Perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Rainbow Rowell, The Romantics will charm readers of all ages. Gael Brennan is about to have his heart broken when his first big relationship crumbles on the heels of his parents’ painful separation. Love intervenes with the intention of setting things right—but she doesn’t anticipate the intrusion of her dreaded nemesis: the Rebound. Love’s plans for Gael are sidetracked by Cara, Gael’s hot-sauce-wielding “dream girl.” The more Love meddles, the further Gael drifts from the one girl who can help him mend his heart. Soon Love starts breaking all her own rules—and in order to set Gael’s fate back on course, she has to make some tough decisions about what it means to truly care.
Description taken from Goodreads. I received an advance copy of this book, to be published November 1st, 2016, via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own.
The Romantics almost felt like a middle-grade novel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It had a cute romance, a bunch of ups and downs, a kid dealing with the fallout of his parents’ divorce, and first loves. It had an immature hero and lots of character growth.
I think what I loved most about the story was the unique POV. The Romantics is narrated by Love herself, and her voice is witty, funny at times, and ever-reaching. I loved her voice as a character and the extra input she was able to give because of her situation. All in all, I’d say it worked. Gael isn’t the only one who grows through the story. Love also makes some major mistakes, and we learn that Love isn’t perfect. I found the whole thing incredibly endearing.
But I think it says something that my favorite part of the book wasn’t the characters, strictly speaking. While I did enjoy the romance, the little bits of drama, the growth, all of that, I never truly felt like I connected with the characters. Gael was just a name on a page to me. None of the characters became more than just characters, and I was searching for something a bit more real than that.
That aside, I still think this was a very clever and fun little book. It does have a slight dip in the middle where the pacing lags, but otherwise, I found that I was entertained by Gael’s antics. In the beginning, he’s hurt and immature about his breakup with the girl he thought he loved (for two months), but he comes to learn that love is about more than the romantics.
All in all, it was a lot of fun and I would recommend it, especially to girls reading upper middle-grade and lower YA. 2.5 stars.