Author: Kelly Fiore
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers, 300 pages
Publication Date: July 22, 2014
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley
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.
Just Like the Movies is a cute fun read about love, friendship, and growing up. I loved the movie references (Say Anything, When Harry Met Sally, Never Been Kissed, Sixteen Candles, etc.) and both of the main characters are likable and relatable. The story is told from alternating POVs. There's Marijke, the track star who has a boyfriend, but he's never told her that he loves her and she's very insecure about their relationship. Her whole life revolves around him (she hasn't even picked a college yet because she's waiting to see what his plans are), but his life does not revolve around her. Then there's Lily, who's smart and sarcastic, but she feels invisible and really doesn't have any close friends. She has a crush on Joe, a motocross guy.
The best part about this book is not really the romance, but the friendship that develops between Marijke and Lily. Although I liked both of them, I didn't really like the guys (although there are some awwww moments). Part of me thought that Marijke was being pretty psycho, constantly thinking that Tommy was cheating on her and wanting him to make her his number one priority, but another part of me thought he just wasn't that into her. So I wasn't sure if I should even be rooting for their relationship. And with Joe, I didn't feel like I got to know him well enough. But the book did send positive messages about being yourself, the importance of friendship, and not making a guy the number one most important thing in your life.
In the end, a fun rom-com with some unexpected insights.
Posted by: Pam