Title: The Is Kind Of an Epic Love Story
Author: Kheryn Callender
Genres: Young Adult contemporary
A fresh, charming rom-com perfect for fans of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Boy Meets Boy about Nathan Bird, who has sworn off happy endings but is sorely tested when his former best friend, Ollie, moves back to town.
Nathan Bird doesn’t believe in happy endings.
Although he’s the ultimate film buff and an aspiring screenwriter, Nate’s seen the demise of too many relationships to believe that happy endings exist in real life.
Playing it safe to avoid a broken heart has been his MO ever since his father died and left his mom to unravel—but this strategy is not without fault. His best-friend-turned-girlfriend-turned-best-friend-again, Florence, is set on making sure Nate finds someone else. And in a twist that is rom-com-worthy, someone does come along: Oliver James Hernández, his childhood best friend.
After a painful mix-up when they were little, Nate finally has the chance to tell Ollie the truth about his feelings. But can Nate find the courage to pursue his own happily ever after?
I have quite a lot of complicated feelings about this one. I liked it, I liked the writing style and I definitely looked forward to picking this book up every time I got the chance, but I just didn’t *love* it. I definitely didn’t love this as much as I expected to, because I definitely went into it expecting it to be a new favorite.
The characters and their relationships felt incredibly real and were super messy, which I loved on the one hand, but also started to annoy me a bit after some time. Especially the main character. He kept messing up and it started to get really hard to root for him, because we mostly saw his not-so-great side. He was pretty pessimistic and tended to run away from his problems, which I could kind of relate to, but it just… it wasn’t a lot of fun for me to read about. And I adored the LI and thought he deserved better, so while I did like the relationship and I’m a sucker for the best-friends-to-lovers-trope, I had a hard time cheering them on.
Speaking of the LI, I really really liked him. He was super sweet and kind, and I also loved the fact that he’s Deaf, because we don’t see that very often in books and we definitely need that representation. Same goes for the fact that this book has an m/m relationship between two QPOC characters. This is such an important thing, and I love the fact that we got to see that.
Honestly, I think my expectations for this book were what kind of ruined it for me. The book is described as a rom-com and is compared to Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda, so I expected it to be a super funny and happy book but… it’s not. The MC’s father has passed away and he talks a lot about whether he wants to get into relationships because they’re always destined to end, his ex-girlfriend-now-best-friend cheated on him and he’s having a really hard time with it, etc. If I hadn’t expected this book to make me very happy, and I had known that this book was more on the heavy side of things, I really feel like I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more.
But I do have to say that I really liked the author’s writing style, and I’m definitely going to pick up more books by them in the future.
So, overall, I did enjoy the book and I would definitely recommend it, but I just feel like it wasn’t 100% for me. Maybe it were the messy characters and the relationships, maybe it were my expectations, maybe both. I don’t know. But I do know that I’m disappointed, because I really wanted to love this book.