Thursday, June 11, 2020

Blog Tour: The Falling in Love Montage - Ciara Smyth

The Falling in Love Montage
Ciara Smyth
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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.

Saoirse liked kissing girls. She liked kissing girls very much. However, after having her heart shredded by her first love, she vowed to remain unattached, and therefore, stuck to her "rules". Then she met Ruby, and wasn't sure the rules would keep her heart safe.

When I first heard about this book, there was no doubt in my mind that I would enjoy it. I mean, I love rom-coms, and here, I was being treated to a string of the best parts - the falling in love parts. Yet, I never expected this level of emotional depth. I find it really special, when a book can elicit both laughter and tears, and that is just what happened as I read THE FALLING IN LOVE MONTAGE

I am warning you right now! Saoirse's reasons for denying herself love and attachment are complicated and heartbreaking. I have tears in my eyes right now just thinking about it. Add this worry on top of watching her mother deteriorate due to dementia, and her father moving forward with a new relationship, and it's easy to see why Saoirse did the things she did. Nonetheless, I was still rooting for her and Ruby, because everyone deserves love. 

Saoirse's family situation was the primary source of all my tears, but there was lots of fun moments in this story, and my laughter outweighed my tears.

I was so into the "montage". Everyone knows this part of the rom-com. These are the bits which stay with us. The kiss at the top of the ferris wheel, the poster board declaration, the boom box grand gesture - you know what I'm talking about here, and I loved watching Ruby and Saoirse recreate these moments. 

As much as Saoirse tried to deny her feelings, she couldn't help falling for Ruby. These two were wonderful together, but I really loved the impact Ruby had on Saoirse. She pushed her and challenged her, and the growth Saoirse experienced from knowing Ruby was great. The romance also felt authentic. I believed the attraction and the passion, and there were these mushy moments, that shot straight into my big sap heart. Those honeymoon period love vibes were hitting me from all angles, and I adored it. There may be times that you become frustrated with Saoirse, where she seems selfish or immature, but like I said, she has her reasons. 

I was so taken by many of the characters in this book as well. Ruby's cousin, Oliver, was such a wonderful surprise. He and Saoirse developed quite a lovely friendship. They interacted in a way, that made them seem like siblings, and each encounter was an utter delight. Barb, the dressmaker, was also outstanding. She was this tough as nails older woman, who was a laugh riot. I dare anyone not to laugh, when Barb is on page. 

I am sure Saoirse's summer didn't go according to her plan, but I do believe she was better having spent it with Ruby. Saoirse grew, and made some progress with her feelings regarding her mother and her father, while also figuring out some things about her own future. Her story was full of laughter, heart, and tears, and I loved experiencing all these emotions right alongside her. 

* ARC received in exchange for an honest review.


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Ciara Smyth is a social work student by day, writer by night and cat enthusiast 24/7.

Her first YA novel - about memory, rom-coms and girls who like girls - will be published in Summer 2020 by Andersen Press in the UK and HarperCollins in the US.

She previously worked as a teacher and mental health trainer. She enjoys jigging (verb: to complete a jigsaw) and claims to enjoy yoga in order to cultivate a zen persona that is shattered approximately ten minutes after you meet her.

She is from the south of Ireland but has lived in Belfast for so long that her parents make fun of her Northern accent.

Favorite part of a rom-com?
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