by Kelly Fiore
To be published by Walker Children's
on June 22, 2014
Source: thanks to Bloomsbury for allowing me to read an advanced copy
Synopsis from Goodreads: Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson. Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend. While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much in common; but, after a coincidental meeting at the movie theater, Lily gets an idea – why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they set up their perfect romantic situations, just in time for their senior prom, using movie techniques? Once the girls come up with the perfect plans, they commit themselves to being secret cohorts and, just like in the movies, drama ensues.
My take: Overall, I enjoyed Just Like the Movies, a book that gently pokes fun at the way girls and women have unrealistic romantic expectations from watching rom coms (and reading romantic books?) The story is told from two POV's. Marijke Morris is a track star with an adorable musician boyfriend. But she's not happy -- she's insecure in her relationship and, as a result, hasn't made some important life decisions, like where she's going to college. Lily doesn't want to be anything like her mom, a single mother who's still looking for Mr. Right, and bringing home a lot of Mr. Wrongs in the process. Lily worships a guy at school from afar, but isn't able to muster up the courage to talk to him.
When the two girls -- who move in different social circles -- meet at a movie theater, they decide to join forces and use rom com techniques to fix their love lives. This scheme isn't a huge part of the book, but I did think that the story did a good job of examining something that's a rom com staple: the Big Romantic Gesture. The BRG, exemplified by things like Lloyd Dobler and his boom box, is something that's dreamed about by girls and disparaged by guys. The book cleverly weaves the BRG into the story by way of a sub-category of BRGs, the OTTPI (Over the Top Prom Invitation.) At my high school, way back in time, the OTTPI was a Thing and I guess they are still a Thing at some high schools - who knew? But in any case, I thought the book did a great job of looking at the way that women and men often expect different types of romantic gestures in a relationship, and the conflict that can ensue.
As for Marijke and Tommy's relationship, I had serious doubts about it and kept flip-flopping back and forth about whether I thought he should ditch her or vice versa. I think it was a realistic relationship, but one that got on my nerves at times. I loved Lily's character the most, but also had a few doubts about her studious girl/hot guy relationship. I mean, do those ever really exist in real life? But in the end, I enjoyed the dual POV, enjoyed the friendship they developed, and found Just Like the Movies to be an entertaining summer read.
The friendship and dual POV sounds good, but I hear ya on the studious and hot guy IRL.ReplyDelete
I do like quick, fun (even unrealistic) rom coms in books. I'm not sure about the romances, but I think I'll be enjoying the friendship and the different romantic gestures. Lovely review, Jen!ReplyDelete
Great review Jen! I like the concept of the book and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I also noticed were both reading My Last Kiss!ReplyDelete
Patrick @ The Bookshelves
This sounds super silly and fun!ReplyDelete
The cover is super cute!ReplyDelete
This book sounds really cute! I love the idea of the friendship and dual romances.ReplyDelete
So glad you enjoyed it!
Lis @ The reader lines
This book looks like so much fun. I love that you say it gently pokes fun of girls and their rom coms. That sounds hilarious and cute. I wanted to read this one before your review, but now I can't wait to read it!ReplyDelete
I don't mind the studious girl/hot guy thing, so I don't think that will bug me, but thanks for the heads up :)
Michelle @ Book Briefs
This sounds cute. I'm glad you overall enjoyed it. Great review! :)ReplyDelete
I read Fiore's last book and enjoyed it. This one sounds cute. While it's fun to watch in the movies, I can't help but roll my eyes when I see BRG's in real life. Especially over the top prom invites. Jeez. When I was in school I can't remember anyone asking anyone out that way, but a few months ago my sister (who's in high school now) just kept telling me about all the crazy invites girls she knew were getting. I'll have to check this one out. Who wouldn't love a book that pokes fun at unreasonable rom-com enduced expectations!ReplyDelete
This one sounds like a really cute contemporary read and i'm totally in the cute and contemporary mood right now ;)ReplyDelete
Now this sounds like a really great book. I like the idea and how funny it sounds. I hope to read it soon. Great review :)ReplyDelete
This sounds really cute and I liked Kelly Fiore's first novel so now I can't wait to read this one too!ReplyDelete
High School me really wants to believe in studious/unpopular girl hot boy relationships but I never saw one in real life.ReplyDelete
And the OTTPI I see now freak me out. SO much pressure! & if it isn't hard enough to get a date - people are going outside of school and bringing celebrities lol
Karen @ For What It's Worth
I just got this last week from Netgalley, I'm glad to hear it was a cute summer read for you. I love books with a good friendship (: I'm such a sucker for romcoms (and things poking fun at it) haha. Thanks for the review!ReplyDelete
I have been wanting to read this..I love reading things from different POV's so I think it will like it. Thanks :)ReplyDelete
Eeh, this sounds really fun actually! I don't usually read chickflicks, buuut...I can be tempted. Their relationship sounds like it might be a little irritating, though? Still! x)ReplyDelete
Great review. Haven't heard too much about it, but I like the sound of it.ReplyDelete
This is another book that I have on my tbr, but I didn't download from NG because I wasn't sure if I would have time to read it. I may still pick it up because it sounds kind of cute. Thanks for the review.ReplyDelete
This sounds cute, even if I'm not a fan of rom-coms. I do appreciate a BRG now and again, though. :) I may have to check this one out.ReplyDelete