August 1, 2014

Title: Just Like the Movies

Author: Kelly Fiore ♥ @kellyannefiore

Published: July 22, 2014

Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers/Bloomsbury

Pages: 300

Genre: Young Adult ♥ Contemporary ♥ Romance

Source: NetGalley

Summary 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.

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 07/31/2014): 3.88

  • Christina thought this title was predictable, but very cute. It goes on her 2nd shelf. To find out why…

**SPECIAL NOTE:** An eARC of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

♥ Quick Thoughts and Rating: 3.5-3.75 stars! I went into this story expecting it to be slightly stereotypical, but just like every ROM-COM movie you watch, even though you won’t be surprised about all behavior of the characters or what the outcome will be, you still manage to get swept away in their journey and, indefinitely, end up falling in love with them falling in love. Just Like the Movies is exactly that… just like the movies, predictable yet utterly entertaining.

♥ The Lowdown: Marijke Monti is almost your standard high school elite beauty with a few minor tweaks. She’s popular, but not perched on the top tier of social hierarchy, nor a bitch . She’s an athlete, but not a cheerleader. She’s dating one of the hottest guys in school, but he’s not a jock– he’s a musician, and she’s not totally secure with their relationship. Lastly, her parents are high school sweethearts and nauseatingly in love… or, maybe they’re not.

Lily Spencer is quite the opposite. She likes to stick to the sidelines, working better behind-the-scenes rather than being center stage. She’s studious to the point of being an overachiever. However, she’s also fiercely loyal and has a sarcastic edge.

When a serendipitous encounter at an old movie theater lands these two girls together and swapping stories about how life would be better if love happened like they do in the movies, a plan is hatched for them to snag the guys they want once and for all.

In the end, we come with a basic goal. We have three weeks before prom, which isn’t much time. By then, if we do this right, Joe and Tommy will have fallen ass-over-eyebrows in love with us and we’ll have Hollywood to thank for it.
~quote taken from the eARC of Just Like the Movies at 30%

But when their plans start to fall through, they end up finding friendship in each other, and learned maybe that’s what they both stood to gain from such colossal failures at recreating those iconic movie moments in the first place.

♥ My Thoughts: As I stated previously, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by this story simply because of what the summary suggested, but I had a feeling that I would enjoy it regardless. I’m proud I went with my gut because I ended really liking this novel and all of its characters. Told in alternating POVs between Marijke and Lily, we really get a sense of who they truly are as people. They were flawed, but felt genuine in both their thoughts and actions. I giggled at the girls crazy movie antics and hurt for them when they wouldn’t get the reaction they were hoping to receive. It was fun seeing them recreate some of my favorite movie moments. I also ended tearing up and boohooing a time or two when things really hit the fan toward the end. But just as predictably as those romantic comedies, but no less moving or swoonworthy, the ending made it all worth it.

I also really, really loved that Lily– and other instances in the book– helped Marijke to see that she needed to be selfish, live her life for herself instead of letting her relationship with Tommy dictate her future. I thought it was an important message for young girls and a great reminder for us older ones.

♥ Rec It? Yes! Let Just Like the Movies take you on a journey of friendship and learning to love yourself so that you can really be loved by others. It was a great, quick read perfectly suited for those summer months with wonderfully stated messages and effortless cute, fluttery-feels-inducing moments.

A very special thanks to Walker Books for Young Readers/Bloomsbury and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

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