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In the lesbian rom-com of my dreams, Saoirse, who doesn’t believe in happy ever afters or love at first sight, meets Ruby, a lover of rom-coms and all their clichés. They’re both immediately attracted to each other and after rescuing/stealing a kitten together, willing to look past Saoirse’s no relationships rule. They decide to have a summer of fun, with all the clichés and dates inspired by the falling in love montages of Ruby’s favourite films, forgetting one key thing: that when the montage is over, the characters have fallen in love.
I never thought that cute summer romance books were for me but this cute summer romance with two proud lesbians front and centre has had a ridiculous impact on me. I want so many more books like this. It’s fun and romantic and I loved every minute of it.
This is an ode to cliché rom-coms and has all the staples of one: the chance first meeting, a reason why a relationship is a bad idea and then the inevitable falling in love montage. But this book was also more than just a cliché. Saoirse’s mother lives in a care home due to early onset dementia and this has a big impact on Saoirse, her life and her worldview. This theme is handled delicately and the harsh realities of this disease were at times difficult to read about. There are also some interesting family dynamics with Saoirse and her dad, especially surrounding his new relationship and the impact of her mother’s disease.
However, this book remains light and feel-good for the most part and I found myself grinning while reading it. I adored the characters, especially Saoirse who was such a wonderful and authentic narrator. Her voice was witty, sarcastic and she sounded like a real teenager. She wasn’t perfect but she learned from her mistakes and was easily likeable and relatable. I also adored Ruby, the love interest (shoutout to my late night tweet: 'I'm reading the falling in love montage rn and i just need you all to know i have a big crush on ruby'). She was a perfect match for Saoirse and unafraid to call her out, while also being such a lovely and positive character herself. The relationships and characters in this book all felt so human and touching; no one was perfect and that just made them all the more real.
Something else I loved about this book can be summed up by (another) late night tweet: 'i also have a big crush on the amount of times they say lesbian everyone say thank you ciara smyth'. This could seem like a small thing to some people, but as a lesbian only just starting to become more comfortable with this label, it means the world. There isn’t nearly enough lesbian representation out in the world and so reading about proud lesbians like these two is something I’ve just not gotten a chance to do very often. So many lines in this book just Hit me and I wanted to highlight and keep them forever. I’ve never been able to relate to a main character as much as Saoirse and I’m so grateful that I got to with this book.
As you can tell from this glowing review, I really loved this book and highly highly recommend it! This book also teaches you how to pronounce Saoirse and it’s worth it for that alone, not gonna lie.
*digital copy received in exchange for an honest review via Andersen Press and Pride Book Tours*