Monday, May 10, 2021

Book Review: "Better Than the Movies" by Lynn Painter

A young woman obsessed with rom-coms hopes for a love story of her own in Lynn Painter's new book, Better Than the Movies.

“When she died, my mother bequeathed to me her unwavering belief in happily ever after. My inheritance was the knowledge that love is always in the air, always a possibility, and always worth it. Mr. Right—the nice-guy, dependable version—could be waiting around the very next corner. Which was why I was always at the ready. It was only a matter of time before it finally happened for me.“

Liz is dreaming of her happy ending even though she’s only a senior in high school. Her romantic relationships to this point haven’t been too promising, but when her childhood neighbor and former crush/obsession, Michael, returns to school (more handsome than ever and with a southern drawl), she knows Michael is Mr. Right.

It seems, however, Michael still sees Liz as the wacky little girl next door. So Liz enlists the help of her next-door neighbor and general annoyance, Wes, to make her seem more attractive and interesting in Michael’s eyes. Wes is all too happy to give Liz some (scarily accurate) styling advice and talks her up to Michael. But of course, she and Wes start spending so much time together that everyone thinks they're dating.

Liz knows Michael is the guy she wants. But why is it that the more time she spends with Wes the more she can’t stop thinking about him? Wes is the bad boy—and all of the rom-coms she watches tell her it never works with the bad boy. Could real life be different?

I thought Better Than the Movies was a cute book, and since I’m such a fan of rom-com books and movies, I really enjoyed this. In addition to the romance aspect, the book did a great job exploring grief and how hard it can be to move on.

Can you predict what will happen in the book? Sure. But this was a sweet, fun, poignant ride that warmed my sappy heart.

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