Better than the Movies by Lynn Painter is a light rom-com novel that follows protagonist Liz Bauxbaum, an aspiring filmmaker who dreams of a love story like the ones on the silver screen. Her own life starts resembling the very movies she adores after agreeing to participate in a "fake-dating" relationship with her childhood friend and sworn enemy, Wes Bennett. Liz ultimately finds herself entangled in a love triangle and finds herself questioning what she truly wants in a relationship. As she navigates the highs and lows of her senior year, she begins to realize that her life might actually be better than the movies.

I particularly enjoyed the pacing and lightness of this book, keeping me engaged from beginning to end. The romantic tension between characters was intense and added another layer of excitement to the plot. I recall a few instances where I found myself filled with butterflies as I flipped the page to the next chapter. Better than the Movies offered a fresh take on the classic rom-com genre, and Liz and Wes’ world felt incredibly natural, as if this love story could occur in real life anytime. It will forever remain one of my treasured books, and rate it a 10/10.

Review by: Hailey M.

Hailey is a volunteer at Sylmar Branch Library. She is a 10th grader at Granada Hills Charter High School.

—Dana Eklund, Sylmar Branch Library