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 by Kelly Fiore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you’re looking for a lighthearted summer beach read then look no further. Just Like The Movies totally filled that category for me, though when I read it I was not on a beach and it was not summer… but I wish both of those had been true.
Marijke Monti has everything… she’s pretty, she’s popular, she’s got the perfect family and the boyfriend every girl wants. And that is where her confidence lacks. She constantly questions whether she cares more about Tommy Lawson than he does about her. Between the constant flirting with other girls and blowing her off to practice with his band, she worries she isn’t enough for him despite his constant reassurances.
Lily Spencer has spent her high school years doing everything she can be involved, but for some reason no one seems to remember who she is. Add to her life a mom who is in love with falling in love and she certainly doesn’t have any interest in dating or falling for the boys at her school… except for Joe … but Joe doesn’t even remember her name, much less want to date her.
A chance meeting at a movie theater has the two girls wondering why life can’t be just like the movies… Why can’t they set up these perfectly romantic situations to snag the guys they like just in time for prom?
I’m pretty sure I liked almost everything about this story. The plot isn’t drama heavy which is definitely a plus. That’s not to say that there isn’t some here. I think that my biggest frustrations came from watching Marijke and Tommy try to navigate their relationship, and because we get the story from her point of view, I could definitely understand her frustration with him, and to be honest, I would have had enough way sooner than she did. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like Tommy, just that he was somewhat clueless and didn’t understand where she was coming from. I absolutely loved the way her story evolved and how she came to realize that building her life around this boy, while she may love him, isn’t what’s best for her. As for her parent’s story, I saw that coming from a mile away.
But I have to say that Lily is my favorite. I bonded with her over her sarcasm and her outlook on romance and love. She’s a little cynical after seeing her mom’s heart get broken time and time again and who can blame her. Her mom’s latest boyfriend …. Contractor Jim… is certainly not someone she feels her mom should be involved with, and she’s spent so many years of her life being relegated to the sidelines to take care of herself and her younger brother while her mom goes out on dates and generally puts her love life before her kids. But she’s smart and she’s driven and when she and Marijke start working together on this “project” she’s going to put 100% in and she’s going to get Joe to notice her.
The best part out of the entire story though is to see the friendship bloom between these two unlikely girls. Neither have any real girlfriends they can talk to or count on in their lives and watching them create that bond with each other was really wonderful.
If you’re looking for something heavy and deep, this isn’t it… but that’s what’s perfect about it. If you’re a fan of chick flicks this will be right up your alley. It’s a quick read that has a bit of drama, some fun and swoon and you’ll absolutely find yourself cheering for these two girls to find what it is they need.
Thank you to Bloomsbury for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.