The Highly Anticipated Sequel to Last Year's "Waiting for Tom Hanks" is Nearly Here! | Review: Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey

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While I had a lot of mixed feelings about Waiting for Tom Hanks, I was definitely looking forward to the second installment: Not Like the Movies. And, fortunately for me, this one worked a lot better for my personal taste.

Not Like the Movies 
by Kerry Winfrey

What happens when your life is a rom-com...but you don't even believe in true love?

Chloe Sanderson is an optimist, and not because her life is easy. As the sole caregiver for her father, who has early onset Alzheimer's, she's pretty much responsible for everything. She has no time—or interest—in getting swept up in some dazzling romance. Not like her best friend Annie, who literally wrote a rom-com that's about to premiere in theaters across America...and happens to be inspired by Chloe and Nick Velez, Chloe's cute but no-nonsense boss.

As the buzz for the movie grows, Chloe reads one too many listicles about why Nick is the perfect man, and now she can't see him as anything but Reason #2: The Scruffy-Bearded Hunk Who's Always There When You Need Him. But unlike the romance Annie has written for them, Chloe isn't so sure her own story will end in a Happily Ever After.

Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey
Rating: ★★★☆ (3.5) 
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.    

Not Like the Movies is certifiably enjoyable, indulgent and the perfect mid-summer read. Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore or library on July 7th, if you are a romantic at heart. Then, grab your sunscreen and a beach towel. Pack a lunch and something to drink. Throw on your cutest swim-suit and sunglasses combo. Head to the beach. Or just lay out in the sun somewhere safe.

Finally, once comfortable, dive straight into the second installment of Waiting for Tom Hanks. There is no better time than now to give this a go. No, really. This is what rom-com dreams are made of. If you're in dire need of a mood-boost (life is so very bleak) then look no further than Kerry Winfrey's latest. My theory after my bumps with Waiting for Tom Hanks was correct: Not Like the Movies is the superior novel.

(I just couldn't connect with the main character in the previous novel. In Not Like the Movies, I adore, adore, adore the main character: Chloe.)

Good rom-com's, good beach reads, can be hard to come across but Not Like the Movies encompasses everything that makes the genre good. Not only is it humorous, soft, and at times far-fetched, it has an emotional edge to it that makes it easy for readers to connect to the characters. (Or, at least, become a bit sympathetic towards them.) 

Not Like the Movies embraces all the common tropes in romantic-comedies that makes for a highly engaging, and entertaining, romance. Winfrey is a pro at making readers swoon, cringe, laugh, tear up, blink back in confusion, and so much more. The way this story is written is vivid, imaginative, sweet, and heavy on the escapism. It is neither sickly sweet or overwhelming blunt with seriousness.

For me, what made Not Like the Movies so much more delightful than its predecessor was the connection between the characters. The little callbacks to book one. The exploration of something more. You could feel the hum of history and attraction in the main romance. You could see where things were going. You couldn't help but to root for them, even in the moments where you wanted to shake sense into them.

Ultimately, Not Like the Movies is an enjoyable novel. I had so much fun with it! Not only does it bubble with energy, it truly feels like summertime in the form of a book. I loved seeing familiar faces from Waiting for Tom Hanks, and I loved even more the new story that Winfrey formed within that world. Double bonus points for cute little references to classic rom-coms--Not Like the Movies is a total must-read for any romantic comedy fan.

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