A sweet and funny debut novel about falling for someone when you least expect it . . . and finding out that real life romance is better than anything on screen.
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 love a good queer love story, and I love fanfic tropes, but I Think I Love You fell flat for me. But before I get into that, let’s talk about the positives.
Desombre captured Emma’s fear of coming out to her parents really well. No matter how progressive someone seems, it still feels desperately confusing to anticipate how they will react to you. And I appreciated a story that shows the hurt that comes from parents reacting with a calm and cool demeanor…saying it isn’t a big deal is hard to hear when you’ve worked up more courage than you thought you could muster.
I also appreciated Sophia’s character throughout the first half of the book. Her fear of being excluded from her friends but reacting by overcompensating with stories about her time in France felt so realistic. She couldn’t stop shooting herself in the foot, and wow, I have been there.
Unfortunately, almost nothing else felt realistic about this book. Emma and Sophia hate each other, which splits the group apart. So their friends tell each of them that the other has a crush on them, and suddenly their eyes are opened! For a moment I thought it was a funny acknowledgment about how powerful it is to be liked. “She likes me? She has good taste, maybe she’s better than I realized.” But they fall in love so fast (oh, and all of these 14-year-olds are throwing around the word “love”), ignoring all of the things that they disliked about each other for years before. That would be enough to drive me crazy, but then there are plot twists and misunderstandings, and nobody acts like a real human being. Maybe I should have let the drama of it all wash over me, but I just couldn’t. It was too much drama for the sake of drama.
I love a story with a bisexual girl and a lesbian falling in love. But unfortunately, not this one.
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