I don’t read a lot of contemporary Young Adult, but occasionally I’ll get in the mood for some good modern day angst. Awhile ago, I stumbled across Kelly Oram. I’ve really liked some of her books and some….well, I haven’t liked so much. When I found If We Were a Movie, I decided to give it a try.
This book is about a college freshman (Nate) who, through his crazy brother’s and the interference of a match maker, finds himself moving in with a girl (Jordan). Of course, his girlfriend isn’t happy about the set-up, but he instantly connects with Jordan (a film major) since he is studying music.
What I loved:
The book was written from the guy’s perspective. I feel like the author does a good job of making his voice believable. The character is learning to not be such a pushover and take control of his life. I liked that he was a more sensitive guy without being wimpy, although sometimes I wished he (as a musician) was a little more passionate and even emotional. He is the ultimate nice guy and I liked that a lot.
I loved the girl. She was tough without being harsh. She was smart and determined without being pushy. I just liked everything about her.
I loved the movie references. So people may not like that every chapter relates to a movie (and usually the character’s commented on it), but I thought it was fun and helped set a fun tone.
I loved the relationship with the brothers. They were almost too realistic. You loved them and they drove you nuts at the same time.
The writing is great. Oram has fun dialogue and always does a great job with pacing.
What I didn’t love:
The book is considered PG. I thought it was a little heavy on the innuendos. Oram usually does, in my opinion, tow-the-line and this was actually one of her cleaner books. Still, sometimes I felt like it was moving toward risky and maybe a little too much. For example: Nate’s brother’s pin him down to let some drunk girl kiss on him. The situations and atmosphere are sometimes questionable. In my mind, when I book is claiming to be PG and clean, it should be squeaky.
Jordan’s best friend is Colin who is gay. At first he just felt like a token-character..ugh. I hated that he was always hitting on Nate. No matter the gender or orientation, it was over-the-top and inappropriate. However, he did grow on me and become more than just a side-character. I especially liked when he stopped trying to pick Nate up because he realized Jordan was falling for him.
The girlfriend. She got so crazy it was almost unrealistic. But what really killed me was that when she pulled her finally crazy stunt, no one questioned her. Really? Let’s be a little suspicious of the crazy broad, okay?
I wouldn’t pin this as Oram’s best. I haven’t read all of her books but would pick Cinder and Ella over this one. If you want a book that will restore your faith in men, this is the book for you. If you’re movie-crazy then you’ll probably love it too. If you have siblings that make your life miserable while making it complete, then read this. If you’re looking for a realistic relationship that builds from a friendship, it delivers. If you’re looking for pure wholesomeness? Look somewhere else….Cinder and Ella maybe?
Oh, I should mention this a the third book in a multi-author project that features one recurring character—the match maker. I haven’t read any of the other books in the project, but will probably give them a try. The series is called Power of the Matchmaker. Enjoy!