Book Review

ARC Book Review: Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Lynn Painter
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 4th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!


Whole-heartedly. Such a cute young adult contemporary romance y’all.

This was utterly full of romantic cliches and I didn’t mind one bit. It was written beautifully and conveyed everything so well that I leaned into all of the obvious platitudes and felt myself breaking out in continual smiles over Liz and Wes.

Ohhh Liz and Wes. What chemistry from the get-go. You knew exactly where things were going and I appreciated the ride. Their witty banter, and soft moments made my heart flip and I love how things worked out for them. Liz definitely grew over the book and anything I was frustrated with her about was resolved. It made for a very quick read, I suprised myself at how fast I devoured this because the story kept making me want more.

I love the addition of movies and music. It was fun picturing this book with a movie flair and I think it’ll be fun to look up some of the songs mentioned throughout. I’m such a lover of love and the childhood friends / enemies to lovers vibe was perfect here. This is a happily ever after you should add to your TBR if you’re looking for something to give you warm fuzzies.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses and make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent by car accident

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