Cover Image: Too Good to Be Real

Too Good to Be Real

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This cute story follows Julia, a writer that is sent to a retreat for her newest article. While she’s very skeptical of love she is in for a suprise. This story follows two points of views, Julia and Luke’s, as the two of them cross paths and hide their true identity from each other.

Luke and Julia are really adorable in this story. They are both skeptics and also lovers of rom-coms.  The other characters are all romance lovers as well and make great secondary characters to pull the story together. They all bring something new to the story.
With everything at the resort being themed for a romance lovers fantasy, it makes for the perfect setting. I love all the references to certain movies and scenarios based on them. The story as a whole has a lot going on throughout without any real room for filler or a dull moment. It’s an almost perfect rom com in book form and makes you wish a place like this truly did exist.

I received a copy through netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
Was this review helpful?
Melonie Johnson was a featured author on the blog, through an exclusive interview. You can see the interview here:

She was also a guest during our weekly virtual book club in early August.
Was this review helpful?
I found this really boring unfortunately, and I’ve just decided to DNF it. I’m not connecting to any of the main or side characters (and honestly there are so many, and each one feels generic), and I’m really not liking the pacing either. There’s also an insta-love/love-at-first-sight feel to the main characters’ first meeting, and I just like more of a slow burn personally. (DNF'd at 14%)
Was this review helpful?
I thought that was going to be a cute rom com in book form. However that I was not what I got. To me there was too much drama, and the heroine and her best friend got on my nerves from the first sentence. And by the halfway point of the book I still couldn't stand the heroine. Which in a rom com  you've got to at least warmed up to her by the halfway point or at the very least understand where she coming from. This wasn't the case. This book wasn't for me but fans of rom com's who don't mind the drama would enjoy this one.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to @netgalley and @stmartinspress for giving me the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
The idea behind this book was extremely creative. Let's admit it, we've all watched rom coms and wanted to be apart of them! 
I liked each of the main characters individually and many of the supporting characters. The romance aspect was slightly dull but overall I enjoyed the book.
Was this review helpful?
Julia Carpenter is ready to give up on love. Dating apps have replaced the organic, old-fashioned type meetings, and she’s over it.

But, her job is in jeopardy, and in a moment of desperation, she convinces her boss to let her pitch an idea for their new travel-inspired segment on the website she works for. In her research for a truly great idea, she stumbles across a resort on Lake Michigan that offers its guests the full rom-com experience. Of course her boss loves the idea, and Julia talks the owner into allowing her friends to come along.

Moments after stepping foot on the resort’s property, Julia literally runs right into Luke. Both are hiding things from each other, but they can’t deny there’s a major spark between them, something that keeps drawing them together. The following week includes a karaoke serenade, kissing in the rain, and a pair of super aggressive seagulls. Julia and Luke fall hard and fast inside this fantasy bubble, but what will happen when they’re back in the real world?

I absolutely adored this setting. An entire resort dedicated to allowing people to live out their wildest rom-com-inspired dreams? Where do I sign up? Julia and Luke seem like an unlikely pair. Julia is a writer, a creative type. Luke is a programmer, a control-freak. The one thing these two have in common is that they don’t believe the experience could change their minds about love. But it does, and what ensues is sweet, funny, incredibly heartfelt, and also a little spicy! This book read exactly like all of my favorite rom-com movies. From the meet-cute to the grand gesture, I loved every single page.
Was this review helpful?
I really wanted to like this one, but couldn't really get into the story. Other readers seem to have enjoyed it, so maybe it was just me?
Was this review helpful?
When a book has a corgi on the cover, I can't ignore it. I've also read and really enjoyed Melonie Johnson's debut romance series, so I was excited to dive into Too Good to be Real. While I thought the concept of the book with the rom-com roleplaying resort was unique and fun, I didn't find the book to be particularly memorable.

One of the things I really liked about this book is the friendships. Melonie Johnson writes amazing female friendships. The heroine, Julia, has a great group of girlfriends. I loved the bond they shared, especially how they teased each other but also were there for each other at all times. I loved that they entered this resort experience together. Luke also has a great best friend and he shares a close tie with his sister.

While I liked the main characters okay, I didn't feel like they were fleshed out as much as they could have been. They felt a little surface level. This led to me not feeling the sparks in the romance as well. It had its cute moments, but it's not one that I found particularly memorable.

All in all though, it was a cute read. I recommend it for a nice day at the beach!
Was this review helpful?
I was excited about the premise of this book and for the most part it delivered.  I thought it ran longer than it needed to but I was delighted at how Melonie brought the scenes of rom coms to life with the exact right amount of schmaltz.  I didn’t find the psycho analysis of Julia’s or any of the characters parents relationships interesting or helpful to the current plot and felt frustrated that it added to the slowness and the length. Overall I thought this was a fun read and when I suspended my disbelief I was right then with the characters having a great time in the experiences.  The writing and dialogue was strong and the showing vs telling was top notch, too. 

I received an advanced copy from Net Galley to share an honest review. Thank you!
Was this review helpful?
I love rom-com movies, so to find a novel that embraces them with such enthusiasm was a dream. Too Good to Be Real is the perfect light read when you want to escape to a more charming place. I can't wait to read the author's next book.
Was this review helpful?
This was so juvenile and the writing was sophomoric. There was nothing that held my interest in this book.
Was this review helpful?
Oooof - this one one was a rough one. 
I wanted to read this book for the sole purpose that there was a corgi on the cover. That was it. I had no idea what it was about, but there was a corgi so I was in.  And honestly, the cover was as good as it got. 

I knew this book wasn’t for me after the first page. I found the banter/conversations of the girls super cringey and like the author was trying way too hard. It was exhausting at times and I just wanted to skip forward in the book.  Like, just skip forward to the end. Everyone was always “on” and it was so over the top.  The jokes were cheesy and the forced dialogue just make me uncomfortable. These jokes were the exact opposite of my sense of humour so I found them quite painful.  I didn’t even smile, let alone laugh. 

The premise of the book is cute. A rom-com resort has recently opened and Jenna decides to write an article about it. She brings her two best friends along to share the experience. The resort essentially operates as a live action role play where the guests are all given famous rom-come characters and there are actors to help the experience. 

The book is also told from the perspective of Luke who is helping to run the resort with his sister and best friend. After bumping into Jenna at check-in, he decides to give his game master role to his sister so he can be part of the experience. 

As I mentioned, the idea of the book is actually quite cute, but it was all just SO over the top.  One of the character’s names was Mrs. Weatherfork. I mean….
It was also strange to have the actors be paid to hook up with the guests. Just provided another ick factor. 

This type of book is absolutely not for me. I don’t enjoy a light romance and this book was definitely not my sense of humour. The mention of corgis was cute, and that’s about the only good I found. 

I STRUGGLED to get to 40% read and then thought, WHY am I doing this??  So this is my FIRST DNF EVER where I know I will never pick it back up again.  
(And I still feel guilty for not finishing even though I didn’t enjoy it at all)
I read a few reviews that said they found this book really funny, so if it matches your sense of humour, you might enjoy it. It was just definitely not for me.
Was this review helpful?
Sweet premise with all the makings of the perfect contemporary rom-com.  Our library visitors will enjoy it.
Thank you for the ARC!
Was this review helpful?
Have you ever wished real life could be a romantic comedy? The meet cute, the chance encounters, the grand gesture, the realization of feelings… I mean, a lot of us would love to get swept off our feet, right?

Too Good to Be Real follows Julia, a Chicago based writer for TrendList (think Buzzfeed). Her job is in jeopardy and in an effort to save it, she agrees to write an article for the new travel column. While researching one of her list articles she stumbles across a new romcom resort experience just a few hours north in Wisconsin (and yes, that made me ridiculously happy). The experience is all supposed to be pretend, but soon Julia has her own meet cute with Luke… the chance encounters, the whole nine yards. This is all supposed to be for fun, but Julia’s feelings are saying something else. But, is it all too good to be real?

Oh. My. Gosh. This book was so much fun! It had me literally laughing out loud from page one. Julia and her friends, Kat and Andi, are truly all of us. They are the ride or die friends that tell each other everything. And their dick pic jokes are on point. I know the book is supposed to be about Julia and Luke, but these three friends definitely add that extra something that any story needs. Not to mention plenty of laughs.

Luke and Julia are nearly romcom perfection. The couple you’d never put together, but that totally work. And I love that Julia gets to see normal Luke and normal Luke and loved both sides, even when his friends think he could do with a makeover. The only reason I’m giving this 4.5 stars is because I just felt something was missing from the end. I can’t put my finger on it, but after all the romcom amazingness of the rest of the book, it just could have been more. But I rounded up for the dick jokes.

I truly enjoyed this book from beginning to end and is a must read for any true romcom fan.

Thank you to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I really like the concept of this book, which is very clever in the meta way it constructs the story between the two leads but the problem is that it misses that champagne sparkle of those romcoms we all love. There is some good banter here and some scene stealing seagulls, who are always welcome, and the requisite cast of fun supporting characters, but I'm sad to say it didn't quite come together in the end for me and I didn't quite buy the rom in the romcom. However, I'd be interested to see what else the author has published based on the com part of the romcom.
Was this review helpful?
It had its moments, but overall it didn’t do it for me. It was so long and dragged on, i found I could never got invested in Julia and Luke’s relationship. It was also super white washed, even the Vijay character was “Jay” which I didn’t like. 

Over the top cheesy, but that’s what people want in a rom-com book.
Was this review helpful?
My favourite part about this book was all the ROM-COM REFERENCES! From When Harry Met Sally to Say Anything, from Bridget Jones' Diary to Notting Hill, I was living for all of it. A journalist trying to save her job and a computer programmer, both have the perfect meet-cute at a beach involving some intriguing seagulls and decide to hide their real identities, because, well, what they have is just a fling at their rom-com resort trip. But what happens when true feelings begin to form, and the four-letter word starts to apply? A lot of banter, movie references, and corgis.... (you have to read it to understand). LOVE THIS BOOK!
Was this review helpful?
A rom-com about rom-coms! Yes please! 
When Julia, a journalist is about to lose her job, she talks her boss into letting her try something new. Find local attractions to feature.
Luke, along with his sister and best friend have just completed setting up a fantasy rom-com resort. He's hoping it meets the boss's standards so he can cash in the promised big bonus and start his own business. 
Both their jobs seem easy, experience the rom-com resort & impress their boss's. 

I really enjoyed all the movie references and events throughout this story. Although the dogs and seagulls stole the show in this one. There's a chance that this was a me problem and not the book, but I just never clicked with the story or the characters. I never really understood Luke's job with the resort and all the programming talk pulled me out of the story.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars --

I think I liked the *idea* of this book way more than the actual book. There are definitely great moments, and funny scenes, and I did enjoy those. It was overall a good read, but it was honestly hard to me to suspend belief for the majority of it (even in a romance) and feel like I was actually *in* the story. I can usually accept anything in a book -- there's a rom-com resort? Sure! A ridiculous, unreal job in journalism? Okay! -- but even this was a little beyond-belief for me. An enjoyable read, but not a favorite.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for the e-copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased review!
Was this review helpful?
Oh my gosh, I absolutely adored this book. It was fun, flirty, and just overall an amazing book. As soon as I started reading it I was hooked and could not put it down. I loved the premise of the book, where the characters go on a trip to experience a real life romcom. It was seriously so much fun!

I really liked the characters in this book. I found Julia and Luke to be relatable and I loved their quirks. I liked the side characters as well, but I loved the main ones more. I would love another book from the side characters POV. Overall, this is such an easy going and fun read. It’s the perfect book to pack in your bag and read at the beach. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it!
Was this review helpful?