Hi everyone! Sorry I disappeared off the face of the earth again! I’ve been reading a lot of romance novels recently and I just didn’t have enough to write a review for them all because they pretty much all went – I enjoyed this a lot and I recommend it! But today I’m back with what is hopefully a more substantial review for Auriane Desombre’s debut novel, I Think I Love You!
Title: I Think I Love You
Author: Auriane Desombre
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, Young Adult
Synopsis: Emma is a die-hard romantic. She loves a meet-cute Netflix movie, her pet, Lady Catulet, and dreaming up the Gay Rom Com of her heart for the film festival competition she and her friends are entering. If only they’d listen to her ideas. . .
Sophia is pragmatic. She’s big into boycotts, namely 1) relationships, 2) teen boys and their BO (reason #2347683 she’s a lesbian), and 3) Emma’s nauseating ideas. Forget starry-eyed romance, Sophia knows what will win: an artistic film with a message.
Cue the drama. The movie is doomed before they even start shooting . . . until a real-life plot twist unfolds behind the camera when Emma and Sophia start seeing each other through a different lens. Suddenly their rivalry is starting to feel like an actual rom-com.
I Think I Love You is a fun, sapphic, enemies-to-lovers/rivals-to-lovers YA contemporary romance that follows Emma, who absolutely adores rom-coms, and Sophia, who after her parents’ divorce no longer believes in love. After the two butt heads while their group of friends tries to come up with a concept for a prestigious film festival, the two end up competing against each other. But after some friendly interference, perhaps there’s more to their snarky remarks and cutting insults. As I’m sure you’ll already no, I’m not a huge fan of enemies-to-lovers romances, and rivals-to-lovers is on thin ice too, but I was sold by the film making competition plotline and the gorgeous cover, so I had to pick it up. Immediately I was so, so happy to see that the characters refer to their sexualities by name on page – Emma frequently talks about how important her identity is as a bisexual, and it was great to see that she talked about how it is still an important part of her, no matter what gender her future partner is, and Sophia is an out and proud lesbian who mentions several times that she loves being a lesbian!
Despite this, I did think that the book got off to a pretty shaky start, hence the four star rating, and I found Sophia and Emma’s dynamic to be too much on the enemies side. It is explained that there is no real reason why they hate each other but they don’t just trade snarky comments, instead making really quite hurtful remarks and pushing the other away for literally no reason. I also picked up on a a line at the start of chapter six that felt really off to me as a lesbian – for some context, Emma is asked out by one of her male friends, Matt, and she rejects him several times but he keeps persevering, only to stop when Sophia interjects. At the start of chapter six, which is from Sophia’s POV, she thinks: “No one deserves to be on the receiving end of a man’s romantic attentions for so long after making it clear that she isn’t interested. At some point, it’s disrespectful of boundaries. Reason 4,948,127 why I love being a lesbian”. The first part of this about boundaries, I have no problem with, but the part where she insinuates that she doesn’t have to put up with this because she is a lesbian is questionable at best. I know that I, and many other lesbians, have experienced being hit on by a man who doesn’t seem to want to give up and even some who suggest they can ‘change us’, so to suggest that this doesn’t happen made me a bit uncomfortable.
However, aside from this, once the plot got going I found myself really sucked into the story and read the majority of the book in one evening! I think that the interference of their mutual friends into Emma and Sophia’s relationship was a plot device that I particularly enjoyed and I loved seeing their dynamic evolve from that point onwards. The drama of the film competition was also a lot of fun, and the setting of New York City in the midst of a heatwave makes this book the perfect read for summer!
As for the characters, I was definitely team Sophia, but I loved them both regardless! Emma is your classic hopeless romantic who adores rom-coms and just wants to see herself, as a bisexual girl, represented, and so decides to film her own sapphic rom-com. She is also still closeted to her parents and this part of the story meant a lot to me, though I don’t want to talk too much about it for fear of spoiling something! Sophia is dealing with the aftermath of her parents’ divorce and having just returned from Paris, and has decided to create a French-inspired, moody artistic film. There’s a part in the book that really resonated with me when she says that she “…was miserable when I was in France. I spent the whole time lying around in my room and eating my feelings. And France is a good place to do that”. Those lines really made me laugh because when I moved to France I spent a lot of my time crying in the Intermarché and devouring freshly baked baguettes and mustard crisps (I miss those crisps so much)! Her discussions of loneliness were so relatable and I really loved her character a lot!
Overall, despite my initial hesitations, I really did enjoy reading this book for the most part and even if, like me, you’re not a fan of enemies-to-lovers, once you power through the first third of the book or so, you’ll find that this is a really sweet sapphic romance with an engaging plot and a really hopeful outlook!