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Better Than the Movies

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  520 ratings  ·  220 reviews
In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.

Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he mov
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published May 4th 2021 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Lynn Painter OH, MY GOSH - I cannot believe you caught that!! :)

Some authors spend a lot of time carefully selecting names, whereas I (total slacker) spend mere m…more
OH, MY GOSH - I cannot believe you caught that!! :)

Some authors spend a lot of time carefully selecting names, whereas I (total slacker) spend mere moments. I literally glanced over at my bookshelves when I was drafting, and selected two authors' last names from the spines that were in my line of sight.

I honestly didn't even remember that was where they came from!

YOU are amazing - lol!!! :)(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
ضحى الحداد It IS very similar .. thank you for making me fall in love with this book more than I am right now <3

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Average rating 4.41  · 
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l a u r a ♛
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“Enemies-to-lovers—it’s our trope, Buxbaum."

4.9/5 :)

~the actual soundtrack of Wessy and Libby~

A rom-com with rom-com references, fake dating and enemies to lovers, all while the MCs are neighbors and childhood friends frienamies??! This was like a dream come true.

A certain someone didn’t realize why he was calling her Buxbaum until like halfway through the book… and then they realized that’s her last name… totally not me

~cons that I remember~

Unfortunately I think this book just spoiled the
BETTER THAN THE MOVIES was a rom-com about rom-coms and it was really well done. It’s about a girl, needing the help from her bad boy neighbour to get noticed by a childhood crush. Of course this plot is nothing new and has been done before. But I couldn’t have cared less about that, because it was such an adorable and fun YA rom-com. Light hearted, entertaining, and sure a bit predictable too. But that didn’t take away from the overall enjoyment.

I LOVED the couple. Really loved them. I loved th
Claude's Bookzone
May 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
Well it appears my knowledge of romcom movies is pretty amazing.

I honestly think there was only one movie line I didn't recognise straight away. I feel oddly proud. Yay for my university and early work life days avoiding essays and job stuff by watching these modern day classics. I really did enjoy this light-hearted and funny romance. I thought the characters were endearing and the dynamics hugely entertaining. I've ordered 2 copies for the school library!
Larry H
May 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
A young woman obsessed with rom-coms hopes for a love story of her own in Lynn Painter's new book, Better Than the Movies .

“When she died, my mother bequeathed to me her unwavering belief in happily ever after. My inheritance was the knowledge that love is always in the air, always a possibility, and always worth it. Mr. Right—the nice-guy, dependable version—could be waiting around the very next corner. Which was why I was always at the ready. It was only a matter of time before it finally h
Sofie |
Thank you NetGalley for providing me an e-arc for review!

"Come on, Liz - at least be honest with yourself. You dress like her, you watch all the shows she watched, and you do everything in your power to behave as if she's writing the screenplay of your life and you're her character."

Better Than the Movies is a cute-as-a-button YA novel that follows Liz as she tries to win the heart of her childhood crush ~who just moved back to town~ with the help of her childhood enemy, Wes.

This book is cute,
aly ☆彡
"A girl will never forget the first boy she likes" - He's Just Not That into You

"But she'll also never forget the first boy she hates" - Liz Buxbaum

Would you look at that cover?
Do you know why I choose to read this book?
Do you read the summary?
When I first saw the cover reveal. I thought this was very cute and I need to read the book! I was expecting a cute cheesy romance but what I got in return are unwarranted angst and emotional mess.

I expected some of the illustratio
May 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
One of the best Young Adult books I have read since forever!

The set up of this book is awesome as we find Liz “Libby” Bauxum, a senior in high school who works part time in a bookstore, still reeling from the death of her mom when she was ten. Prom is on the horizon and her childhood crush since kindergarten, Michael Young moves back to town, and all she can think about is going to prom with him. Next door neighbor Wes whom she has had a lifelong feud with is friends with Michael, and Wes might
May 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
happy 50th book to me!

this was such a breath of fresh air. i picked it up on a whim and can't believe how much i actually enjoyed it. wes was such a perfect book boyfriend and i don't think i've had one in a while so he'll add nicely to the list.

the writing seemed a little more..middle grade than young adult, even though the characters were seniors in high school. the way they handled certain situations reminded me of middle school 'me' and not in a good way.

despite that, i had a lot of fun an
Marti Leimbach
BETTER THAN THE MOVIES is a YA contemporary romance complete with it's own its own playlist, boy-of-your-dreams, and five-star wit.

Liz Buxbaum's encyclopaedic knowledge of romance novels and romcom films ought to make her an expert at the real thing. But no. The daughter of a romcom writer, Liz is a traditionalist when it comes to matters of the heart. Her notions of love require adherence to certain criteria you will always, but always, find in true love. So when longtime crush, Michael, retur
Shay | Books Are Magic Too
Self professed little love lover here, to gush about an adorable must read YA contemporary romance that you NEED to have on your want to read list - Better Than the Movies.

As someone who adores the happily ever afters YA can give me as a reader, this one had everything I needed to be left with all the warm fuzzy feelings even days after reading it. I’ve already gushed about it over and over, and am demanding fan art like the incredible cover art, because I NEED it.

Liz Buxbaum is a girl who hea
Better Than the Movies is a YA rom-com. This book was so cute and charming. I really enjoyed it.

The story takes place in Omaha, Nebraska. The narrator is high school senior Liz (1st person POV).

The beginning of each chapter has a quote from classic romance movies like When Harry Met Sally and Bridget Jones's Diary. I thought that this added so much to the story.

Liz's mom died when she was a kid. And now that it is her senior year she is finding that it is difficult not to have a mom. Liz is a qu
May 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
cuuuuute! if you are a romcom aficionado and you like YA, this one is for you. it's so sweet and a little cheesy and very swoony. apparently i just really love a YA romantic lead named wes. a good, classic YA romance. ...more
Riddhi B.
May 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Oh. My. God.
I absolutely adored this book!!!! It is honestly so sweet, and the fact that it sorta combines two of my favourite tropes- enemies-to-lovers and fake dating- has made it one of my favourite YA contemporaries ever!

This book had a standard YA contemporary plot. I literally predicted every single thing that was gonna happen in the book, but that's just because I have read so many. If you are new to this genre, you might not be able to.

Liz: Liz, to be honest, got on my ne
May 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
Is this the most perfect YA rom com ever?! It is you guys, this was adorable, swoony perfection from start to finish. If you like rom coms, or maybe just rom com movies, or maybe you just like books in general you have to read this. I swear you won’t regret it and I even think you’ll finish reading it with a cheesy grin and the warm and fuzzies.

As light and funny as this one was there was an emotional component as well as Liz is grieving the loss of her mom snd senior year is really making her r
Lindsay (pawsomereads)
Apr 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was such a cute book! I felt like I was in fangirl heaven the whole time. The whole story was adorable and entertaining and I had a blast reading it.
Liz Buxbaum is a high school senior who loves imagining her life playing out like a movie. She inherited her love of rom-coms and movie soundtracks from her late mother, who had her watching all the classics from a young age. So when Liz’s childhood crush returns to town, she is desperate to get him to notice her and hopefully score him as
ضحى الحداد
OH MY HEART !!! I've been waiting for this book for quite some time and it definitely delivered <3 <3 my heart is still racing from that end scene and this is one of the cutest stories I've read in a while
Liz lost her mother in a tragic way and the only way she keeps it together is by watching her favorite rom-coms (which are a favorite of mine as well <3 ) So in her mind there is this guy (Michael) who she loved since she was young and she wants to get him to ask her to prom, and for that she
Kal ★ Reader Voracious
Why yes, I have (finally) decided to delve more into romance books! Better late than never.

A book for the lover of romantic comedies, Better than the Movies is a cute and fun story of romantic expectations, chasing your dream love interest, and falling for the one who was there all along. Yes friends, this books is enemies-to-lovers fake dating.
"Neighborhood friends were like that. You grew up with them, running over hot sidewalks and yelling to each other over fresh-cut lawns, but onc
Lindsey Domokur of Crazy Reader Chicks
The title and the description drew me right into this book. I am one of those girls that is a romcom junkie, much like Liz and her mom. I grappled with the rating for this book. Back and forth and back and forth because the title says "Better Than the Movies" and with the promise of all of these romcoms,. I was expecting an ending that was over the top, but I didn't get that. Instead, I got an ending that was just as sweet but without over the top sentimentallity.
Liz used to watch romcoms with h
michelle (magical reads)
2.5 stars

cw: mentions of death of a parent (mother), emeto (ch. 3-4)

this suffered from "oh I'm not like other teenage girls, I'm ~quirky" syndrome that I thought might have gotten better later but if anything, it got worse...tbh this was basically a 2014/2015 ya contemporary with more recent song mentions. readable I guess, but tbh I thought it would be cute but there was very little going for it.
Maria (mariareadsbooksalot)
This book was absolutely adorable!! I loved seeing the friendship between Wes and Liz grow and then the PINING AND ANGST?! So good! I loved all of the romcom references and the serious talks about grief and the loss of a parent. It was beautifully written and made you love the characters even more. Liz reminded my a lot of myself and made me want to wear vintage clothes and watch all the romcoms I can. This was an adorable YA romcom that I think people who are fans of enemies to lovers with a si ...more
Hannah Z
4.5 stars

WOW. I think that this might now be my favorite contemporary romance book of all-time. I don't usually read romance books that often, but Better Than the Movies might change that because this was amazing.

To be honest, I was really surprised when I found out that this book is Painter's debut novel. I mean, the writing style did not feel amateur-ish at all, and I definitely hope that this receives widespread positive reviews when it is officially released.

Everything in this book felt nat
May 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, edelweiss
Okay. Imagine how excited I was to read this book and I still gave it 5 stars. It was that good! It combined some of my favorite romance tropes while also being self-aware of said romance tropes. I loved every minute of it!

Liz is our main character and I loved Liz because she reminded me so much of myself. She loves rom-com movies and wants so badly to live one out in her real life. When her childhood crush moves back into town and instantly becomes besties with her archnemesis, what can she do
Molly  Blackwell
May 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you ever find a book exactly when you need it? That's what this book was for me. I just finished reading an emotionally devastating trilogy and I was having the world's worst book hangover. Enter this absolute gem of a book. I devoured this book in one day after telling myself I just needed to start another book to get out of my slump. I'm definitely saving this book to my list of comfort books to reread when needed. Now to get into what this book was all about and not my fragile emotions.

lexi ✨

i'm actually surprised i ended up liking this. during the first third of the book i kind of thought it was really cheesy, liz's love for michael was essentially built upon him being nice to her when they were kids & it was just a very shallow kind of love, almost like she just chose him because of her own imaginings of who he grew into in a sense. i realized during the second & final thirds of the book that there was more depth to the story & more of an explanation as to why liz the way sh
Candyce Kirk
May 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Once I picked up Better Than the Movies I just couldn't stop. This book was everything I was expecting and more! For all rom-com fans out there I definitely suggest picking this one up!

Our main character Liz is a big rom-com fan and used to watched them all with her mother. Liz is waiting for her perfect meet cute and love of her life. So when Michael moves back she sees all of her dreams coming true. It was so much fun reading her thoughts of how everything was going to happen. She wanted this
"𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐱𝐲𝐠𝐞𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐛𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐢𝐧 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞-𝐚𝐧𝐝-𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧."

𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘬 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘰 𝘚𝘪𝘮𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘚𝘤𝘩𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘊𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘥𝘢 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯 𝘈𝘙𝘊 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸!

Better Than the Movies is a YA rom-com that follows the story of Liz wh0 has hated her neighbour Wes ever since she was little. But when her childhood neighbourhood crush comes back into town she enlists Wes's help to try and make him fall for her.

I LOVED this book! Reading this book was like watching an immaculate rom-
Khushi Aggarwal
May 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
I have read better.

The enemy turned lover trope is a classic and doesn't get old. Wes and Liz are neighbors with a childhood feud. Liz asks Wes for help, when her childhood crush moves back into town. This is the plot. No spoilers here.
Wes was okay. Liz was annoying. They talk, have moments and are bound to fall in love. You know how this goes. The problem is, the love part wasn't elaborated upon. It was subdued for no good reason. I did not feel the love fostering. I felt like the chemistry def
Maria (mariareadsbooksalot)
Feb 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was absolutely adorable!! I loved seeing the friendship between Wes and Liz grow and then the PINING AND ANGST?! So good! I loved all of the romcom references and the serious talks about grief and the loss of a parent. It was beautifully written and made you love the characters even more. Liz reminded my a lot of myself and made me want to wear vintage clothes and watch all the romcoms I can. This was an adorable YA romcom that I think people who are fans of enemies to lovers with a si ...more
Amirah Aji
May 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Oh my my my. So many feels. I laughed out loud, shrieked, cried, swooned, got so infuriated. Loved it so much. Wes and Liz's relationship is just so freaking adorable. My face hurts from the non stop smiling. Except for the climax where I really wanted to strangle Liz. The portrayal of a teen still struggling to come to terms with her mother's death and understanding how deeply it affected her was realistic and crushing.

~~ book 1 of my MBTI reading challenge - reading books recommended for my M
May 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to NetGalley for this book. I absolutely loved it. I especially loved how songs were incorporated into scenes—I always asked my home device to play the songs so I could get a feel for the scene. The storyline was mostly predictable but it was completely enjoyable. You were rooting for the characters.
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