Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review: Just Like The Movies by Kelly Fiore

Title: Just Like the Movies
Author: Kelly Fiore
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Length: 300 pages
Original Publishing Date: July 22nd, 2014
Series: Standalone
Where I got it: eARC from NetGalley
Links: Goodreads Amazon Author's Website

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.

Main characters: 4.5/5

Marijke and Lily were two peas in a pod and they were adorable. They had opposite problems and personalities and I liked how they were brought together by their problems and their love for the classic love story movies. Both had completely relatable personal and relationship problems that I felt I could understood- even if those particular problems had never happened to me. Marijke and Lily played to each others strengths and weaknesses perfectly, and made me adore them both as individuals and as friends.

Secondary characters: 2/5

Tommy and Joe became sort of flat, which I totally understand. Ultimately the novel was about Marijke and Lily finding themselves, not as much about Tommy and Joe and their changes. I'll be honest though, I was not a fan of Tommy at all. Joe was a bit of a mystery but I liked him considerably more than Tommy. Although there was a miscommunication with Joe, I still thought he was a nice guy. Some more characterization would have been nice with these love interests though, even if the story was only told through Marijke and Lily's POVs.

Writing style: 4.5/5

The pacing moved so quickly: I honestly steamrolled through it in literally a night. Even the style was adorable and made me giggle along with Marijke and Lily. It was fun and light-hearted and completely matched the plot of the novel. The dialogue was snappy and fresh, without being over-the-top or dramatic. Overall, it was both entertaining and humorous.

Plot: 4.5/5 
The premise was absolutely adorable. Like many teenage girls, Marijke and Lily wish for a romance from the movies, but are having trouble with their dreams matching their realities. It made me giggle, made me blush, made me smile, and made me tear up. The scenes were memorable and fun, and I loved it all.

Ending: 1.5/5

This one could have been better. No spoilers, but the way that Fiore chose to end the novel felt unsatisfying to me because it jipped the characters. With the characterization from earlier in the novel, I genuinely felt that the characters would be unhappy the way that they ended up, and that was depressing.

Best scene: All of Marijke's failed attempts to ask Tommy to prom!

Reminded Me Of: This is What Happy Looks Like

Positives: Marijke & Lily (just... yesss), the premise, the pacing

Negatives: Lack of characterization in Tommy & Joe, the ending

Cover: It's cute.... it just looks like something that an amateur could do, and the picture didn't necessarily translate to the plot at all.

Verdict: I blew through this fun and sweet movie-inspired love story in one night- does that tell you enough?

Rating:  6.8 / 10 (4 stars)

Your Thoughts: Have you read it? What did you think? If you haven't, will you be adding it to your TBR list? Let me know!

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