Book Review

The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

Genre | YA Contemporary Fiction
Page #s | 368
Publishing Date | June 2020

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.


The Falling in Love Montage is a YA contemporary fiction sapphic love story that offers a realistic message about the worthiness of love despite its ephemerality. I have to admit that it took me a minute to get into the story, because Saoirse is a brat. She’s a cranky, moody teen, and I felt myself related more to her father than to her for a good portion of the story. However, more than most moody teens, Saoirse has good reason for her outbursts. In addition to the typical angst that comes from transitioning out of secondary school and coping with a breakup, her mom has been placed into a care home due to early-onset dementia and her dad is dating someone new.

All of this has led Saoirse to attempt the classic “Avoid pain by avoiding intimacy” gambit. When she meets Ruby, who is visiting for the summer, they agree that they just want a romance that is light, fun, and totally on the surface. But feelings take hold, and Saoirse has to wrestle with whether or not it’s worth opening your heart when you know there is an end date to the experience.

I really appreciated the nuance of this book. Both Saorise and her father are coping with the tragedy of her mother’s condition, and they help and hurt each other in realistic ways as a result. Love is allowed to be complicated, and it’s Chosen Love rather than True Love that is the star here.

Who Do I Recommend This Book To?

If you want a quick read with a lot to say, The Falling in Love Montage is for you!

Check out our Queer Lil Library for more book recommendations and reviews!

1 comment on “The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

  1. Pingback: Roar Cat Reads Book Suggestions for Our 2022 LGBTQ+ Summer Book Bingo – Roar Cat Reads

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