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Not Exactly a Love Story

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  508 ratings  ·  113 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
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 22nd 2014 by Ember (first published December 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,434)
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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
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
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
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
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
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
Ryann Dannelly
What a cute and quick read! It’s a feel good story with adorable and relatable relationships.

Vinnie and Patsy’s phone conversations are precious. I love how a lot of the times, he only manages to get a few words out before she hangs up. Whenever she gets annoyed, she just hangs up. It becomes this cute game of how long Vinnie can keep the conversation going each night.

I like how the story’s pacing aligned with Patsy guessing his first name.

At the beginning, he tells her that his name is Italia
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
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
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. As soon as I finished, I actually did turn back to the front and skim through it a second time just to appreciate how well the plot was woven together. I enjoyed the character development and the intricate plans Vinnie made that propelled the plot forward. But I am a child of MacGyver and the A-Team, and I love it when a plan comes together.

Some reviewers faulted it for being stalkerish or unrealistic, but I didn't find it outside of the realm of pos
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
I liked it. I completely forgot is set in the 70's, only to be reminded when the lack of social media kept the story in the past. I loved Vinnie's personality, I liked how he took his family's troubles and kept an open mind and the way he really cared about both his parents happiness, he was mature, driven, a caring son and I really enjoyed his conversations, kept me enthralled, although they were young their convos weren't, I loved Vinnie's and Patsy's rants and banters, their midnight calls we ...more
Rebecca Hicks
Not Exactly A Love Story by Audrey Couloumbis was about a teenage boy named Vinnie and a teenage girl named Patsy. Vinnie's life started turning upside down once his parents decided to get a divorce. His mom shortly after got remarried and they all moved to New York where Vinnie meet Patsy. First it was a crush. Then it turned to random phone calls, getting hit by the ex and eventually a love life for Vinnie. Who knew that a friendless boy turned into a high school's beauty #1 love. would recom ...more
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
I picked this book out because I liked the graphic art design on the front and was pleasantly surprised to find a pretty decent novel. I loved how fast paced it was and how the chapters where broken up. I did have problems at first with our protagonist, Vinnie, practically stalking, Patsy the lover interest of the book, for the first couple chapters. If the story was told from Patsy's point of view I would totally be concerned about her meeting up with some stranger at a high school dance. I eve ...more
A cute, humorous coming of age story that uses predictable elements and stock characters (jock crowd and popular clique), but the late 1970s time period and Vinnie, his parents, and Patsy keep the plot from being too typical. Vinnie and the alter ego he creates for his love interest are charming, a bit quirky, and fun. The story is light; it mimics many teen love stories and movies, and it requires the reader to accept some silliness, but I found this tale of 15 year old Vinnie quite satisfying.
Michelle Sedeño
Originally reviewed on The Escapist.


Not Exactly a Love Story is an old school YA contemporary romance set in 1977. Although it wasn't much different from YA contemporaries set in the present/2010 onwards, this book is like breathing in a fresh air.

Vinnie Gold's life changed the moment his parents divorced. Her mom re-married and they eventually moved to a new home. Good thing there's Patsy--the girl next door and school-mate as well. Although I find it cute the way Vinne liked Patsy, I was ta
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
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.

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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