Featured Review: This Is Not A Love Scene (S.C. Megale)
About This Book:
Lights, camera―all Maeve needs is action. But at eighteen, a rare form of muscular dystrophy usually stands in the way of romance. She's got her friends, her humor, and a passion for filmmaking to keep her focus off consistent rejection...and the hot older guy starring in her senior film project. Tall, bearded, and always swaying, Cole Stone is everything Maeve can't be. And she likes it. Between takes, their chemistry is shockingly electric. Suddenly, Maeve gets a taste of typical teenage dating life, but girls in wheelchairs don’t get the hot guy―right? Cole’s attention challenges everything she once believed about her self-image and hopes for love. But figuring this out, both emotionally and physically, won't be easy for either of them. Maeve must choose between what she needs and what she wants, while Cole has a tendency to avoid decisions altogether. And the future might not wait for either.
*Review Contributed By Olivia Farr Staff Reviewer*
THIS IS NOT A LOVE SCENE follows Maeve, who lives her life in a wheelchair due to a form of muscular dystrophy. Maeve is eighteen, and what she really wants is a boyfriend. She feels like she cannot beat around the bush, so she is very, directly and intensely flirty with pretty much all guys. She is in a filming class with her best friends, and they are working on a film together. When she communicates with one of the actors, he seems to be super into her- sometimes.
Maeve navigates life and love in this novel about what it feels like to have a visual disability. She is not perfect, nor does she want to be- she doesn't want to represent people who have disabilities; she just wants to live her life in peace, preferably with a boyfriend. A big thing for Maeve is knowing people who don't just see her for her disability but for who she really is. The strongest part of this book is how Maeve could be the same character with or without her disability- she is not defined by this and wants others not to define her by it also.
On the other side, Cole was a hard to like character. I was never sure of his motives, and they really seemed so far out there that I did not really understand why Maeve liked him. This could have been helped by having some chapters from his perspectives, so that he did not seem so flat as a character. While the book is largely about Maeve, I felt like the ending left a need for us to see some kind of character growth from Cole also.
There are also some tucked-into-the-ending issues that I would have liked more time to process and resolve, such as suicide, hoarding disorder, and child abuse. They felt a little rushed into the book, and I felt like they deserved bigger/more treatment.
Overall, I loved the portrayal of Maeve as so real and flawed but whole. I would have liked more attention to the love interest (since this is a big theme of the book) and to the ending issues.
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