A Sweet Rom-Com with a Friends to Lovers Slow Burn
“More advice, only this time, it recommended scouring obituaries for new widowers. Now that was just outright insensitive. Not okay 1950s.“
If you’re like me and miss those halcyon days of Romantic Comedy Cinema glory, then Book Smart by Amanda Pennington will be the book that eases that yearning for a few hundred pages. Told in a dual-narrative by main characters Mel (Melanie) and Cameron, Book Smart is the friends to lovers, sweet, slow burn romance wrapped in a mid-century dating fiasco that will have you in stitches and then in your feels as you see how these two friends deal when faced with their own feelings.
It’s truly hard to believe that Book Smart is Amanda Pennington’s debut novel. Using whip-smart prose, quippy dialogue, fantastic one-liners, and entire scenes that had me laughing out loud, Amanda’s storytelling is both alluring and fun. I could practically feel the unspoken feelings from both Mel and Cameron ooze off the page. Their earnest feelings were palpable in a truly endearing way, and those particular feelings were the exact reason why I was hard pressed to put this book down and attempt to function in the real world.
“Love is a choice you make every single day. Rain or shine. Making that choice is what keeps the sparklers alive.”
Who doesn’t love the idea of applying dating advice that came from the 1950’s and use in the modern dating world? The notion of using gestures in person rather than gifs has its merit, while an engineered meet cute as a stowaway aboard a Navy vessel perhaps isn’t exactly cut out for 21st century rules. This is the puzzle that Mel grapples with as she tries to revive her stalled writing career using this particular idea. The fact that her endeavors practically give Cameron a shove into doing anything was particularly humorous and satisfying to behold. You’ll also adore Ivy, the friend who has a glimpse behind the curtains and has a back story that I wish I knew more about. Perhaps in the future, Ivy’s secrets will be shared as well?
The dating hijinks that Mel get into are half of the fun, while watching both Mel and Cameron squirm in their feelings and friendship is the other half. If you’re a big fan of feelings and loving the lovable ignorance of main characters (like I am), then you will absolutely adore the build-up to the point of enlightenment for both Mel and Cameron. Book Smart is a perfect addition to the Work For It series, and will honestly be a bright spot in the wonderful lineup of Smartypants Romance titles. Congrats to Amanda on a brilliant new release!
Jes is a self-proclaimed bookworm, who recently moved from the PNW back to the Midwest. When her nose isn’t in a book, she’s spending time with her husband, two kids, and her three fur babies, or exploring the globe. She also firmly believes that you should start the day with coffee, and end the day in bed with a good book.