<b>I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley exchange for an honest review. No compensation was given, offered, or taken to alter this review.</b>
Just Like the Movies is the perfect mix of fun and serious. Here we have two girls who want things to happen perfectly like in the movies, but they've forgotten one crucial thing. What happens in the movies isn't so straight forward, luckily those boys remembered that at the end and reminded them.
I expected to like Marjike more than I did. Don't get me wrong, I did like Marjike but I enjoyed Lily's narrative much more, which kind of caught me off guard. Lily was sarcastic and kept things real whereas Marjike was more dramatic and completely obsessed with her boyfriend.
Lily wants love, true love, but doesn't really believe she can get it. In general, I'd say she has a hard time believing in herself. But Marjike convinces her that she has a chance at getting the elusive Joe. Lily has watched her mother search for true love all her life, so I think this makes her more cynical about the entire thing, even if she doesn't realize it.
Marjike needs to learn to take care of herself more and she does. By the end of the novel, both girls have actually learned a lesson. I'm sure Marjike's obsession over her boyfriend will put some readers off but I'm also completely positive that those same readers will immensely appreciate her growth in particular. Marjike was holding off on making crucial life decisions because she was so invested in her boyfriend and what he was going to do. At the end though, she realizes that the type of love she's looking for isn't one-sided and acts accordingly.
As for the boys... I didn't hate Tommy but I didn't really like him either. He was just kind of meh for me, of course I think this is also because of Marjike's narrative though. Joe on the other hand was nice and you could always tell he was being honest with Lily. He was definitely my favorite of the two, always the perfect gentleman.
If you like contemporaries, I'd say definitely give this one a try. It's different than some others I've read and Lily and Marjike will have you hoping for their success well before the half way point.