Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore

Release date: July 22, 2014
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Pages: 300
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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.
It's summer, so I imagine a lot of people are like me and constantly looking for light, fun reads that make you feel happy when you're done. That's what I was in the mood for when I picked this up, and that's exactly what I got. At the same time, there's more than just romance and girls trying to win boys to this one.

While, yes, Marijke and Lily are trying to solve their love-life problems through movie scenes, it's their new friendship that shines in Just Like the Movies. Marijke is having boyfriend troubles, but she's let everything in her life beside Tommy and track fall by the wayside. And Lily's been too focused on being an invisible star student to have made any friends. It's in their mutual love of romantic movies and desire to improve their love lives that they're drawn together, but they get friendship out of the deal. Yes, I love a happy, romantic ending, but Marijke and Lily's friendship is the happy ending I loved more.

Otherwise, all through Just Like the Movies, you're treated to romantic movie mentions and homages. Some don't go off without hitches, but they're fun and a treat to read. Watching Marijke and Lily learn what they deserve and should expect from the guys in their lives is nice, too. Marijke sees that how she's put herself to the side for Tommy is not right and Lily learns that putting yourself out there, fighting for what you want is worth the risk.

Just Like the Movies is the perfect summer read. It's got cute romantic scenes, new friendship, and enough smile-worthy scenes to leave you a happy goof at the end of the book.

About the author:

Kelly Fiore has a BA in English from Salisbury University and an MFA in Poetry from West Virginia University. She received an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2005 and 2009. Kelly’s poetry has appeared in Small Spiral Notebook, Samzidada, Mid Atlantic Review, Connotation Press, and the Grolier Annual Review. Her first young adult novel, Taste Test, was released in August 2013 from Bloomsbury USA. Forthcoming books include Just Like the Movies, again from Bloomsbury, in 2014 and The People Vs. Cecelia Price from HarperTeen in 2015.

Kelly teaches college composition in Maryland, where she lives with her husband and son. You can connect with Kelly at her website (, on Twitter (@kellyannfiore), on Tumblr (, or on Facebook (

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