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Young Adult Fiction 879
absolutely delightful rom-com
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THE DO-OVER is an absolutely delightful YA rom-com that I absolutely devoured. Think Ferris Bueller meets Groundhog Day in a charming romance! Emilie Hornsby has had the absolute worst Valentine's Day ever. Her scholarship was canceled, her boyfriend cheated on her with his ex, she got in a car accident, and her father has just told her he is moving far away with her stepmother and stepbrothers- and leaving her with her challenging mother. So when she finally gets into bed, she is shocked when she wakes up and it is again February 14, and she must do it all over again.

As she repeats February 14, it becomes apparent that there is something she needs to learn, but it's difficult for Emilie to figure out what. Each day, she tries something different, leading her to question her prior choices, stand up for herself in new ways, and get to know the mysterious lab partner she has sat next to all year.

What I loved: This is such a delightful story about romance and being true to yourself/standing up for yourself. Emilie has often taken the quiet and peacemaker route, particularly since her parents' contentious divorce has often left her in the middle. It has gotten to the place where they barely seem to think about her at all. She is determined to have her own life (particularly romantic life) be full of better choices, and so, she only dates people who meet her very particular set of criteria - which her current boyfriend does. Ultimately, she learns to find some middle ground between good on paper and all passion, and it's just lovely.

There are some great themes around how to handle emotionally difficult conversations, grief and healing, and the power of therapy (not for Emilie but another character). Emilie ticks all the boxes, but she also learns that it is OK to lose your cool once in a while, even if you have to deal with the consequences afterward. This ends up being a great story of self-empowerment, even if she does go a little too far (but, hey, everyone has those days sometimes).

The romance was just lovely and builds slowly as she comes to epiphanies about herself and her life, as well as what she really wants. There are some epic conversations that really allow them to get to the heart of each other. They are impossible not to cheer for, and I loved the way it all develops. While it is emotionally high steam, it's physically low steam with just a few kisses along the way. Although the main plot focuses on Emilie and Nick, the scenes with her friends and grandmother breathed life into the secondary characters who were also really charming and lovely.

The whole book is just a pleasure from start to finish - a great way to spend an afternoon with plenty of laughs and smiles throughout.

Final verdict: With charming characters and a clever plot, THE DO-OVER is a delightful YA rom-com about being true to yourself and letting your hair out every now and then. Highly recommend picking this one up!
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