Book Review: The Romantics by Leah Konen

by - 7:08:00 PM

Title: The Romantics
Author: Leah Konen
Pages: 336
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: 01 November 2016

From Goodreads: "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."

Thank you to Amulet Books and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for review!

THIS BOOK WAS SO CUTE! I was immediately hooked by the tagline "A rom-com about love, told by Love" and it did not disappoint. While I do feel like this is a perfect book to read around Valentine's Day, I am so happy that I was able to read it when I did. Being able to get under a bunch of blankets and read this adorable book during the Fall was so much fun. Between the super cute cover and the tagline, this book is sure to be an instant favorite!

The Romantics follows Gael, a Romantic who is experiencing his first big break up with his first real girlfriend on the heels of his parents' divorce. Heartbroken and angry, Gael stops believing that love is real. That is, until "fate" introduces him to Cara as she runs straight into him on her bicycle one night. Gael believes that Cara is his "dream girl" and decides that this Rebound girl is the one for him. But Love has other plans for Gael, ones that don't involve the Rebound girl, but rather the one that has been in front of Gael all along. In order to get Gael back on track, Love has to break some of her own rules and learn what it means to really care about someone.

Not only did this book have a super cute plot, but it had Love as the narrator. Yes, you read that right, Love. She is sassy, funny, informative, and dedicated to making things right with Gael. Throughout the book, Love steps in with comments about the current situation, and even to provide some backstory along with helpful definitions of various types of people, such as Romantic and Serial Monogamist. Having Love be the narrator provides so much insight into things that you probably wouldn't get if you had just the main character, Gael, as the narrator. You're able to learn things from Love herself that really provide more depth to the story and allow you to understand the characters on more than just a surface level. This is such a unique way to tackle a story like this and it really made me fall in, well, love with the whole book!

Gael is a Romantic, which plays a rather huge part in the plot of The Romantics. After getting his heart broken by his first serious girlfriend, Anika, he loses all faith in love and is incredibly angry. When Love tries to intervene to help set things right for Gael, the dreaded Rebound rears its ugly head in and throws a wrench in the plan. Cara literally runs Gael over with her bike after he has stormed out of an incredibly awkward birthday dinner, and Gael takes the chance meeting as a sign that Cara may be the one that he ends up with. While Love is trying to help set Gael on the right path, Gael is too busy being in love with the idea of being in love and thinks that Cara is the one for him. He's quite stubborn, which was frustrating at times, and he wanted so desperately to be in love that he almost missed the one that he was supposed to be with. There were so many times that I was almost yelling at him for being so oblivious! But the ending was so adorable, and I couldn't help but smile at the irony of how it all went down. For someone who isn't a fan of rom-com movies, Gael pulled off a picture perfect rom-com ending.

The writing was so upbeat and had me constantly smiling and laughing. Love was such a fun narrator and I think she really made the story so much better than I initially expected. Even when there were some fairly sad moments in the book, Love was always there to try and brighten the mood and add her side of the story or her thoughts in where she thought they were needed. One thing that I really loved about Love was that she would occasionally intervene in Gael's life in small ways, such as sending a frisbee player flying towards Gael and Cara, or convincing a chef to leave out seasoning in a pasta dish. It was just really funny to read about the little things that she would do to help lead Gael in a different direction that seem very unimportant, but really turn out to be things that help lead to a happy ending.

When it comes to character development, I feel like The Romantics did a fantastic job. Gael begins the book so in love with his girlfriend, gets heartbroken when she breaks up with him, is bitter and hates love, literally gets run over by a Rebound girl and thinks he should be with her, refuses to entertain the thought of being with anyone else but Cara, realizes he was literally staring at the right girl for him all along, and finally throws aside all negative thoughts about rom-com movies and pulls off the most adorable ending ever. As the book progresses, he learns so much about himself and his family and even what it means to really love someone, and I was so happy to see how he had matured by the end. Cara was not my favorite person, and I could see from the first time they met that she was the wrong person for him. While she was completely different from Anika, and I could see why Gael would be attracted to her, she just didn't seem to click very well with him at all. On the other hand, the girl that Gael should have ended up with in the first place was so cute! She complemented him so well in the sense that while she didn't like everything that Gael liked, she was willing to try and experience the things that he enjoyed and talk about them with him. It was so obvious that she liked him from the very beginning and, as I said before, I was almost yelling at Gael for being so obtuse when it came to her. But something that I did enjoy was that as you read the book, you can almost see the light bulb slowly start to glow and then, all at once, turn on and shine so bright you could see it from a mile away when he realizes who he wants to be with. Once again, the ending is one that you just can't help but smile and fall in love with because it's so unlike the Gael that you read about through the entire book, and that's why it's so perfect!

If you're looking for a super cute rom-com book to curl up with during the cold Fall/Winter months, then The Romantics is perfect for you! It has an amazing narrator, a main character that you can't help but adore, and writing that will keep you smiling and laughing until the very end.

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  1. I recently finished this book too! I enjoyed it so much. It was absolutely adorable.