Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Not Exactly a Love Story” as Want to Read:
Not Exactly a Love Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Not Exactly a Love Story

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  721 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
It's 1977. 

Fifteen-year old Vinnie isn't having a good year. He's recovering from the worst case of galloping acne his dermatologist's ever seen. His girl moved to California without even saying good-bye. And the ink on his parents divorce papers is barely dry, when his mom announces that they're moving from Queens to Long Island.

The silver lining in all this is that they
Hardcover, 276 pages
Published December 11th 2012 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published December 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Not Exactly a Love Story, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Not Exactly a Love Story

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
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
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Liam Johnstone
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, library
I liked it. Very much in the vein of "You've Got Mail." Not one that I'd recommend unless you like that kind of thing, but it fills that hole very well.
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
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
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, net-galley, 2012, st-als
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
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
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Lindsey E
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
I did not like this at all.
Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm
Late night anonymous phone calls, nerdy guy has a bad case of acne, girl next door rejects him, story set in late 1970s.. Sounds like a recipe for a good romantic read... But this is Not Exactly A Love Story  and it's really a great one.

Vinnie fell for her new neighbor, Patsy when he and his family moved, and she had always intrigued him ever since. When his parents divorced and his PE teacher became his mom's new husband, Vinnie thought he would never regain his composure and would never gain
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
It was cute. I'm always happy to read a fresh story as so much YA seems to follow a formula these days. The family dynamic is interesting, & it's nice to see this teen boy coming into his own. I don't think it's genuine love at any point, but at least they're getting to know each other by phone, which people just don't do these days. I don't know that the 1970s setting was necessary or even made obvious in here (maybe just because she has a private phone line? That's the only time I felt it ...more
Cecily Kyle
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it
I didn't love this story, but I didn't dislike it either.
I really liked the idea of the whole secret admire thing, and I imagine the whole situation that this novel is based upon, I am guessing, happens a lot more often these days with the internet, and online dating.
I still enjoyed it though.
Okay Read!
Beth Atkins
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a awkward teen from the 70's decided to call the girl next door and pretend to be someone else, he sets himself up for quite the adventure.

A quick read written it what would HAVE to be how the teenage boy mind actually sounds! 😂
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
I really enjoyed this book that felt like a throwback to classic ya lit like "Ordinary People". The characters are relatable and funny, their stories complex, cozy if quirky feel, satisfying ending. For readers 13 and up and those that like cozy ya.
Macy Rabourn
Jan 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I really liked the short chapters this book had, I was more encouraged to read another chapter because of the length. The content told a classic teenage romance story in a creative way.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
2 and a half to be precise :) I liked it but didn't love it.
Just another cute cover book with a boring plot and flat, annoying characters.
Dec 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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'
Katie Fitzgerald
Vinnie is fifteen, and his life has undergone some recent major changes. First, he and his mom move to a new town, leaving behind the girl Vinnie has loved from afar for years. Next, his mom falls in love with his new gym teacher, and decides to marry him. Then, Vinnie starts to get interested in a girl in his neighborhood named Patsy, and he makes an obscene phone call to her house to try to get her attention. Patsy is more intrigued than horrified by the call, and soon Vinnie is calling Patsy ...more
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
Joy (joyous reads)
Nov 01, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Leslie Perez
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 16, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
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
RaeLynn Fry
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Not Exactly a Love Story
By Audrey Couloumbis
Random House Children’s Books
$17.99 Hardcover
$10.99 eBook

Publisher’s Summary:
It's 1977.

Fifteen-year old Vinnie isn't having a good year. He's recovering from the worst case of galloping acne his dermatologist's ever seen. His girl moved to California without even saying good-bye. And the ink on his parent’s divorce papers is barely dry, when his mom announces that they're moving from Queens to Long Island.

The silver lining in all this is that they mov
Michelle Sedeño
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
When I saw this book on the shelf, the title intrigued me. I'm always a fan of books in which a boy and a girl can have a relationship aside from romance. The jacket description also drew my attention. Mention John Green, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, or How to Say Goodbye in Robot, and I'm in! That aside, the description also promised a retro setting, a quirky character, an engaging relationship based on late-night phone calls, and witty dialogue. Needless to say, I was sold!

But unfortunatel
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Under the Bridge
  • Manicpixiedreamgirl
  • Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl
  • I Am (Not) the Walrus
  • The Opposite of Hallelujah
  • Pinned
  • Nine Days
  • The Believing Game
  • Bright Island
  • All You Never Wanted
  • Caged Warrior
  • Kindness for Weakness
  • True Colors
  • Son of a Gun
  • Pieces
  • Out of Nowhere
  • The Stone Girl
  • Road Trip
Audrey is a recently transplanted (yet again) New Yorker (by choice), now in Bunker Hill, West Virginia (also by choice), where Civil War ghosts scare the dogs at night, where a CSX train track runs behind the house and the romantic sound of a faraway train can be heard three or four times a day, where she is starting a new garden of rambling roses and assorted deer-resistant flowering shrubs and ...more
More about Audrey Couloumbis...