasonable time once it’s out.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stephanie May 5, 2021 / 11:19 am

    Up until now, I hadn’t heard anything about this particular book, but it does sound totally cute! Something lighthearted is often really necessary – especially after reading a lot of heavier fantasies (which is what I’ve been doing lately). I loved your review of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sadie May 5, 2021 / 11:49 am

    This looks like it must be super cute. What a great summer read.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Not-So-Modern-Girl May 6, 2021 / 6:33 am

    Great post! I’m glad this was a cute read, and it sounds perfect for someone looking for a light-hearted summer reads- despite its flaws. Thank you for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pooja May 6, 2021 / 4:32 pm

    This sounds like a great read! A sure add on to my reading list, thanks for sharing 🌻

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Fransic verso May 6, 2021 / 5:33 pm

    Great! post! I think it’s a lot of fun having a competition between two and fighting to make it first to the top.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Inah May 6, 2021 / 8:49 pm

    This book is right up to my alley. Thanks for a wonderful review! Enemies to lovers trope is growing on me and I totally love books that delve on pop/nerd culture. Adding this to my tbr.

    Liked by 1 person

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