Better Than the Movies – Lynn Painter


When I think of ‘‘Better than the Movies,’’ the movie Clueless comes to mind pretty much immediately. Throughout the story, the main character Liz Buxbaum discusses plenty of romantic comedies and tropes and I simply cannot help but associate this book’s ‘‘vibe’’ to that of Clueless’. The two may have few elements in common and Liz may be rather different from Cher, and yet.  

Liz is not a top girl (popular and cool) and yet she kind of needs to be to attract the attention of Michael, a childhood friend who has moved back home and who Liz believes belongs with her. She’s also not particularly shallow, and yet when it comes to love, she idealizes, overthinks, deceives and avoids. Loves does make us crazy, but to Liz it seems to make her crazy and immature and delusional and a really bad friend.

So why did I actually like her? I have to say that I’m not lining up to sign up as her new best friend anytime soon, based on how she is treating hers throughout the story basically, but the part of me that enjoys rom-coms and wants to believe that romantic love is an ethereal kind of special that deserves being consumed and being let to consume us could not help but slightly encourage Liz in her questionable endeavours.

That does not mean that I fell head over heels for the miscommunication, best-friend and step-mother mistreatment or the unrealistic scenes. I guess, just like visual romantic comedies, there is content worth smiling at, swooning over, questioning and rolling our eyes at. Is it better than an actual rom-com movie?  Well, no. There is more ideation than heartfelt emotion for me to really have felt the love. But I did feel the character and relationship developments, which does matter. So what I’m saying is that if you’re looking for a written rom-com, you are welcome to take a shot at this one, just try to go along with Liz’s idealistic romantic expectations as much as possible. That will certainly improve your reading experience.  

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for sending a copy of the advance book. On sale May 4th, 2021!

Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

9781471147142The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, (Bad) Romance

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A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for.

Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.

When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia—a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything. Continue reading

Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: bought (and so glad I did!)
Publication date: February 21st 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres & Themes: YA, Coming of Age, LGBT, Contemporary, Friendship, Trust, Family, Loyalty.


Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

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❤ One Month International Blogoversary Giveaway + Mini-Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (+ Necklace) ❤

To All the Boys I've Loved Before ReviewTo All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Goodreads First Reads
Publication Date: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres & Themes: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Siblings, Friendship, Trust, Family.


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

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