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Book Review: Better Than The Movies

Book Review: Better Than The Movies

A funny name for a book, right? Well, this book actually lives up to its name – it’s 100% better than any other movie you could watch right now! 

Better Than The Movies by Lynn Painter entails the fictional story of teenage neighbors Liz Buxbaum and Wes Bennet who have a rivalry and annoyance for one another. Ever since Liz was young, Wes would prank her, call her names, and now in the current day, steals the one open parking spot on their shared street even though he has a spot in his driveway.

Aside from her issues with Wes, Liz faces the sadness of not having her mother. She died when Liz was younger, but left her legacy of being a rom-com lover on Liz and now all Liz believes is that she needs to find her one true love and fulfill that romantic type of life. 

When Liz and Wes’s old neighbor, Michael, comes back to live in their town, Liz sees this as her chance to make her romantic dreams come true and have the best prom ever. 

The only issue – Michael still sees her as little Liz who is awkward, weird, and still the young girl he used to know. To prove she is different, Liz enlists Wes’s help by fake-dating him to make Michael see her in a more mature, dateable way.

Throughout this phony romance, Liz realizes that maybe her happily ever after is much different than she originally expected and she has to act on that before it’s too late.

To review, I’ll say that honestly, this book was such an easy read. I read it within one day because it was just that good. I really enjoyed how easily the plot flowed, just like it was a regular rom-com you would watch, but so much better!

My favorite aspects of this book would definitely include the quotes from a popular romantic comedy before each chapter of the book. This set up the tone for the whole book but also was a great use of appreciating other creators’ works and acknowledging how big of an effect they have had on society. We also see this on the cover with the two main characters (in illustration form) shown in various popular sequences that can be referenced to other famous movies. Examples include The Notebook, Dirty Dancing, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Say Anything, and La La Land. This was just an excellent idea for a cover about romantic feel-good movies because it is true that people will solely buy books based on their looks.

Another thing well done was the addition of songs throughout the story. Having us as the reader be in Liz’s POV and get to see and feel the music she was feeling in each moment whether it was exciting or upsetting, gave a more personal connection to the book. I even liked the writing out of the lyrics at certain points, it was awesome. By the end of the book, I was going to go make a list of all the songs so I could be back in those moments, but behold there was already one made for me! You best believe I went on Spotify and added it ASAP. The good thing about the music was that it was a mix of current-day music, 2000s rom-com music you would hear in a typical movie, and even 80s music, so it blended everything together very well, making an enjoyable experience!

Overall, if you are at a bookstore and happen to see Better Than The Movies, you need to pick it up and read it! I don’t care if you’re not a reader. It is pretty short, has simple words, and makes you feel good. This is what everyone needs to be happy and learn some life lessons with!

I give this book 5 stars, and so should you! Stay tuned for my next Bookshelf Banter review! Read you later!

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About the Contributor
Ava Massucco, Editor
Hi! My name is Ava and I am in charge of the Entertainment section of the McMahon Archive. I tend to write articles about food, movies, and other pop-culture things! I'm also a part of various clubs such as Twilight Club (re-branding as Pop-Culture Club), Italian Club, Coding Club, and Key Club.  I do enjoy reading a good book as well as working on my garden. If you ever need a recipe, a book recommendation, or help with anything, I'll always be available to help!

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