Title : The Romantics
Author : Leah Conen
Publication date : November 1st 2016
Publisher : Amulet Books
Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary
Synopsis : Perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Rainbow Rowell, The Romantics will charm readers of all ages. Gael Brennan is about to have his heart broken when his first big relationship crumbles on the heels of his parents’ painful separation. Love intervenes with the intention of setting things right—but she doesn’t anticipate the intrusion of her dreaded nemesis: the Rebound. Love’s plans for Gael are sidetracked by Cara, Gael’s hot-sauce-wielding “dream girl.” The more Love meddles, the further Gael drifts from the one girl who can help him mend his heart. Soon Love starts breaking all her own rules—and in order to set Gael’s fate back on course, she has to make some tough decisions about what it means to truly care.
“The problem with the advice he was getting was the problem with almost all advice having to do with me. People suggest what they themselves would want or need. But the act of loving is such a unique experience, it’s damn near impossible for anyone but me to know exactly what someone needs at any given time- and even I get it wrong sometimes.”
*I was provided an e-Arc of this book by the publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
Who could resist a love story told by Love herself? You would? All I know, is that I for one, can’t. And if you love contemporary as much as I do, I know you won’t be able either. I was so curious and excited to read this one when I got my hands on it. It sounded so light and quirky and it really was. But even though I enjoyed it and it made me laugh at times, it failed to deliver in some aspects of the story, some really important aspects to me. More into that further down, but for now, let’s dive in.
The writing is so fun and what I mean by that is that Love’s way of narration is very perky and interactive. The best way I can think of describing reading this book is that it feels like watching a documentary with Love as the voice over, bouncing from relevant event to the next. What other thing was also very well done in “The Romantics” is how present Social Media means are which most authors tend to forget about, even though they’re a very big part of our lives now. Also, I found “le sigh” written at some point and may or may not have cracked up because of how much I say that too.
All of this being said, to me, this was one of the most frustrating books to read ever. Not because of the story itself but because of my broken e-copy. It kept skipping the first page of EVERY. DAMN. CHAPTER. And the fact that the chapters are very short (which in itself is a good thing) didn’t help. Some chapters were just a little bit over a page long, so this left me picking at bits and pieces trying to figure out what was happening in those missing pages.
So, the book follows Love’s debacles as she tries to fix a boy’s –Gael– love life, that she messed up in the first place, which was really fun to read about because it didn’t portray Love as this almighty being that could make anything work (it is symbolic if you ask me). And oh my god! the comments Love makes about events gave me life, she’s so funny and miscalculates her moves quite a lot which more often than not make the things go in the opposite direction of what she intended to. While doing what she does, Love also labels people as different types of Lovers (explaining each one in depth at the bottom of the page it was mentionned in) and I must admit that I had way too much fun putting people I know into the different categories. I found mine too. I’m a cynic. It isn’t much of a surprise to be honest, here’s how it goes:
“5. Cynic: One who refuses to buy a single thing that the movies, their friends, or even their Lovey-Dovey grandparents have told them about romance. Believes that most relationships are doomed to fail and thus tries to protect themselves when they find themselves in one. May result in holding back from expressing true feelings, expecting things to goo wrong, and waiting for the other show to drop. May also lead to amazing loyalty once they do let someone in because they do it so infrequently”
ME! ME! MEEEE!!! I couldn’t have formulated it better myself.
The book starts off with a broken-hearted Gael that crushes on a new girl put on this path by the Rebound but Love thinks that is wrong and sets on a mission to make him see that and help him find the right girl. What I can say is that I rooted for the right girl from her first appearance -even before she was labeled as such- and if that’s not instinct I don’t know what is. I liked how throughout the whole book, the romance is slowburn, the two take time to get to know each other before diving into anything. That being said, for all the build-up that happened the ending left me wanting more. I was disappointed by how things were left off, it just felt incomplete to me. Until the last few pages, aside from an issue I’ll talk about in a bit, I really liked the book and was set on 4 stars but with how things were wrapped up, I was forced to let go of that 4th star.
The characters are all likeable and all have their little quirks and flaws but none of them are quite memorable to be honest, which isn’t necessarely bad as they were good characters. Aside from little Piper who is Gael’s little sister, I loved her SO MUCH. She was so funny and such a sweet girl, very mature for her age I must add, which made for some pretty interesting scenes where she was playing the big sister.
The other main issue I had with this book is the family dynamic. The parents were there just as decor if you ask me, not as authority figures, and even less so as actual caring parents. Gael was going through a hard time and neither his mom nor his dad were able to get their heads out of their butts and actually communicate with him and deal with the problems he had, which again they were the main cause of. YOU. DON’T. DO. THAT. It’s yet ANOTHER alternative for the “absent parents trope” that I am so tired of seeing.
All in all, this was a very cute and quick read (I read it in less than 24 hours) but it sadly didn’t live up to the expectations I had for it. I would definitely recommend it for someone coming out of a slump or someone who feels one coming because it doesn’t take a lot of effort to read it and it still is a nice story.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read The Romantics? If so, what did you think of it?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.
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