Not Exactly a Love Story
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Not Exactly a Love Story

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3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  389 ratings  ·  97 reviews
“A fifteen-year-old creates an alter ego to woo his dream girl. Compulsively readable.” —The New York Times

This quirky, flirty, and smart story will appeal to fans of Frank Portman’s King Dork, John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines, and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park. It’s not exactly a love story . . . but it’s pretty close.

It’s 1977. Fifteen-year-old Vinnie is r...more
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Published December 11th 2012 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published December 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,085)
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Rose
Initial reaction: Very interesting story about an awkward teen growing up in the 70s who falls in love with a girl he happens to get her number and goes through a number of unfortunate mishaps along the way. I think the mystery man/stalker thing was weird, but Vinny and Patsy are characters I liked for the most part, and I thought the story had some interesting humor in spurts. I wouldn't necessarily take this story for all the comparisons it has in its blurb, but it is a decent read of its own...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

Despite not ever having heard anything about Couloumbis or Not Exactly a Love Story, I was intrigued. I mean, how many YA books do you hear about set in the 1970s? That's just not a popular era for historical fiction yet. At first, I wasn't too sure whether this was going to be something I would enjoy. Vinnie's narrative voice grated a bit at first and the plot does some...interesting...things, but in the end, Couloumbis won me over to her odd, unique, surprisingly sweet...more
Ann
Vinnie is his own Cyrano de Bergerac. Feeling awkward with an acute case of acne and recently displaced from Queens to Long Island when his mother divorces his dad and marries his gym teacher (!), Vinnie falls for Patsy, the girl next door--everybody's dream girl. He acts cool and somewhat aloof around her in school, but after an initial obscene phone call (!) to her bedroom one night, he continues to call her every night at midnight and they talk anonymously and truthfully. Because Patsy has he...more
Book Concierge

When 15-year-old Vinnie’s parents divorce he tries to be supportive of each of them. But he’s having a bad year: he has a raging case of acne, the girl he’s secretly loved for two years moved to California without so much as a goodbye, his dog died, he got mugged and he’s failing gym. Could things get worse? Of course they could. His mother has a conference with the gym teacher, Mr B … and then another meeting … and then dinner. Now, suddenly they’ve married and they’re moving to Long Island for...more
Umbar
Summary: [This will be spoiler free, but the actual review below will not]. The story is set in 1977, following a 15 year old boy called Vinnie Gold. He has a horrible case of acne, was recently left by his girlfriend and found out his parents are divorcing – so it’s safe to say his life is pretty shitty at best. Very soon, his mother falls in love with Vinnie’s gym teacher – Mr. B., and the trio move to Long Island. While he’s incredibly upset, Vinnie finds a distraction from his problems – his...more
Cara
Vinnie is not having a good year, and he keeps messing up. He doesn't mean to make things harder for himself, but it keeps happening. First his parents split up, and then his mom starts dating someone new. This results in Vinnie moving to a new school with a new set of problems.

Patsy is one of the popular girls at school, and she is also Vinnie’s neighbor. She doesn’t seem to notice him at first. Vinnie finds her unlisted number and calls her late one night. It doesn’t go very well. He comes ac...more
Reving
Not Exactly a Love Story was a quick and fun read, filled with down-to-earth and believable characters, perfect for a guy or girl, looking for a good, solid story. Vinnie is dealing with a lot: his parents' divorce, his mom's remarriage to his gym teacher, a move from Queens to Long Island and The Girl Next Door. Vinnie's got a crush of sorts, and while at first, he hardly ever speaks to Patsy face-to-face, he is calling her and talking to her every night at midnight. He won't tell her who he is...more
Sam Kozbial
Things are not quite going Vinnie's way these days - problems with the family pet, his skin, his grades, his parents' divorce, his mother's remarriage, moving out to the island, starting in a new school, he has a lot on his plate. However, he finds a bright spot in the form of his neighbor, Patsy. She is beautiful and popular and the object of the football star's desire. Fate drops Patsy's phone number into Vinnie's hands and he begins a ritual of anonymous midnight calls with Patsy, and unknowi...more
Heather
I listened to this audiobook while commuting to my job and while working. It was a cute story without any complication. Vinnie is a typical underdog who underestimates his abilities, athletic, smarts, and popularity potential. Patsy is your typical popular girl, who use to be an outcast. I could related to both these characters - despite having nothing in common with Patsy. There were times that I found Vinnie to be fake and unlikeable - I think that had something to do with the personas he was...more
Kimball Hs
Before cell phones, before caller-ID, a guy could find a phone number, find out it's the girl next door, call her, hang up, call again, have a conversation with her, and repeat nightly. What happens next? Read "Not Exactly a Love Story" to find out. It's 1977, and 15-year-old Vinnie Gold is about to drop a Valentine into the locker of the girl he's had a crush on for the past two years to find out she's moved without even a goodbye. Next, he goes home and discovers his parents are getting a divo...more
Alice
Vinnie is a high school student with a face full of acne and an extremely awkward personality that makes you sympathize with him. To make matters worse, his mom divorces his father and marries his gym teacher, and they decide to move to Long Island. There, he goes right from mourning his old relationship to crushing on Patsy, the gorgeous girl next door, whose room he can see through his window. Then, Vinnie accidentally finds Patsy's number in locker room. He decides to call her at midnight but...more
Sandy
Set in 1977, so a bit of a historical fiction, but the time period doesn't play as much into the story, except for the telephone aspect of it. Vinnie's parents get divorced, his mother gets remarried and they move to a more "suburban" area with a new school district, etc. There, Vinnie gets a crush on his next door neighbor, and when he calls her, he panics and gets mistaken for an obsence caller. Instead of forgetting about it, he keeps calling her back, and they start talking. What follows is...more
Kristen Marie
This book was fun to listen to, although it was a bit unsettling for some instances.

This book takes place in the 70's with main character Vinnie. His parents have recently gotten divorced, he loves fish, his mom just got married to his gym teacher (the class, which by the way, he is failing) and has a terrible case of acne. Pretty typical teenager stuff. Then Vinnie notices his new next door neighbor, the beautiful, popular Patsy. And like a typical teenager, the uneventful teenager Vinnie goes...more
Les
Not exactly a great story. I would have given it 3 stars except for the whole weird phone relationship being just too implausable. I assume the author set the story in 1977 to avoid pesky things like *69 that would have made it simple for her to trace Vinnie's number and destroy the whole premise of the story. You wonder where the parents are because they talk every night at midnight, but never once does a parent overhear the phone ring or interrupt their child chatting in the wee hours.

However,...more
Bethany
I received a copy of this book through Netgalley on behalf of Random House Children's Books

Not Exactly a Love Story was a fun and comical look into the life of a teenager in the 70s. Vinnie Gold is your average teen. But his life takes a few turns and all of a sudden he is in a new house with a new stepdad and at a new school.

Trying to figure out where to fit in and constantly being urged by his stepfather to choose a sport to play seems to be all Vinnie's life is about. But then he begins to t...more
Bookworm1858
3.5/5...very mixed feelings...

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

As seems to happen so often to me of late, I am of two minds about this book, one very positive, the other latching onto one element that really drags down the rating of the book because it just strikes me the wrong way. It's a huge bummer because of course I want to love every book I read.

Let's start with the good, which is that this is a historical. It is so weird to classify this it that way...more
Jessica
When this book showed up in my mailbox, I was really intrigued by the cover. I had never heard of it before, but it sounded like something I would love to read. A YA book about "not exactly" a romance? Tell me more! Sadly, the story just seemed to be lacking characters and a plot that could keep my attention.

Vinnie is a 15-year-old who just can't seem to figure things out. His "girl" he's been crushing on moves away, his parents announce they're getting a divorce, and he has to move out of the...more
Lori
This is difficult for me to rate. I'm going with 2.5 stars for now. This book wasn't bad but it was very hard for me to get through. It was slow with characters that were just okay. In fact, I think the biggest problem with this book was that everything was just ok. I had no real strong pull towards the characters, the story, the romance, the family, or the outcome. It took me almost a month to read. But it wasn't bad. And that's really all I've got right now.
I will say that it posed an interes...more
Ms. Yingling
Vinnie's life is fairly typical for 1977-- his parents are divorcing because his career woman mother is fed up with his actor father. Just when Vinnie gets used to this, his mother decides to marry his gym teacher and move to Long Island to get out of the city. Moving in November is hard, and while Mr. B., his new stepfather is making a great effort, Vinnie misses his father. He notices the neighbor girl, who is quiet pretty but whom he feels would never pay any attention to him, and finds her p...more
Peggy
Vinnie has a crush on the popular girl next door, who doesn't know he exists. Then he comes across her phone number when a jock bully accidentally drops it. Vinnie calls her, but then gets nervous and just hangs up. Next night he tries again, this time he breathes awhile before he hangs up - just trying to get up his nerve. Third time, in his anxiety to say SOMETHING he says something totally inappropriate. Next night, he calls to apologize. Soon Vinnie and Patsy (who doesn't know who he really...more
Jessikah
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!
3 stars
One thing that has always bothered me about a majority of romantic comedy films is stalking. I don't mean to be totally rude. The protagonist of this story is not a bad person. He is actually pretty like-able. Like-able for a stalker. As much as I wanted to root for him, I just found his methods unsettling. It also kept me from loving this book. Allow me to elaborate a bit.

Vinny (Vincenzo) Gold, a 15 year-old living in 1977, is surprised and disheartened to...more
Joy (joyous reads)
This is not exactly fresh from publication. A book that's about almost a year old is pretty much ancient by this genre's standards. With so many new books being published every week, it would take a whole lot to spark interest in your year-old book. How did this book ever ping my radar is beyond me.

Admittedly though, I wanted to read this because I was curious of its setting. 1977 is a good year. Nostalgia in the disco era? Priceless. And besides, this setting is rare in YA. Sadly, other than th...more
Amy
LOVED this book.

The main character is a young man going through some crap, although dealing fairly well. He could use a break, or something good. Like an equally smart and quirky young woman. The popular crowd contains somebody who just might be more than what she seems - Patsy.

He overhears a jerk-jock at school bragging about having Patsy's number - which is unlisted. Jerk-jock slips the piece of paper in his locker as he swaggers away - but it falls back out. Our main character grabs it. Not...more
Jen Ryland
Sometimes, there's nothing like old-school YA, sans vampires, swoony insta-love, and dystopian doom and gloom. Not Exactly a Love Story was a refreshing change of pace. Sometimes I enjoy reading about a breathtakingly gorgeous kickbutt heroine with two hot guys drooling over her, but after that I'm SO ready for some realistic teen characters, complete with acne and insecurities and real-life problems.

Vinnie's mom has decided that she wants to reinvent herself, which involves ditching Vinnie's fa...more
Jennifer
OK, I think I'd give this book a 1.5 stars if you could give 1/2 stars. Here's the thing about this book...looking at the cover, reading the title, you might think that it was a romance of sorts for young adults. What you get, is something, which at the beginning feels a little Flannery O'Conner-Joyce Carol Oates-y sort of creepy...the story is told from the perspective of the "boy next door", who calls the girl next door to ask her out and who, because he's nervous, turns the call into an obsce...more
Sam
So I had mixed feelings for Not Exactly a Love Story. I felt compelled to read it to the point that I couldn’t put it down, yet at the same time I didn’t love the protagonist.

Don’t get me wrong, I commiserated with his feelings of inadequacy, his nervousness, and even his changing personalities, but I just couldn’t relate to some of the personalities he creates in the book, nor the drastic change in between each personality. For a character who doesn’t have a serious mental disability the changi...more
Estelle
Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading Blog

Oh man. Oh man. Or should I say: oh boy. Oh boy. Because I have been spoiled with some great titles with refreshing male voices this year. (See: Lexapros and Cons, Curveball, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children.)

Not Exactly a Love Story joins this awesome list.

Main character Vinnie is just your normal guy wearing leather pants on his first day of school, in the late 70s. (For the record: not the best fashion choice.) He’s kind of the guy that girls...more
Holly
The only books that I give five stars to have at least one of the following:
-Funny
-Suspenseful
-Romantic
-Or just plain INTERESTING
Don't get me wrong, this book was interesting at least, it just wasn't interesting ENOUGH for my five-star standards. I never really liked average life stories. I am more of ascience fiction, romance, or suspensefully person. Even though it may sound like a romance novel; it wasn't really. Ok, so I know the title is NOT EXACTLY a Love Story, bust still, it should have...more
Kassiah
4 stars.

I really enjoyed reading this story. It's 1977, and fifteen-year-old Vinnie is growing up in New York and dealing with parents getting divorced, having to move from the only home he's ever known, unrequited love, and his mom dating his gym teacher.
I couldn't seem to recover from one blow before another followed. No one tells you how things really are. Everything comes in waves, one rolling in after the other, and in case you're thinking that doesn't sound so bad, keep this in mind: that'
...more
Book Twirps
To say fifteen-year-old Vinnie's life sucks would be an extreme understatement. His "girl" (who wasn't really his girl, more like a crush who barely knew he existed) just moved away, his acne is totally out of control, and his parents just got a divorce. No sooner is the divorce final than Vinnie's mom is whisking him away to Long Island to live with her.

The only bright spot in his "new" life is the beautiful girl next door -- Patsy. Vinnie is immediately smitten with her, and even takes to glan...more
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