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 was a cutesey, feel-good summer read that I devoured in a day. With humorous moments and likeable characters, it's easy to enjoy this book. However, I do have to say that there's no real substance to it and it honestly doesn't stick out in my mind as a particularly memorable contemporary book.
I liked the two main characters. Lily and Marijke, although they both have very different personalities, somehow manage to come together when they share the same goal: make their life just like the movies. This was a fun idea that's perfectly fitting for a contemporary story. It's unique, results in some rather hilarious situations, plus all the movie references made me smile. (Also: Pitch Perfect shout-out for the win! Although I wish one of the scenes from that movie could've actually been used in the storyline.)
The romance was okay-ish. Honestly, I didn't find either of the boys that Lily and Marijke are interested in particularly appealing - especially Marijke's! The boys' characters were a little bland and cookie-cutter for me. I had my fingers crossed that their love stories wouldn't turn out to be so predictable, but it turned out the same way it would in your typical romantic comedy. A little disappointing for me, but I suppose if you love happily-ever-after endings you'll like it.
I also found the ending to be a little rushed. Everything worked out just perfectly just in time. But that and the slightly boring romance are my only complaints. Otherwise, I found this story to be utterly charming. I laughed at the characters' crazy schemes and found them to be very quirky and relatable, and I was pleased at the great development of minor characters like Lily and Marijke's families.
Definitely check out this book if you feel like being entertained with a fun, fast read. I certainly enjoyed it, and this is the kind of author whose books I'll reach for when it's summer and I want a good beach read. It's not a favorite contemporary of mine, but it's still oh-so-fun and worth reading.
*I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!