Release Day Review: The Romantics by Leah Konen

romanticsThe Romantics by Lean Konen
Genre: YA Romance
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Rainbow Rowell, The Romantics will charm readers of all ages. Gael Brennan is about to have his heart broken when his first big relationship crumbles on the heels of his parents’ painful separation. Love intervenes with the intention of setting things right—but she doesn’t anticipate the intrusion of her dreaded nemesis: the Rebound. Love’s plans for Gael are sidetracked by Cara, Gael’s hot-sauce-wielding “dream girl.” The more Love meddles, the further Gael drifts from the one girl who can help him mend his heart. Soon Love starts breaking all her own rules—and in order to set Gael’s fate back on course, she has to make some tough decisions about what it means to truly care.

Wendy’s Review

Okay, I just reread the blurb and I so didn’t read Love as a girl.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure the book never specifies Love’s sex which was good since Love doesn’t have a gender!  Leah Konen, why is Love a girl?  If I’m being honest, I actually read Love’s narration as a disembodied voice that probably leaned toward male-ish tones.  Now the blurb says Love is a she, so is it horrible how I’m slightly turned off by that?  Love was written as the first person narrator, was there was no need to even use a pronoun?  I’m making grumbly face.

Trying my hardest to set that aside, overall I thought The Romantics was a cute book.  I thought having Love narrate the story was ingenious and that it brought something new to a cute little YA romance.  I’m not knocking YA Romance, I like them, but like Gael would say – they can be a little predictable.  Having Love narrate the story gave it that extra quirk, that thing that we can all talk about.  Even if they did attempt to assign Love a gender.  (Still making grumbly face.)

The romance itself wasn’t anything special, you could see it coming from a mile away, which is why the story didn’t get 4 full stars from me.  The characters also weren’t so standout they made up for missing chemistry.  All of that was just okay.  If it wasn’t for Love itself, the book probably would have been bland.  Instead we got insights like this one:

Rule Number One:
I will never ask you to ingest poison, fall on your lover’s sword, become a subhuman species, wage war, or generally cause yourself or others bodily harm.  That’s the stuff of books and stories, not the real deal.

Right!  That is not love, as much as many novels want to convince you it is.  Love is not removing the motor from your car under the guise of keeping you safe.  Love is respect, and building each other up.  That is what this book gets right.  That’s what made this book so good; good enough I read it in one day.  It was Love that made me hope for a sequel, possibly even two.  I’d love to see John’s story, but even more, I’m hoping we get to see how Love handles the differing romantic types.  Gael/John are Romantics.  How about a book for Cara, the Serial Monogamist?  I’d like that book.

Lastly, before I bring this review to an end, I will say that I wish we’d gotten more between Mason and Gael.  I actually liked the idea of the Bromance.  I kinda think that Love should have focused more on that relationship than romantic love.  Love points out that there are many types of love, but yet the story was a traditional romance.  Remember what made Frozen so good?  The idea that True Love doesn’t have to be romantic.  Knowing that, believing that, I would have enjoyed reading a book about best friends.

It’s just this girls opinion though, and we know what those are like.  😀

Thank you to Amulet Books, via NetGalley, for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5 Stars = B-

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