Better Than The Movies
Grade : A-

Better Than the Movies is a popular YA novel that came out in 2021 and is still being raved about by readers. It has a rom-com movie theme with lots of humor and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Liz and Wes are next door neighbors who annoy each other. They are both seniors in high school and compete daily over a parking spot in front of their houses. Liz loves rom-coms and has fond memories of watching them with her mother before her mom passed away. She dreams of going to prom and when she finds out that Michael, a boy she had a school girl crush years ago, has moved back to town, she decides he would make the perfect prom date. Michael and Wes are good friends so Liz asks Wes to help her win over Michael and in return Wes can have the parking spot forever. And the fun begins as Wes takes Liz to parties, a basketball game, and movie night with his friends so she can get to know Michael.

Each chapter begins with a rom-com quote that illuminates with what’s happening in the chapter. This device brought back fun and fond memories of classic rom-coms films. Fans of Bridget Jones’s Diary, When Harry Met Sally, Love Actually and 10 Things I Hate About You will spot many of their favorite lines here!

Wes suggests that he and Liz should fake date so Michael can see that she’s grown up from the girl he knew when they were young. It’s wonderful when Liz starts to see Wes in a new light, instead of the annoying boy who pranked her with frogs and lawn gnomes. My favorite part of the story is when Wes builds a campfire and they cook s’mores in his secret spot behind his house (he’s decorated it with fairy lights!). They talk about what’s going on in their lives and Liz shares how much she misses her mom and how hard it is that she can’t share senior milestones with her, like prom.

What makes this book special are the wonderful characters. Liz is quirky – she likes vintage clothes, works in a bookstore and has wonderful romanticized ideas of the world from all the rom-coms she’s watched. Wes is so sweet to Liz and their banter is fun – we can see how much he likes her. Of the two, Liz changes more than Wes due to the death of her beloved parent. She is goofy and awkward in the beginning–it’s heartbreaking to watch as she grieves for her mother, afraid that her life is changing so fast as she’s making college plans and experiencing senior year without her. The support Wes gives her is just lovely. Their friends also add fun humor to the story, especially at prom.

This romance was so good, I didn’t want it to end! I’m happy to see there’s a sequel coming out next year called Nothing Like the Movies that takes place when they are in college. I recommend Better Than the Movies to readers who enjoy YA rom-coms. This romance is a winner!

Reviewed by Kayne Spooner

Grade: A-

Sensuality: Kisses

Review Date : November 4, 2023

Publication Date: 05/2021

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Recent Comments …

  1. Thank you . I read the free sample and the nonsense you expound on above was sufficiently grating to me…

  2. I was Shane when l was 10 ye old l love the theme song what a thing between Shane and…

Kayne Spooner

Kayne Spooner is a retired science teacher, dog owner, and proud grandma who lives in beautiful Colorado. While she's an avid reader of all genres, romances have always swept her off her feet. Kayne gravitates toward stories with humor, swoon-worthy love interests, and memorable furry sidekicks, although really, if there's a happy ever after, she's here for it! She loves sharing her passion for books with the romance community and connecting with fellow readers.
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