Audiobook Review: Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

Release date: May 4, 2021

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio

Genre: YA


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.


Is this the most perfect YA rom com ever?! It is you guys, this was adorable, swoony perfection from start to finish. If you like rom coms, or maybe just rom com movies, or maybe you just like books in general you have to read this. I swear you won’t regret it and I even think you’ll finish reading it with a cheesy grin and the warm and fuzzies.

As light and funny as this one was there was an emotional component as well as Liz is grieving the loss of her mom snd senior year is really making her realize how many big milestones her mom isn’t there for. It’s a great balance though, still many hilarious situations and Liz’s sadness made me want to wrap her up in a hug and keep her safe. I know I would’ve liked this in print, it’s too good not to, but the audio was outstanding and I think it brought the story to a whole new level. There’s lots of sarcasm and banter between Liz and Wes and Jesse Vilinsky nailed the delivery of the wit and humor so perfectly. Highly recommended by me especially if you’re feeling nostalgic for older rom com movies as there’s so many great references here.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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