Book Review

Book Review: Not Like the Movies (Waiting for Tom Hanks #2) by Kerry Winfrey

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Kerry Winfrey
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 7th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

What happens when your life is a rom-com…but you don’t even believe in true love?

Chloe Sanderson is an optimist, and not because her life is easy. As the sole caregiver for her father, who has early onset Alzheimer’s, she’s pretty much responsible for everything. She has no time—or interest—in getting swept up in some dazzling romance. Not like her best friend Annie, who literally wrote a rom-com that’s about to premiere in theaters across America…and happens to be inspired by Chloe and Nick Velez, Chloe’s cute but no-nonsense boss.

As the buzz for the movie grows, Chloe reads one too many listicles about why Nick is the perfect man, and now she can’t see him as anything but Reason #2: The Scruffy-Bearded Hunk Who’s Always There When You Need Him. But unlike the romance Annie has written for them, Chloe isn’t so sure her own story will end in a Happily Ever After. 

IT WAS FINE.

Oh, but I liked Waiting for Tom Hanks more. Even though I was more excited for this release. I love a good side character follow-up in “series”.

It was really hard for me to watch Chloe struggle with all of the weight on her shoulders. Her highly relatable nature to take things solely on her own had me up in frustration, yet completely understanding the choices she continued to make. I felt she had some growth over the novel, but a lot of it felt stuffed right at the end. I just didn’t appreciate the way I felt she toyed with Nick after finally allowing herself to admit her feelings. Emotions got twisted poorly and I could feel my trepidation as the book went on.

Nick, oh, I adored Nick. Would have loved even more Nick. He was a quiet and firm presence in Chloe’s life. Made my heart flutter and feeling all the feels. I loved him so much and thought he was the perfect addition to Chloe’s world. Sometimes you just need someone that gets you. And that’s how both of these characters collided.

This was just missing something for me. There was so much ELSE going on that the romance fell by the wayside. Usually not a big deal, but this book is a romance? Leaving my expectations befuddled. I enjoyed seeing old characters again and getting a form of an extended epilogue for them. Everything did work out in the end, which is expected and appreciated, at least.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / heated make-outs; innuendo and suggestive dialogue; a few closed door scenes with some detail leading up
  • Trigger warnings: Chloe takes care of her Father with Alzheimer’s, mentions of past parental abuse (Nick)

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Book Review

Book Review: Waiting for Tom Hanks (Waiting for Tom Hanks #1) by Kerry Winfrey

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance/Chick-lit
Length: 259 pages
Author: Kerry Winfrey
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: June 11th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.

When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days…can he?

DID I JUST READ A HALLMARK MOVIE?

Yes, I’m pretty sure I did. This book was everything you expect when you choose to sit and watch a Hallmark movie (which I know we all do sometimes).

This was really cute. I was into the romance between Annie and Drew. They had some great banter and I could feel their chemistry with each other. Things felt like they developed at a good speed (even though it was only over a two week span, remember: Hallmark-esque).

I adored the side characters. She had a great friend who was truly their for her and helped Annie get out of her shell. Annie’s Uncle Don was fun too. He showed a lot of unconditional love and had some tender moments. They were both sweet and had enough pages in the story for me to feel connected with them too.

As someone who hasn’t seen any Tom Hanks rom-coms (don’t @ me), this was a bit heavy in the analogies to these movies. IT WOULDN’T END. I got tired of the crazy repetitiveness of her talking about romantic comedies. I get it, Annie is obsessed. This influenced her ideas and decisions so much that I would get frustrated that she couldn’t see past her rose-colored glasses. There were waaaay too many metaphors.

This is quick and charming. That’s its best feature. If you’re looking for something that has some witty banter and a cleaner romance this would be a good pick. I wish it was a bit longer so we got some more depth from the characters, but it’s fine! This was still a nice read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong language
  • Romance: some kisses, one love scene that has no details (literally says: “we had great sex last night” but that’s it for details – it’s very clean for a romance)
  • Trigger warnings: discussion of death of parents

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