Release date: July 22, 2014
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Reading level: Young Adult
Links: Author's Website/Goodreads
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars
Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson.
Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend.
While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much in common; but, after a coincidental meeting at the movie theater, Lily gets an idea – why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they set up their perfect romantic situations, just in time for their senior prom, using movie techniques?
Once the girls come up with the perfect plans, they commit themselves to being secret cohorts and, just like in the movies, drama ensues.
Summer is the perfect time for books like this; fun, entertaining contemporary romances. Just Like the Movies was my first book by Kelly Fiore and it most definitely fit the above description. With well-developed characters, a fast-paced plot, sweet romance, and awesome movie references I highly enjoyed Just Like the Movies.
Marijke and Lily were the two main characters and their stories were told through alternating chapters. Marijke is the popular track-star with the golden boyfriend, while Lily is the quiet girl with no friends and a secret crush. While these two girls were very different in personality, they had a lot in common when it came to two things: boys and movies. I think my favorite aspect of this book was watching the friendship between the two girls develop. It may have been an unlikely pairing, but it worked. Together, the girls plan to make their lives "just like the movies".
Family played a key role in this book as well. Both Marijke and Lily had personal issues going on at home and this only brought them closer. Lily had to play the role of parent to both herself and her younger brother, while Marijke's parent's perfect marriage was not at all what it seemed. I've been pleasantly surprised at how large of a role family has played in some of the books I've read lately and Just Like the Movies was no exception.
While the plot often seemed a bit repetitive, I enjoyed watching the girls come up with plans and try and win over the main guys in their lives. This was an overall fun and light-hearted summer read that showed the importance of friendship. I'm looking forward to reading more by Fiore in the future!