Just Like the Movies

Just Like the Movies - Kelly Fiore Stultz Due to me only really loving half of this book (the book that shows the POV of Lily Spencer) and feeling all kinds of irritated with the other POV in this story (Marijke Monti) I ended up just giving this book 3 stars. The book ending also was pretty rushed and I had a hard time with the final resolution with both of the girls in this book. I also thought the author waited a bit too long to have their individual stories sync up and I had a hard time with their not-so-meet cute.

I liked the premise of the book enough. Two girls who want their lives to be more like movies (or more realistically like romance and romantic comedies) and for them to get their guys. The premise doesn't really work for Marijke because she's dating the guy she wants to get through almost the whole book (yeah that part was confusing).

Marijke is a track star at her school and even though she's doing great in track and school, she still stresses that her boyfriend Tommy doesn't love her like she loves him. This is because he has never said he loves her. I would also add that he doesn't seem to know her name since he calls her "baby" all the time. When Marijke loses it on Tommy after finding some texts in his phone from her ex, they have a ugly fight which leaves Marijke determined to make Tommy say he loves her because only then will that prove that he cares about her. No it doesn't make much sense to me either.

Lilly Spencer is the queen or organization at her school. However, not too many people know her. And the guy she crushes on Joe, definitely does not know that she exists. When she runs into Marijke at a movie theater showing "Titanic" for one day only, Lily feels sorry since it seems that Marijke is in the midst of a meltdown. The two girls go off and after speaking to each other for like 10 minutes have unloaded their life stories and decided to use movies to get their men.

I maybe groaned a bit, but did feel sympathetic because this is nonsense that 17 year old me would have totally done and had no sense of shame of trying to do. I did hard cringe a bit in some of the scenes because Marijke and Lily do put themselves out there to their oblivious boyfriend/crush.

That said, other characters in this book are very underdeveloped. I think that happened because Stultz is trying to tell two stories simultaneously. The character of Tommy makes less sense after Marijke reveals his wealthy family origins. And the way he talks like he is a character in a James Dean movie was annoying. I did side with him a lot during the book though because there is no excuse for Marijke to constantly be thinking that Tommy is cheating and going through his phone (STALKER ALERT) and instead of feeling badly about any of this she blames him since hey if he would just say I love you, everything would be okay. I do think that in the end the character of Marijke finally gets her head out of her butt when she realizes that she is the only one constantly giving up things to be in this relationship. Stultz throws in some stuff concerning Marijke's parents that felt off and I don't know if they were a cautionary tale to Marijke in giving up everything to be with her high school boyfriend or what.

Lily Spencer's crush Joe also did not feel very developed at all. We know he likes motorcross. And I think his eyes were green. That's all I got. I didn't get any idea why Lily even liked the guy. And in the end I maybe rolled my eyes on how they got together. It was too neat and maybe I screamed out this would only have happened in the movies. Maybe. Lily's home life was far more interesting to me. Lily's mother is a cautionary tale in watching movies and wanting that to be your reality so much you ignore the terrible men you are dating. There is finally a conversation between Lily and her mother, but once again it felt too rushed.

The writing felt off in so many places to me. I think it's because I know of no teenager that would call another one "scrumptious". Usually Marijke's dialogue read wrong to me. I did like it when the author focused on her love of track. Those are the parts that felt real to me.

The flow was off in the beginning until the two girls finally meet up. Probably because I thought I was reading separate stories for a good bit until the story-lines merged.

The ending was a bit of a letdown to me honestly. I really thought Lily's resolution was not realistic and rushed. I thought Marijke's was interesting, though I had to say that once again I thought that was not earned either.