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 moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—and maybe snag him as a prom date—even befriend Wes Bennet.
The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.
But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.
Lynn Painter writes romantic comedies for both teens and adults. She is the author of Better Than the Movies and Mr. Wrong Number, as well as a regular contributor to the Omaha World-Herald. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and pack of wild children, and when she isn’t reading or writing, odds are good she’s guzzling energy drinks and watching rom-coms. You can find her at LynnPainter.com, on Instagram @LynnPainterKirkle, or on Twitter @LAPainter.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 4, 2021)
"Better Than the Movies is a sweet and funny love letter to romantic comedies that shows how happily ever afters can help us navigate our toughest moments. I loved watching Liz learn that unexpected plot twists sometimes make the best stories. Perfect for anyone who wishes their life had a film-worthy soundtrack, a quirky wardrobe, and a memorable meet cute."
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