The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams: A Perfect Val's Day Read

It's a sick Valentine for me: I was tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday and my whole body ached. The only good thing that came out of this situation was me finding a perfect Val's Day read in the attempt to distract myself: it's The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams.

This book follows the story of Bree Camden who has been in love with her best friend since, like, forever. But the thing is, Nathan Donelson is no ordinary man. He is the star quarterback in NFL with fans all over America, and most importantly, he doesn't seem to look at Bree that way.

When Bree accidentally spills her guts to a reporter over too much tequila one day, the world quickly assumes that the two are getting together. A strange opportunity then arises for Bree to get more money and for Nathan to get an even better image: they just have to fake date until the Superbowl is over. But it's really hard for Bree to remember that it's all just a charade when Nathan is being too close and overly flirtatious.

It's very easy to like a book when the main characters are lovable, and fortunately, both Bree and Nathan in The Cheat Sheet easily fall into that category. Bree was a fun, panicky character, while Nathan was that sort of too-good-to-be-true guy all women need. Even if the two seemed too kind and perfect, and their oblivion about their mutual crush seemed stupid at some point (I mean, secretly in love with each other for six years was crazy...), I still enjoyed the friends-to-lovers trope a little bit too much.

This book didn't only shower us with two fun main characters. It gave us Nathan's teammates alsosomething we wouldn't have known we needed if not for the whole nail polish thing and the whiteboard scene. Jomal was my favorite amongst the entire crew. He reminded me a little of Schmidt from the series New Girl and I thought he's adorable.

It's all fun and games until the author decided to include a crucial moment at almost the end of the book. And I thought she handled it quite well. Showing vulnerability and learning to accept that one is enough is certainly a nice trope to explore, and this book offered a good one in this aspect. The only quote I highlighted from this book was the one I found very relatable:

"Your ability to shoulder everything, to give 200% of yourself all the time,
to be perfect at everything you attempt…
these are not the attributes that make you a valuable human being."

In conclusion, I would recommend The Cheat Sheet if you are in the mood for something fun and fluffy. The romance might not be steamy, but you would be surprised by how swoon-worthy the relationship was. My only qualm was (spoiler alert) the marriage scene that took place in the last few chapters. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to read a book with a guaranteed happy ending, but what happened here felt a bit rushed. Bree and Nathan were too discreet in the beginning to do something as impulsive as getting married in a matter of days (just my humble opinion though, I still adore them both).

Actual rating: 3.9