Review of Better Than The Movies

Posted May 22, 2021 by Stormi in Book Reviews / 1 Comment

Review of Better Than The MoviesBetter Than the Movies by Lynn Painter
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 4, 2021
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publicist

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In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.
Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—and maybe snag him as a prom date—even befriend Wes Bennet.
The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.
But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.

Here is what I thought

I can be a bit hit or miss with YA contemporary romance, some just have a bit to much angst while others are fine. This one is sort of in between.

It’s about Liz who learned about romance from her mother through Romcoms  as her mother was a screenplay writer of the genre. Her mother died when she was young and she just always felt close to her mother when watching a romcom.

Now she is a senior and one day she sees a blast from the past. A boy she had a crush on as a kid, who moved away when they were like eight, is back. As soon as she sees him she thinks this is movie, this is her chance to have that epic love story. She starts obsessing over it and her friend told her to not even go there, but she can’t help it.

Her only problem is that to get to Michael, she needs an in. This in ends up being the boy next door who she can’t stand. Wes has been her neighbor since they were kids and the thorn in her side. She can’t stand him but he is friends with Michael, so she makes a deal with him about the parking space they fight over. She needs Wes to help her get Michael to ask her to prom.

The only thing is the more she hangs out with Wes, the more she finds out he is not the horrible person she thought he was and he also seems to be the one that comes to her aid when she needs someone. She starts to find out that hanging out with Wes isn’t so bad, but at the same time she still is trying to get with Michael.

Liz has to make up her mind about a lot of things and find out that a real love story is better than the movies!

Liz is an okay character even though at times she really made me roll my eyes. She was the definition of a teenage angst! She couldn’t make up her mind for nothing and even when she wanted things to go one way, she went the other. If I was Wes, I would have totally gave up on her a long time ago! And if I was her friend Joss I would have totally kicked her to the curb! Liz was  a horribly self absorbed friend, but she is a teenager. She had  moments that I liked her but other moments when I wanted to reach in and smack her.   Now on the other hand I loved Wes, he was so sweet! Most of the time I didn’t think Liz even deserved him!

It’s not as if we don’t know where this story is going because it’s been in many books and movies, but it’s always an interesting tale.  It was enjoyable even though at times I wanted to smack the main character. I do think that it will be one that teens will enjoy. If this is definitely your type of story then give it a try, I am sure you will like it.

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