Saoirse Clarke (17) has two rules for relationships: no getting attached and no getting too close. After all, there’s no point when she’s likely to meet the same fate as her mother, who has early onset dementia and lives in a long-term care facility. Plus, her dad seems to have forgotten them, too, now that he's living with another woman.
When Saoirse meets Ruby at a party, her rules might be bending. Ruby, a confident and irresistibly mischievous girl, has an idea that won't break Saoirse's rules: a casual summer relationship, no strings attached. Saoirse and Ruby set out to recreate scenes from Ruby's favorite rom-coms. From Ferris wheel rides to boating at midnight, they are re-imagining all the tropes. As long as they don’t fall in love… everything should be fine, right?
BTSYA / Teen Reader (13):
I absolutely love The Falling in Love Montage and its perfect balance of different emotions and action. It is sweet and funny on the surface, but mixes in complex emotional problems, too. The story tugs on your heart strings at every corner. The characters are complex and fully fleshed out, with varied backstories and interesting personalities. Saoirse is dealing with several challenging family problems, which bring up important points and discussion topics for coming-of-age teens and young adults. While her story was filled with heavy topics, it never felt burdensome or slow paced. Her lighthearted demeanor, with sprinkles of humor, gives way to thoughtful maturity in several areas, revealing inner depth and character.
Another aspect I enjoyed were the dynamic, evolving character relationships. Their authenticity and clarity resonate throughout the story, creating a bittersweet but unique atmosphere. Saoirse's interactions with her dad hold a truthful and raw quality. The flaws and mistakes in their relationship are not glossed over, but the love, hope, and pain beneath their words is always clear and apparent in a way that is both beautiful and tender.
The Falling in Love Montage carries a deep message and meaning through insightful characters and dynamic, evolving relationships. This story is best suited to readers ages 12 and older due to challenging ideas and material.
Readers looking for a refreshing story that will tug on your heartstrings and then turn around and make you laugh need this book. Now.
This is a queer, coming-of-age romance novel for teens and young adults.
Was Ruby's solution a compromise to Saoirse's rules or did she break them? Based on their experiences, what "rule books" have your readers created for themselves? As our teen reviewer notes, the characters are built with "structural integrity" and depth. Looking at their opinions in the beginning and then at the end, are their characters about whom your reader changed their opinion? If so, why?
14 and Up
13 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 13
Buy if you love stories with great characters. Saoirse and Ruby will be friends you want to revisit.