Cover Image: Love, Unscripted

Love, Unscripted

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Member Reviews

While I didn’t necessarily dislike this book, I also didn’t love it. The narrator is looking back on his former relationship with hints of hope and regret, and it’s a nice remembrance. However, this book is marketed as a romance or rom-com, and it just didn’t fit the bill for those in my opinion. I would just consider it a Contemporary NA story.
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For me to love a book I need to be invested in the characters. They either have to be written so that I am supposed to hate them (and do or don't) or supposed to love them (and do --only).  This time, the protagonist just rubbed the wrong way and I probably would have broken up with him too... That sounds harsh, but it just wasn't for me. Overall, the book was just good, not great.  Oh well, they can't all be my favorite.
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This was right up my alley—a movie centric romance, riddled with references. I loved how much Nick truly loves the art of filmmaking from unabashedly loving Garden State to wanting to hold on to his job as a projectionist, unwilling to give in to digital films. 

The great thing about this romance is that it could have been formulaic and cliche, it worked with dual timelines in a really great way: the night they met and four years later during the months after they break up. Then four pivotal moments from their actual relationship were told through intermission breaks and when looking at these four specific scenes of their relationship, Nick can understand and recognize where exactly everything went wrong.  at times I wanted to shake Nick for being so obtuse.

I did have a little trouble connecting to the characters at the beginning, but as the story progressed we learned more about our couple and I became invested. Nick and Ellie are definitely flawed characters—there were times when I wanted to shake Nick for being so obtuse, but in the end, I was fiercely rooting for them.  

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Love, Unscripted. I wouldn't call it a happy, feel-good book or a romance at all, really. To me, it felt more like a story of self-discovery. The problem is, I didn't really care about Nick's -  our main character - journey. 

This story is written in 3 timelines. You have the moment where Nick meets Ellie, his perfect girl, the night of the 2008 US presidential election, present day, which in this case is 2012, and a few intermissions where Nick goes in-depth on certain moments within their four-year relationship. Spoiler alert: they're broken up in the present. The multiple timelines serve to help Nick figure out what went wrong. But the answer is easy - Nick is a sad sack and he needs to get with it.

The plot, in general, was a little slow. I had a hard time investing my time in this story as I just didn't get good vibes from Nick, in the past or present timelines. It's hard to connect with someone who simultaneously takes no blame for his actions while somehow being incredibly anxious, overthinking decisions, and lashing out at those around him. And I really don't think he learned too much by the end of the book. Everyone around him worked hard to help him, and he really wasn't helping himself at all. 

At the end of the day, I just didn't think Nick and Ellie's story is worth a book.
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This book has two elements that can sometimes derail the flow and pace of a romance: heavy emphasis on an external element (here, it's movies, in another book I recently read it was food) and alternating timelines. Sometimes they work well, but many times they distract from what would have been the main storyline. The result here is a book that I enjoyed by pieces, for its references (Cinema Paradiso will always be a favorite), but not so much as whole.
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Disclaimer: I received an arc copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

“Ellie had the quizzical eyebrows of  Broadcast News–era Holly Hunter and the neon-red hair of Kate Winslet in  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. At least that’s what caught Nick’s attention when he met her on the night of 2008’s historic presidential election. A cinema buff and devotee of great love stories, Nick always fancied himself the Tom Hanks of his own romantic comedy, and when sparks flew with Ellie that night, he swiftly cast her as the Meg Ryan of his story. For four blissful years, Nick loved Ellie just as he loved his job as a film projectionist: wholly, earnestly, cinematically. 
  
But now Ellie has moved out, convinced that “the fire’s gone,” and Nick is forced to sift through his memories to figure out where it all went wrong. That night was a perfect meet-cute, yes, but was their romance as destined for a “happily ever after” as he’d thought? Was he really the rom-com hero he believes he’d been? Or did this Harry let his Sally down? Peppered with references to beloved movies,  Love, Unscripted explores how even a hopeless romantic can learn that in real life, love isn’t—shouldn’t be—like what we see in the movies.”

As a movie buff myself I loved all the movie references sprinkled throughout the book. Although I wasn’t overly impressed with the book itself.  A good read for movie buffs and lovers of Rom-Coms.
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I wasn't in love with the back and forth between past and present in this book. It was a light-hearted story and I appreciated that the hero saw is own faults by the end, realizing he and his expectations were the problem. The protagonist became increasingly irritating as the story progressed, and there were a few too many pop culture references, but it was an easy read and fairly satisfying in the end, with a solid rom-com resolution.
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This book was such an honest, raw, hopeful and at times heartbreaking portrayal of how relationships require work and can be sabotaged when we forget to put our time into them and more importantly, into ourselves. Nick’s heartfelt look back into his relationship with Ellie from the day they met was really interesting and therapeutic to read. We’ve all been there when we think we’ve found the perfect thing and are so afraid we are going to mess everything up. I like how the timeline flipped back and forth between the day they met and when the relationship ended, it provided an interesting perspective. Thank you to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for the ARC.
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I wanted to like this book, I really really did. The premise and synopsis seemed promising. But...
there was lack of character development. I never sympathized with anyone. There was a lack of emotional depth, everything seemed surface level, and I just sped through reading it, when I wanted to be savoring it instead. I really really wanted to like it. It just fell flat for me.
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I kind of have a beef with this book, because one I couldn't stand the main character at all. He was very woe is me, why did she leave me? But I also don't think this book should be labeled a romance. I think we are supposed to assume there is a HEA, but it is not spelled out at the end of the book. If there is no HEA, it's not a romance!

The book is done in three different timelines, which honestly I found a little annoying. There is 2008 the night the couple met, the present time, and then there's little intermissions during their relationship that shows where their relationship was starting to crumble. I didn't really care for this, and honestly as soon as I was interested in Nick's present life, i was thrown back into the past.

I have to admit I really struggled with this book a lot. I just don't think it was for me, and it's really hard for me to like a book when I don't really care for the characters. It's not clear in the ending, but honestly I hope these two DON'T get back together.


*I received a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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There are three timelines that tell the story in Love, Unscripted. First we have the night our protagonists met. Which incidentally was an US election night. (Side note: I had no idea that people in England would have an election result party for the Obama/McCain election.) Then we have post break-up. And finally, we have these intermission scenes that told stories from their relationship at various points.

Overall, the pacing was too slow. I felt like the night they met especially went on and on. I found myself skimming some of those scenes. I initially liked the post break up scenes but eventually found those to be tedious. I did enjoy the glimpses of their relationship in the intermission scenes (which was a cute idea).

The overall idea was interesting. And I enjoyed the movie and pop culture references. The execution needed to some editing.

*** Advanced Copy obtained from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via Netgalley***
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I can't quite put my finger on what it was about this book, but it was a slooooow read. It was not a particularly bad read, but a slow one. I almost gave up on it halfway through. Am I particularly happy that I finished it? Meh. 

This is the love/breakup story of Nick and Ellie. Nick is film-obsessed and has a lot in common with Ellie. They almost don't get together because Nick is convinced he ruins everything good, and then he does ruin it. I never fell in love with either Nick or Ellie. The story was fine, although I did not always follow the interwoven "by Nick" screenplay, or the titling of the various sections with "intermission" and whatnot. Anyway, although the story was fine, I never really cared all that much about what happened with the characters. I didn't fall in love with them, which seems like it was a vital missing piece of loving this book for me. I did appreciate the all too realistic scenario of a relationship failing because of drifting apart and lack of effort, rather than something monumentally bad occurring, as this is what usually happens with breakups in real life.
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My overall reaction to this is just Meh. I didn't dislike it, but I honestly didn't really love reading it either. It was a very thoughtful book, told across 3 different timelines. All focusing on the relationship of Nick and Ellie, when they met, when they broke up, and during their courtship. 

Everything was told in a particular order and complimented the story beautifully, but unfortunately it just wasn't all that engaging for me. I almost felt like I wasn't cool enough to read this, I wasn't movie/music Hipster enough to get all the references, which made the banter between Nick and Ellie less consequential. Some references were very pop-culture, but other were quite obscure.

It dealt with all the ups and downs, of family life, friend life, and romantic life, navigating all of them when everything seems to being going wrong. I enjoyed the movie theme throughout the book, even if I didn't always get it, especially the Intermission where you learn about Ellie and Nick as a couple, I think these were my favorite parts. The before and after were just ok and very much slow at times. 

A special thanks to NetGalley, Ballantine Publishers and author Owen Nicholls for the reading opportunity.
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A real treat for film fans, the movie references in this quick read made me smile. I related closely to the character of Nick. Solid debut novel.
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Not a fan of this one. I had a really hard time connecting with nick and Ellie. The plot line also didn’t capture my attention, I had hopes but will try and read something from this author in the future.
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This was such a sweet and quick romance–which are the best types of romances because they really hook you in. It's very much a page turner, and I found myself getting through the book in a few sittings to get to the end. My one complaint is that it felt a little sentimental/unauthentic at times but overall, the characters and their love story were very compelling.
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I found the prose and characterization pretty flat. I think the cover was cute and the plot had a lot of potential but it just wasn't what I hoped it would be
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I tried. I tried really hard to love this book, but in the end we were not meant to be. The premise and the adorable cover got me hooked but once i opened the pages, it was so flat for me. It was difficult connecting with this book. The writing is really dry and very monotone. I couldn’t find myself feeling one way or another. Nick was very ‘bleh’. He wanted to see the world as a romance movie but he wasn’t enough of a leading man to make this story good. I need the passion, the steam, or at the very least the chemistry and he was very lacking on all three. I couldn’t see what was so special about Elli and his relationship, I couldn’t get myself to care about the outcome of the story, and I found myself getting distracted by outside influences. The set up of the book was pretty hard to follow as well. Between the different timelines and the different perspectives it was kind of hard to grasp where the story was and how i should be feeling. I love nothing more than a good romance or a good romcom but this came out cold for me and I was disappointed it did.
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If an early 2000's emo song were a book it would be this book. The narrator, Nick, came across as whiney and entitled, but also somehow lackadaisical. I didn't feel sympathetic towards him and honestly found him annoying. The plot switching between time was also done in a very strange way. It was deep dive into the night Nick and Ellie met, mixed with the aftermath of their breakup. The chapters/scenes were so short and staccato that it felt like nothing ever happened, plotwise.
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This book reads a bit like a more sentimental and kinder film oriented version of High Fidelity. Nick is going back over the bumps in his relationship with Ellie as he tries to work out how they ended and what his role was in the demise of their relationship (while also being dealt the blows of his job becoming redundant and his flat being sold out from under him). There are definitely moments when he is a character you want to shake, but he does come to the realizations of his own faults and what he needs to do, making it an ultimately heartwarming read. 3.5 stars, rounded.
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