In this riotous young adult romp for fans of Recommended for You and A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, a teen girl has the worst Valentine’s Day ever—only to relive it over and over again.
After living through a dumpster fire of a Valentine’s Day, Emilie Hornby escapes to her grandmother’s house for some comfort and a consolation pint of Ben & Jerry’s. She passes out on the couch, but when she wakes up, she’s back home in her own bed—and it’s Valentine’s Day all over again. And the next day? Another nightmare V-Day.
Emilie is stuck in some sort of time loop nightmare that she can’t wake up from as she re-watches her boyfriend, Josh, cheat on her day after day. In addition to Josh’s recurring infidelity, Emilie can’t get away from the enigmatic Nick, who she keeps running into—sometimes literally—in unfortunate ways.
How many days can one girl passively watch her life go up in flames? And when something good starts to come out of these terrible days, what happens when the universe stops doling out do-overs?
All of her books get a special 6 star rating in my heart because they are just another level. It’s always bittersweet reading them because I love them SO much immediately and I don’t get this magical feeling often. But we are 2 for 2 with her young adult romances so far 🥺 I don’t want to pit her books against each other but I can confidently say I loved this one JUST as much as Better than the movies ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
lately i have been in that awful scary terrifying horror movie-esque liminal threshold that is: i'm not currently in a reading slump but i have spent a large chunk of the last 5 months in one and i am forced to live in fear that my smallest mistake or ill-timed decision could send me plunging back in, doomed to a fate of failing my reading challenge for the first time and facing derisive laughter the world over.
or at least the book internet world, which is bad enough if you ask me.
so i have been seeking out books that are not short (who cares about completing my reading challenge if there are napkins with more pages than my average book length) but feel short. quick, easy to read, and above all (as i face down the monster that is Seasonal Depression): fluffy.
enter the YA contemporary.
when i first reentered this space in, like, 2016 or some made-up sounding year like that, i made my name in reading this lil ol genre.
which might sound nice, until you remember that i made my name (such as it exists, meaning barely and not in a nice way) in being a hater.
fairly recently, i forced myself to stop reading so many teen romances (lol) and focusing on the unthinkable...books i actually stood a chance of liking.
but here we are. falling back in.
the publisher sent me this book and...i liked it.
welcome to the waking nightmare of chaos and malfeasance that is my daily life.
this book is cute! it's fun! it was silly and goofy and easy to read! at a time when above all i needed all of those things! what else is there to say.
beyond, you know, all the stuff i said about myself.
bottom line: we're back, baby.
------------------ tbr review
when i used to read exclusively YA contemporaries, i was never in a reading slump. something to think about.
“i fell in love with you on valentine’s day, emilie, but i need more than just seven minutes.”
this book is giving groundhog day meets ferris buller’s day off
this is my second lynn painter read, and i am proud to say she is slowly becoming one of my favourite authors!! she absolutely knocked it out of the park with BTTM, and i expected another phenomenal YA romance novel, and that’s exactly what she delivered.
— the plot focuses on emilie (h), she lives by rules, lists and wants to please everyone and live a perfect, set out life to avoid conflict—but then she has a not-so-perfect valentine’s day. she is stuck in a time-loop having to relive her shitty valentine’s day over and over again, a day she had planned out perfectly but it went HORRIBLY wrong. even though she has to relive valentine’s day constantly she is given so many chances to right that terrible day and live it differently. she also keeps crashing (literally) into cold and distant nick stark. i love how she finally has had enough of being this perfect girl and gets this “fuck it” attitude and starts living for herself.
MY BELOVED NICK STARK, oh he is so swoon worthy and absolutely dreamy. 💓💗💕 — he is emilie’s chem partner who gives off this grumpy exterior at first. the way he pretends to not know who she is but is obsessed with her, sold, sold, sold!!! he literally agrees to do everything emilie wants, he is so smitten with her from the very start! the banter between nick and emilie had me giggling out loud and swooning, it was perfect!
this was a fun, enjoyable read and very well written—and the taylor swift references *chefs kiss* i highly recommend this book if you love fluffy, insta-love novels <33
thank you to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with this e-arc!
My favorite time loop movie concept Groundhog Day meets my favorite playing hooky YA movie concept Ferris Bueller’s Day off! This book was talking to my Gen X soul !
I have to write Netflix executives a letter to inform them instead of spending so much money for nonsense concepts with full of cliches and buy the rights of this book! This is a dreamy YA fantasy plot line they shouldn’t miss!
Here’s the plot line: Emilie Hornby ( not related with brilliant author Nick Hornby) is straight A student, people pleaser, having long lists and check boxes to control her future. Even her boyfriend Josh is chosen after he clicked all the boxes. She needs guarantee not to fail in relationships like her parents did. After the divorce her parents chose the other significant others. Her father married, with twins and as her mother lives with her boyfriend.
Let’s get to the chase: on her Valentine Day, bad things start hitting Emilie incessantly. First she bumps her car into her broody and handsome lab partner Nick who gives her ride to the school. Then she finds out the fellowship in Chicago for this summer she has been excited is taken away from her. And the worst one is the next: she catches Josh kissing his ex!
When she gets home crying out, her dad tells her something that will change their lives forever.
She finally finds herself at her granny’s house, praying this worst day of her life will be over sooner!
But the very next day she realizes it’s still Valentine’s Day and she’s trapped in a worst kind of time loop!
She tries so hard to change the outcomes! But what if she accepts things she cannot change and learn more about mysterious Nick she keeps bumping into! There might be a reason he gets in her way! She has to find it by experiencing same day by making different decisions!
Overall: it’s easy to devour, enjoyable pop corn read I highly recommend!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster’s Children Publishing / Simon& Schuster Books for Young Readers for sharing this amazing digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
“I fell in love with you on Valentine’s day, Emilie, but I need more than just seven minutes.”
I'm not going back into the book to find more quotes, so this is what I'll be supplying for now, unless I suddenly want to go back and find some quotes.
So this was my Christmas book for this year. I started this book on Christmas and ended it on Christmas, meaning it's my Christmas book. Which was kind of self-explanatory so I didn't have to explain, but whatever. Last year it was How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories which I ADORED.
But anyways, my expectations were through the roof with this one. Better Than the Movies is one of my favorite contemporaries and it was so cute and fun and adorable but this one just annoyed me.
I can be a little particular with my romances, like I don't want something overly cheesy unless I'm in a mood where I want extra cheese, I don't want insta-love, I don't want certain tropes, but all of this really depends on my mood.
If you can't somehow tell, I'm a huge mood reader.
But this book definitely didn't meet the expectations I'd set. The romance felt way too rushed (WAY too rushed) and I really didn't like the characters. The one thing I did like were all the Taylor Swift references. I would definitely get "I had a marvelous time ruining everything" tattooed on my arm, I adore that song.
The plot was simple enough. There wasn't anything spectacular except for the whole time loop thing. I knew immediately once DONC came along that she would wake up the next day on the 15th, it's just a very easy thing to predict.
Speaking of which, I despised the DONC. I thought it would be fun, because I love when the characters do rebellious stuff thinking that they would get no consequences in a time loop, but Emilie was literally getting on my final, fraying nerve, which ruined the entire experience. Not to mention the insta-love that came along with that but we will not be discussing that right now.
Also, the writing actually annoyed me. I typically don't care much about writing but this writing felt just really immature to me. The way words were stretched out with extra letters, italicized a lot, it just irked me. I just hate writing like that, and I can't actually remember that happening in Better Than the Movies. I was probably blinded by my love for that book to notice anything, whereas with this book I wasn't liking it so I picked up on all the flaws.
So yeah, the plot was fine. It could be cute at times, but nothing much happened except for the typical rom-com drama.
I'm sorry to say that I didn't like any of the characters except Chris and Rox. And they were hardly in the book.
I must say, the only thing I liked about Emilie was that she liked Taylor Swift.
No, I suppose I do like her because of the fact that she can be relatable at times, and she seemed somewhat sensible. But she just very much annoyed me at times, with things she said and did, ESPECIALLY on DONC. I got such bad secondhand embarrassment that I had to close the book and close my eyes because I literally couldn't stand the embarrassing thing she'd just done.
I was meh about Nick the entire book until he did what he did at the end and it made me HATE him. I don't actually hate him, but he literally shouldn't have done it and I even felt bad for Emilie, even though I don't like her either. I also hated his personality around other people, and he was really rude and said very unnecessary things. Also, Emilie called him sultry way too much. I don't really nitpick on words being repeated much but this one I noticed and it annoyed me.
Now this was my least favorite part of all. I can understand how Emilie could grow to "fall in love" with Nick, since she talks to him every single time in the time loop and she remembers everything, but I didn't quite get how Nick could fall in love with her when he doesn't remember any of that but oh BOY does he fall in love with her.
IN ONE DAY.
ONE FREAKING DAY WHEN THEY HAD HARDLY EVER SPOKEN TO EACH OTHER BEFOREHAND.
And it makes literally no sense, because this is the worst kind of insta-love, when one of the characters ADMITS to loving that character, because that just means it got very intense very fast. And it made me so mad, because how is it actually possible to fall in love with a person in a day? How is it even possible to fall in love with a person in the amount of time Emilie was in the time loop?
I don't even have a clue how long Emilie was in the time loop for, or, again, HOW IT WAS POSSIBLE FOR HER TO FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM.
I HATE THESE TYPES OF ROMANCES, GIVE ME WES AND LIZ BACK.
So yeah, I'm VERY disappointed in this book and writing this review makes me angry, so I'm going to rate it even lower than I initially was going to, which was 3.5 stars. I wish I'd enjoyed this more, but I just couldn't.
<><><><><> My disappointment is huge
<><><><><> my friend just got me this for Christmas, I'm so excited to read it!
✨It’s giving “see you in chemistry” from Drake and Josh, Before I Fall*, Easy A**, every Taylor Swift song ever, and that one scene in Santa Clause 2 where Scott gets Carol the baby doll.✨
*less tears for sure and there’s absolutely an HEA **basically just the vibes of Olive not giving a fuck
Isn’t it lovely when a most anticipated read is truly worth it? Especially since Better Than the Movies was That Bitch. Both books do different things, but they both do what they do very well.
In a possibly ill-fated attempt to describe how they’re related, I’m going to rely on Mean Girls because it is a timeless beauty and for some reason I’m in an early 2000s mood. For our purposes, The Plastics have been replaced by their cousin, The Papers. Better Than the Movies is Regina George because again, That Bitch. And it is here before you today that I present The Do-Over as Karen Smith. (Lynn I dare you to mention toaster strudels in book 3.)
The Do-Over just made me feel really happy and fluffy. It was a super quick read and I definitely read it in one sitting. There’s a 30% chance I’m already recommending it (I’m a pusher, I push people). Easy, breezy, beautiful, hardcover girl.
The DONC (day of no consequences) had me STRESSED like girl 90+ in a 45??? Ricky Bobby could never 😮💨 We never got to see her day in court lol but my gawd thoughts & prayers. On the DONC note, I love how The Do-Over played with the time loop trope. It’s chaotic and somehow very nostalgic.
As stated in the summary, the loop stopped after the day when Emilie finally lost her moral marbles and went off the rails, dragging Nick with her. (Who are we kidding there was no dragging necessary.) It also didn’t spend too much time recounting the previous days she’d relived, so you didn’t feel like you were rereading pages upon pages.
ALSO he called her good girl during the DONC and really any form of good girl is a win in my book.
I will only compare children once: I wish we had more insight into Nick’s feelings towards Emilie prior to the start of the book. We definitely got a hint of it (hello pretending he didn’t remember her) but they made it pretty clear neither had given the other much thought prior to the DONC.
On one hand, this means that the book did a very impressive job building their relationship in a very short amount of space. On the other hand, I’m a greedy gremlin and I always want there to be major secret pining by the love interest (if they’ve gone to school together or are otherwise mildly aware of each other). Like our sweet love sick boy Wes, for example.
The grand gesture here was ADORABLE but I did think we were going to get Nick’s own hastily put together confession box with a hundred scribbled confessions of things he’s loved about Emilie over the years. Endless pining is just something I always want to see, so I can’t not advocate for it here. Again, there were hints but the depth of his previous feelings was never revealed.
Overall, this was such an enjoyable take on the time loop. I already can’t wait to read Lynn’s next YA because there’s just something so relatable and real about her characters. I’ve found both Liz and Emilie to be so wonderfully complex and not pigeonholed into one character type. Younger me feels so at home in a Lynn Painter YA.
Thanks so much to the publisher for an eARC via NetGalley! I’m also mutuals with the author on social media and I happen to think she’s amazing. However, my review/opinion is honest and my own!
I loved this take on 'Groundhog Day' where Emilie Hornby relives Valentine’s Day over and over again! This was so cute, charming and fun! Emilie can't escape her boyfriend cheating on her nor can she get away from swoon worthy Nick who she runs into time and time again.
Don't let Emilie repeating the day repeatedly, deter you. She does things differently each day to try and change things. Different scenarios and conversations take place. What will happen when the universe makes things right and she wakes up and it's the 15th?
I listened to the audiobook and found myself laughing out loud and smiling as the book progressed. Such a fun and cute book.
Lynn Painter has crafted a wonderful YA rom-com that adults will love as well. Very clever, well thought out and fun!
Light-hearted, banter filled, and full of chaotic fun, The Do-Over is another winner from Lynn Painter! Perfect for the Swiftie in your life, this YA romcom is sure to put a smile on even the grumpiest face. If you enjoy Groundhog Day, this familiar, comforting quick read is sure to fit the fill. Highly recommended!
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
Despite the fact that I don't like time loops, I did really enjoy this book. However, I would have enjoyed it even more if it wasn't for the pop culture references. Apparently Taylor Swift is the new Harry Potter.
Why would I wait for fate to lend a hand, when I had two perfectly capable hands of my own?
Em is convinced that the key to a successful life is having everything planned beforehand. She has found the boy who ticked all the boxes and now that they have been together for three months it’s the perfect moment for the first ‘i love you’, right on Valentine’s day. Only that his boyfriend is busy kissing his ex-girlfriend instead.
More angry than heartbroken, Em barely survives all the casualties the universe is throwing at her: she loses her scholarship, eats expired food, gets in an accident and has to survive a ride to school with her chemistry partner, Nick, who doesn’t even recognize her. She’s more than ready to get to bed early and think about how to solve everything tomorrow.
Only that, when the alarm rings, it’s Valentine’s Day all over again.
I hate ‘loop day’ trope because I always get bored and dnf the book, so I was extremely annoyed when I realized it was exactly what The Do-Over was going to be about. I figured it out it wasn’t going to hurt giving it a try and, next thing I knew, the book was over and my face was sore from smiling.
The Do-Over is full of clichés you’ve read before: mysterious sad guy who doesn’t believe in love meets planner-lover girl who thinks love is rational and they both realize they have it all wrong. But the execution was so entertaining, I laughed and laughed and wanted to highlight the entire thing. I loved how Em forgot to be a good girl when Nick was teasing her, and Nick forgot to be grumpy and cold because he liked Em too much and how they made perfect sense together. I loved how the author managed to skip the boredom of the day repetition by showing us more and more of Nick and Em, how Em falled every day a bit more, but Nick had to get to know her for the first time day after day. The character development was so good I was cheering Em as she got crazier and crazier until she was just herself.
No matter how this turns out-good or bad-I’m going to start living for me and what I want, instead of for other people and what I think they want me to do. Because if I don’t, who will?”
Overall, I truly recommend reading this if you want to read a YA romcom that’s actually fun, has no miscommunication and a POV that’s easy to relate to-I mean, Em’s mom grounded her without books. Without. Books.
I had a blast while reading this book. This book follows Emilie as she really does Valentine’s Day over and over again, kind of like Groundhog Day the movie. Now I absolutely love books that have the plot of repeating days, because I just love the self discovery that comes with that plot. And this book did not miss, I absolutely loved every plot from every day and how it flows. This was a bit different from the other books I read like this, because instead of the couple ending the cycle of repeated days together, Emilie was completely in this alone and had to read the consequences of her while this day. I don’t think I’ve ever write a book where that took place, and it was very refreshing. The side characters in this book were really likable, and the love interest Nick was everything a YA love interest needed to be. Nick had his own skeletons in his closet, but went along with Emilie for the ride. At first I thought he knew about the time loop and was in it with her, but it turns out he really just liked her so much that he went along with everything she had to say. I really liked the day that they spent together and found out so much about one another. Overall I just really loved the story!
“For The Lonely. The Daydreamers. The ones who find their friends between the pages of books - YOU MATTER, and your happy ending WILL come. Sometimes the wait is just longer in real life than in fiction.”
Lynn Painter what RIGHT do you have hurting my heart this way please?!
No one writes YA romance like Lynn Painter. No. One. I loved Better Than the Movies and The Do-Over is right up there alongside it.
Painter’s ability to create relatable, loveable characters is bar none and the banter they engage in is always perfection. I become fully invested in their personal growth as well as their romantic entanglements and by the time the story comes to it’s conclusion, I cannot deal with these characters having anything but the happiest of endings.
What made this story so unique to me is the “ground hog day” plot device. It was a great way to convey to young adult readers the important vs. the superficial, by having Emilie stuck in a time loop until she figures out for herself what matters most in her life and how to go about getting it. I cannot recommend this one enough. It is the perfect mix of YA and adult romance and I think readers of all ages will love it all the same.
Read if you like: • witty banter • wholesome romance • magical realism • groundhog day/ferris buehler
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Young Readers and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
5/5🌟 this is so cute 😭😭🏼 idk how she does it but she makes the characters so real and have such good chemistry that it has me giggling and blushing and kicking my feet 🤭🤭 there’s something about YA romance that’s just chefs kiss 🤌🤌 i was so obsessed with emilie and nick that i finished this in under a day 😃🏼 this was the perfect read for valentine’s day i so so recommended it 🤍 also i think i might have to go to the dentist with how toothachingly sweet this was 🏼🏼
I'm a big fan of this author's work, especially Better Than the Movies. It will always be one of my favorite YA contemporaries. The author's writing is right up my alley, smart, witty, and engaging. Sadly, The Do-Over didn't work for me as well as I hoped it would. In the end it comes down to me not being as enamoured with the story or characters. Because there wasn't anything wrong with either, I can only blame myself. But I also must admit that I'm NOT a big fan of the whole "Groundhog Day" Loop. It rarely works for me, actually let's be honest and just admit that it have NEVER worked for me. But I'm looking forward to the author's next release.
___________________________________ I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.
I'm finally getting around to writing this one...here we go! Ok first off I love Lynn Painter and her writing style is so addicting, I think this is the fastest I've finished a book so that's a +??? As soon as I opened the book I already didn't feel as connected to the characters as I did with Wes and Liz in bttm. I KNOWWW they're different but my heart will always have a special place for them that is gonna be very hard to top. The book felt very fast paced which I typically love and Its one of the key elements of me not wanting to put the book down but this felt...too fast. If you would have thought of this same storyline over the course of multiple days I feel like I would have enjoyed It more. Everything felt extremely rushed. I know that Emilie felt like she knew Nick for a while by the time the DONC came around but he didn't which is the part I really don't get. I mean do you go up to someone that you just started talking to, spend a day w/ them and end it in a make out session? I certainly wouldn't. The ending frustrated me as well because I felt like Nick and Emilie both just turned into brats haha. I couldn't stand them. Then yet again they move fast. Forgiving, forgetting and making out. It was cute I cant deny that, just not my favorite!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I loved 'better than the movies' by Lynn Painter, and was dying to try out this book. Let me tell you, I really REALLY liked it. I got sucked in from the beginning, it had me laughing out loud, and did I mention, the romance was SO CUTE. Other than that, I loved the characters and the plot. I need to reread this.