Summary: The Do-Over by Lynn Painter
After a horrific Valentine’s Day, Emilie Hornbie is ready for a do-over — or so she thinks. Her boyfriend is cheating on her, her dad is planning to move away without asking how she feels, and her car is totalled after an accident with a schoolmate. But she feels better after arriving at her grandma’s house that evening. Except… when she wakes up the next day, it’s Valentine’s Day again! Stuck in the time loop, Emilie tries to undo the calamities, but she keeps running into the same schoolmate, Nick — and falling for him too.
This was an absolutely delightful romance — but also not just a romance. Emilie is a perfectionist who enjoys having her life look perfect on paper (down to her choice in boyfriend and her decision to say “I love you” for the first time on Valentine’s Day). But she’s also navigating a difficult home situation, slightly neglected by both parents, who are divorced and focusing on their new families. So she’s gutted when her dad — the parent she’s closer to — announces that he’s leaving town with his new family.
Nick was such a great love interest. I liked that he wasn’t a manic-pixie dream boy. He’s dealing with personal issues and grief of his own and I enjoyed getting to know him slowly as Emilie does. I liked that their relationship progresses realistically (over a series of fake days, ha!). With time loop books, I always worry that I’ll get bored by the whole Groundhog effect, but this ended at just the right time and brings readers back to the present in good time.
Overall: The Do-Over by Lynn Painter
The Do-Over by Lynn Painter is a charming romance with substance that delves into grief, family, and perfectionism. The time loop will appeal to readers who enjoy that element. The protagonist is relatable, her love interest is lovable, and this book is full of the warmth, banter, and delight common to all of Lynn Painter’s books. Totally recommend for teens 15+.
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