Published by Simon & Schuster
Release Date: May 4th 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance, Fiction, YA
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.
Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—and maybe snag him as a prom date—even befriend Wes Bennet.
The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.
But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“Enemies-to-lovers—it’s our trope, Buxbaum.”
I ABSOLUTELY adored Painter’s cute as hell YA rom-com, Better Than the Movies!! It’s a rom-com about rom-com cliches, with two childhood frienemies, fake dating, lots of lol moments – what more could I have asked for?! Nothing. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I actually did and it’s those moments that let my heart skip a beat.
Liz and Wes are such loveable characters. As friends/fake couple they’re awesome and straight-out funny. Painter really let her character shine with her easy-going, relatable writing style and throughout the book, you couldn’t not start, and root for Wes – HE’S A KEEPER, ladies 😉 .
“Wes has one of those naughty-boy faces, the kind of face where his dark eyes – surrounded by mile-long thick long lashes because life wasn’t fair – spoke volumes, even when his mouth said nothing.”
I pulled an all-nighter to see how their fake relationship progresses and how, especially Liz, grows as a person. I just couldn’t put this book down, I was that intrigued and happy to read this gem.
If you’re looking for a lighthearted, funny, YA rom-com, then this standalone is the book for you! It will make you smile, laugh, swoon, and sincerely happy.
I’ll def keep an eye out for Painter’s future releases.