Friday, August 1, 2014

Review: Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore

Title: Just Like the Movies
Kelly Fiore
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Acquired Via: Kaye Publicity
Release Date: July 22, 2014

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 Review

There's nothing like having flashbacks to your teenage years, and Kelly Fiore had an uncanny ability to make me do so while reading Just Like the Movies. She captured a lot of the insecurities and issues that plague teenagers with school, home life, and relationships.

Just Like the Movies is told from two alternating points of view: Marijke's and Lily's. Each character has a well-fleshed and complex life - with very real problems - making either girl easy to relate to for teenage readers. They had very different problems at home with their parents, issues with friends, and, of course, boy problems. Since this is more "chick lit" than an "issues" book, only the surface of these things are scratched.

I really enjoyed the female characters in Just Like the Movies, but there is little love from me for the boys. As I'm an adult, I know from experience why the boys in the book probably acted the way that they did. Tommy did not do much to calm Marijke's insecurities, and Joe never seemed that interested in Lily as a person (his loss!). Both of those things sent up red flags (albeit different ones), and I can guarantee that in real life, there would not be much longevity to happily ever afters with these fellows. But that's neither here nor there. I just wasn't on board for the girls' crushes.

The main problem that I had with Just Like the Movies was the aforementioned lack of depth. There were issues brought up that the girls had, yet they were shoved off to the side long enough for Lily and Marijke to have their HEA (happily ever after). I know the book was intended to be light (and it was!), but I would have at least liked to see Courtney and Marijke address their abandoned friendship. But who knows? Maybe there will be another book.

Overall, Just Like the Movies was a fun, light read despite the issues that I had. I didn't care for the boys that the girls pined after or plotted to catch, but I enjoyed the hell out of watching them try.

- 3/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the book from the author or publisher through Kaye Publicity in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.

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