Cover Image: The Idea of You

The Idea of You

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Member Reviews

While this book was overtly explicit in places, Soléne's tone made the book a lot of fun to read.

If you're not comfortable with a relationship with a significant age gap, then don't read this, simply put. I thought this book did a great job of exploring the double standard of age relations and for confronting why many of us have an inherent opposition to a specific type of relationship between two consenting adults.

Soléne was an intriguing character simply in the way she handles herself. On one hand, she has a really fantastic job that she's persevered at for years and has found a lot of success with, even in a challenging world, but on the other hand she seems to be constantly worrying about needing to have a man in her life and how she's too old to find a new man. I did adore her tone and realism, however. She had a lot of dry humour and deadpanning that highly amused me.

I had a lot of fun also seeing the person behind the face of a boy band. There's a moment where the band is nominated for a Grammy award that really struck me--Hayes was so genuine in that moment. He had a tendency to believe that he could buy whatever he wanted, also, and in a way he grew up through this book.

I adored the emotions of first love, of motherhood, and of being thirteen, which were all realistically and adeptly portrayed. Isabelle was a standout character; I could see myself several years ago in her and in the way she handled the relationship. She was surprisingly mature yet very real.

Kudos for the Kehinde Wiley reference--I enjoyed the art gallery aspect of this book a lot. And that ending, wow. There was a lot of very explicit scenes which wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I was able to read through them.

Though it wasn't a complete standout, I enjoyed this book for the depth of emotion the characters felt.
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Could not put it down i loved this book a great read that had me hooked right from the start.Its well written with a great storyline.Would recommend this book can't wait to read more from this author.
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The Idea of You,  Robinne Lee

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre:  Women's fiction,

Well, what an amazing book, and how hard it is to write a review.

Its not classed as romance, but the blurb suggests its a romantic tale and it is - and yet it isn't. 
If you want the HEA its not for you, but it is a beautifully bittersweet story that's worth reading for itself, not for the ending grab this book now. 
It's a romantic story but not a Romance novel, featuring a 39 year old polished, confident, successful lady, mother of 13 yr old Isabelle, and Hayes, 20 year old pop star sensation. 
You read that and think "no way, what will they have in common?" and that's my unrealised perceptions and bias coming in because if Hayes was 39 and Solene 20 who'd take notice?
Its accepted for men to have vastly younger girlfriends and yet for women? Nope, that's just Not On. Why though? If they're in love should age matter?
Hayes isn't like the average 20 year old, in fact all the lads in the band act older than their age. Is it their upbringing? Education? Or what they've been through to get so far with the band? 
It means though that for me the romance is believable, Solene and Hayes really do feel in love.

I enjoyed Solene's character, beautiful but not Barbie model style, she loves her daughter, gets on OK with her ex - who does have a younger girlfriend - and of course that's easily accepted.
When the ex is criticising her about Hayes I wanted to say "look at yourself first before throwing stones", but its back to that unfair divide between the sexes. 
Its like when men have lots of sexual partners they're Playboys, eternal bachelors, and no one thinks anything of it, but when it's the women they're with, they're described its shameless, sluts, tarts etc. All the derogatory comments get thrown at them, but never at men for doing exactly the same thing. And that's my rant over ;-)

What I love about stories like this is how the characters get together. 
Hayes is always open about what he wants, but Solene? She knows how it'll be seen even while she's feeling the pull of attraction to him, kids herself its just lunch, then a little more and so on, until they're deeply in the throes of passion, fallen hard for each other.
The age gap honestly doesn't seem to matter. Hayes is mature enough to know what he wants and go for it, and Solene's able to enjoy time with him, in and out of bed. 
He's intelligent, a good conversationalist, educated, interested in so many things.
I loved that Solene was successful in her own right, that she and her partner ran a flourishing art gallery. The way the art, the exhibitions, promotions and artists are talked about suggests its either a field Robinne is familiar with, or has researched very well.
Its things like that which lift a novel and make it stand out from the hundreds of thousands of similar works. A novel for the Thinking reader ;-)

The media: once their story was out, the way Solene was savaged in print and on the net, the way it over spilled into her personal and business life, all embody just what I hate about the media. 
Truth isn't important, only the sales that come with a story, the more scurrilous the better. Destroy a family, pushing someone to suicide, ending someone's career, all become unimportant casualties in the quest for sensationalism. 
I hate it - please don't buy/read those kind of stories, without readers there would be no adverts, without adverts and the income they bring there will be no life breaking untruthful or deceptive stories. 

What I hated - really, really hated - was the ending. I just didn't expect that, didn't like it, and find it hard to accept. I've mentally decided there's another book :-) giving me the ending I wanted.
As I said its not billed as Romance, but the way the story unfolds lulled me into thinking it was going to be one... 

Its an incredibly believable tale, even if like me you think "20?? what will they talk about?" Its written so cleverly that you very soon forget their ages, and get caught up in their lives. There are times it hits with a bang, when the band do something, someone says something, that reminds the reader of the gap, but those moments seem to serve as a harsh reminder of people's perception, of Solene's fear of where it will end, what the future holds. 

Stars: five, a fabulous story, and if the ending had been different its would be one I'd happily reread – but its not, and I won't! 

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
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Not reviewing this title.
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A well written great read
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I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for my review.  I thought when I first read the description of, The Idea of You, the the plot would be fairly predictable.  Older woman meets young singing sensation and they fall in love, have hard times and live happily ever after.  While the plot tends to follow my prediction, what I didn't predict is how much I would come to care about these characters!  Robinne Lee does a terrific job of showing the reader the human side of suddenly becoming very famous, and the pitfalls of falling for someone with millions of fans.  The fact that Solene Marchand, a 39 year old divorcee and mother of teenager, Isabelle, is the one to fall for 20 year old Hayes Campbell-singer of the very famous August Moon only makes this that much more complicated.  Solene has her own career and passions and doesn't plan on falling for her teenage daughter's crush, Hayes.  But at a meet and greet the two light a spark that just can't be  put out.  I thought this was a terrific book and a fun read to throw in the beach bag this summer!
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Nooooooooo! Why oh why did you have to do this to me Ms. Lee?? That epilogue blew me away! I didn't see that coming... 
This is a must read book! Absolutely 5 stars in my book.. I can't get into the details of this book because to do so, I will give away the story and I absolutely cannot do that... You have to go into this journey with eyes wide open.. 
The writing and editing was perfect! Grab this book and read it please.. You won't be disappointed!

Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Ms. Robinne Lee for providing me with this ARC.
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Excellent story! Looking forward to reading more by this author!
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Since her divorce, Solene finds time with her daughter Rachel to be precious. She even agrees (reluctantly) to take her daughter to see her favorite boy band, August Moon, in concert. The music isn’t to Solene’s taste, but to her surprise, bad member Hayes Campbell is. He’s smart, funny, genuine and good-looking and the two immediately hit it off. The only problem is that at 20, Hayes is half of Solene’s age. The two begin an intense courtship, meeting up all over the world, but it’s not long before the news of their affair leaks out and suddenly, Solene and her daughter are plastered all over gossip tabloids and a viral online sensation. All this is just too much to bear. What will Solene sacrifice for her daughter, or her lover? It won’t be lost on readers that the sensational aspect of this May September relationship wouldn’t have caused anyone to blink an eye if Hayes had been the older partner.  This is a really good story about sexism, privacy and life in the digital era
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