It’s rare I read a book and deem it warrants its own blog post. Even my favorite books, I’m happy to include in my quarterly reading lists without a separate shoutout.
Then I read The Idea of You by Robinne Lee. It’s been two months and I’m still struggling to figure out why it impacted me so much.
I initially got The Idea of You from the library. I was 40 pages from finishing when it was due back. I felt so strongly that I wanted to finish it on my own terms, I returned it to the library and bought a copy. I honestly just didn’t want it to be over.
I first heard about The Idea of You from the Bad on Paper podcast. One of the co-hosts, Becca, couldn’t stop raving about it. I kept passing on it because romance isn’t normally my genre of choice. After I kept seeing others talk about it, I finally gave in.
The Idea of You Book Review
Soléne is a 39 year old divorcée when she agrees to bring her teenage daughter to a backstage meet and greet with the popular boy band, August Moon. It’s there she meets one of its members, a 20 year old named Hayes, and eventually embarks on a love affair with him. That’s it in a nutshell but it’s so much more than it might seem on the surface.
I bought a copy for my girl’s night girlfriends to read and pass along to each other. And since it’s my birthday today, what better way to celebrate turning 43 than giving away a copy to one of you! This is in no way sponsored by the author or publisher. I just want to make someone else’s day. Head over to Instagram and look for this photo to enter!
Q&A (Warning: Spoiler Alert!)
One of my oldest and dearest girlfriends recently read The Idea of You and happily volunteered to answer a few questions about it. Thank you, Amy!
Q: How did your feelings about The Idea of You change from before you started to the end?
A: I’m not sure…. I think I answer this a little later.
Q: How long did it take you to read The Idea of You?
A: About 24 hours. I devoured it and could not put it down!
Q: I was completely unprepared for how emotionally invested in the characters I would be. Did you find it more emotional than you were expecting?
A: I absolutely found myself more emotionally invested than expected, proven by the fact that I burst into tears on the last page! I thought it was going to be a breezy beach read and I had not intended on being so drawn into their love story. All along I kept thinking, “Well this is never going to work out” and then at the end I found myself so surprised and disappointed that it didn’t!
Q: Why do you think it was such an emotional book? A month later this is still my biggest question mark. Why was I so drawn to it? I’m secretly hoping your answer will help me figure it out!
A: I have a few ideas of perhaps why I felt so drawn to the story and the characters. Is it because I am 42 years old and have been married for 14 years and this was an escape into a story that I wish was mine? Let’s be honest, the passion and romance that Hayes and Solene have is hot. The I’ve-gotta-have-you-ness of it was very appealing. And maybe it’s so appealing because my own life and relationship feel a little stale and predictable?
I have always felt connected to stories of people who are in love but have something that will keep them apart. Kate and Leo. Jamie and Claire. Edward and Bella. And countless couples in books I have read like The Tea Rose, Gone with the Wind and Jane Eyre. But this storyline was easy to connect to because I am nearly exactly Solene’s age and she lives in America in this exact day and age.
Movies and books definitely perpetuate the notion of perfect love and romance. I think the author did a good job at making it so believable was because Solene fought it for so long. It was just lunch, just sex, nothing more. She had very real objections to how/why their relationship could not amount to anything substantive. And she fought that for a very long time into the storyline and it’s only later in the book where she allows herself to believe that their connection is truly real. And that helped me buy into it.
And let’s be honest, sometimes it’s easy to be disappointed in my own real-life version of love and romance. The kind where you have to compromise on what kind of house you buy, whose turn it is to take the dog out, how to spend and save money and deal with your partner’s stinky running clothes. And where sometimes you have to do a lot of mental work to get in the mood for sex, where it doesn’t come really easy or involve 8 orgasms in one night. I have to remember that Hayes and Solene were often together in hotels and on vacations. The book never portrayed them navigating the daily grind of life, which we all know can be fairly unsexy.
So on one hand, I really believe that their feelings and relationship were real (and heck, I’d love a piece of it) and on the other hand I am calling bullshit because it doesn’t also depict what’s on the other side of the intensity and passion of a new love and relationship–the hard work of real life.
Q: Would you recommend The Idea of You to others?
A: I would not recommend it to my mother! But I would recommend it to any of my friends who are voracious readers like I am. They can see for themselves if they find a connection with the story or not. I think it’d be worth anyone’s time to give it a try.
3 Reasons Why I Think You Should Read The Idea of You
I’d like to finish with 3 reasons why I think you should read The Idea of You.
- It’s one of the top 3 books I’ve read in 2019 (We Were the Lucky Ones and Matchmaking for Beginners are the others, followed closely by Educated)
- It’s the perfect end of summer beach/vacation read
- You will be emotionally invested in this unexpected love story
If you read The Idea of You, I’d love to hear what you think. And don’t forget to head to Instagram to win a copy for yourself!