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.
I think this book was a case of me expecting the story to be something different than it was. That was the first thought I had when I finished Just Like the Movies. I had been super excited to read it and then when the reality happened it just fell flat for me. I mean I liked it enough and liked the potential, but I wasn’t wowed by it and I was bugged by it.
Just Like the Movies is a book about two girls that are having relationship problems. First there is Marijke. She has been dating her boyfriend for a year and has yet to hear the L word and is super insecure about his hotness and where they stand. And then you have Lily, a girl that has never had a boyfriend and has been crushing on the same guy for 2 years. When these two girls who have never really crossed paths run into each other in an unexpected night, they decide that they should work together to make their lives just like a movie with a nice happily ever after. Only as time goes by the girls start to wonder if happily ever after really does exist.
To be honest something just felt off in this story. I’m a pop culture junky so I was excited to see what movies these girls would use and what scenarios they would get themselves in. Only problem was it never seemed to happen. There were one or two scenes that they flat out referenced a movie situation, but I felt for the most part it was all subtle. I think that was the first part that threw me off. I also think this book suffered from a case of uncertain identity. I couldn’t tell by the end if it was a friendship book or a book that was about happily ever after’s and unrealistic endings? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good, happy, love story like the next guy. But there was something about the end of Just Like the Movies that just didn’t work for me. I didn’t want Marijke to end up with her boyfriend and it bugged when at the last minute it went in that direction. I almost would have liked it better if she stood up for herself and realized she didn’t need him. Because she didn’t. She was smart and funny and a great athlete. She had a good head on her shoulders and that was all taken away when everything was said in done. I did like Lily’s side of the book but really I just wasn’t wowed by any of it which makes me sad.