Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a great day! I’m super busy right now trying to set up as a freelancer and studying for my HSK3 Chinese exam but I have had some time to read in amongst all that. One of the books I did manage to read was The Falling In Love Montage by Ciara Smyth which I really enjoyed, so I thought I’d try and get my thoughts about it together in a review!
Title: The Falling in Love Montage
Author: Ciara Smyth
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young adult, LGBT+
Rating: 4/5 Stars – 8.29 CAWPILE rating
Synopsis: Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.
But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.
Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.
I think I’m gonna tackle this review a bit differently to how I normally go about them. I’m going to start with things I liked about this book and then move onto the things that weren’t exactly my cup of tea.
First of all, I really enjoyed Saoirse and Ruby – the two main characters. To me they felt very real – Saoirse is dealing with some quite difficult things in her family life and is so scared about letting people in due to her past relationships, and Ruby is a romantic with a big heart who cares so much about her family. They worked so well together (despite all the miscommunication and secrets) and their romance was so fun to follow. I can’t speak for the portrayal of dementia in this book, but I think it was great that it was touched upon, because I don’t think I’ve read a book before that tackles the subject, so to me that was very refreshing.
I also loved Saoirse and Oliver’s rivals/friendship relationship that was going on through the book. Seeing them text each other and Oliver’s contact names being changed to ridiculous ones was so sweet and funny and I really, really enjoyed how their friendship grew. I loved how they slowly opened up to each other throughout the book and that Oliver always had Saoirse’s back despite their differences. I also really loved Barb and I wish we’d gotten to see more of her because she was absolutely hilarious!
Of course, I have to mention the plot! I love a good, cheesy Summer fling romance book and I’ve read so many straight ones in the past (I’m looking at you Morgan Matson), so this book was right up my alley. I especially love ones where the main characters create a list of things to do throughout the Summer and check off each one as they go along, and this book had exactly that, with each activity corresponding to a different rom-com. I must admit, I don’t watch many rom-coms (unless they’re gay) so a lot of the references went right over my head (but that’s a me problem, not a ‘the book’ problem), but I still found it to be so much fun. I especially loved when they stole the swan pedalo and went skinny dipping (the headline in the newspaper the next day cracked me up!).
Finally, I know a lot of people have mentioned this about the book, but I’m so grateful that the author used the word ‘lesbian’ frequently throughout the book. I know in so many f/f novels the author shies away from using ‘lesbian’ or ‘bisexual’ or any other word that denotes someone’s sexuality, instead just opting for saying ‘likes girls’ – and that’s fine, no one has to label their sexuality if they don’t want to. But finally seeing it said several times, and in such a positive way, in this book made me so happy!
However, there were a couple of minor things that did lead to me subtracting a star. The first is the lack of Hannah and Izzy. For two characters that played such a huge role in Saoirse’s life, and character development, I wish we saw more of them. Also, the sort of reconciliation with Hannah felt very rushed to me, and I wish a little more time was spent on it. Also, justice for Beth! She was so sweet the whole way through, and I understand Saoirse’s misgivings, but I wish there was some forgiveness and some understanding at the end because Beth deserved so much better! The aspect I liked the least, however, was the writing style. For some it might work, but for me I didn’t love the casual-ness of it and the constant fourth wall breaking was just irritating at first. I think if I’d read it when I was slightly younger I may have appreciated it more.
Despite these minor points, I would highly recommend this book and if it doesn’t get made into a movie (with an Irish cast and set in Ireland) I will be so mad!!