Better Than The Movies by Lynn Painter is a rom-com young adult book that follows Liz, a young girl who is smitten with her mom’s old collection of romantic comedy movies and sees life (and romance) through the eyes of the movies. Like people see life through the eyes of their favorite books, Liz sees things through the eye lens of the romantic comedies she grew up loving. When her childhood crush, Michael, moves back into town, Liz goes on the hunt to get him to notice her as the grown-up young woman she is and not the “little weirdo” she was. After enlisting her neighbor and nemesis, Wes Bennett, as her teammate in getting Michael to notice her, things get sticky. All of a sudden, Liz is noticing things about Wes she hadn’t before. His scent, his abs, and even begins to enjoy talking to him.
All while trying to get Michael to notice her, there’s the side story of Liz dealing with her mother’s death when she was a child, and her shaky relationship with her best friend who she seems to lie at every turn of the book (and I was getting just as tired as the friend was). She seems to have blinders on all for the sake of what she thinks is her happy ending with her crush. At first, I related to Liz because I see things through the eyes of books and movies as well. I enjoyed her description of being someone into vintage style and having headphones on wherever she goes. As the story moved on though, I started to see how clueless she was and I started to enjoy the role of Wes a lot more. Yes, he was annoying and immature at times, but you can tell he actually cares for Liz and that is endearing.
There’s a cute bit about her mom and she would come up with soundtracks (like the movies have) so, throughout the book, we hear occasional mentions of what would be on Liz and Wes’s soundtrack or what is on her soundtrack with Michael.
I’m not finished with the book yet but I can see how some of the lying and inability to overcome the death of her mom will come to cause some problems, and it will all probably blow up in her face. It’s obvious there will be some tension between Wes and Michael as one or the other decides they like Liz and want her for themselves. The question remains, will Liz follow the obvious signs of her noticing and feeling comfortable with Wes or will she continue to pursue the “happy ever after dream” type guy she has seen in all her movies?
Better Than The Movies releases today, May 4th, 2021, and is available wherever books are sold.
Disclaimer: GeekMom was given a review copy.