About the Book:
Title: Better Than Fiction
Author: Alexa Martin
Page Length: 336
Publication Date: Nov. 8, 2022
Publisher: Berkley Books
Synopsis: Love isn’t always by the books in this charming romantic comedy about a bookseller discovering how to be the main character in her story.
As a self-proclaimed book hater and a firm believer that the movie is always better, Drew Young didn’t anticipate inheriting her grandma’s bookstore, the Book Nook. She’s in way over her head even before the shop’s resident book club, comprising seven of the naughtiest old ladies ever, begin to do what they do best–meddle.
Bestselling author Jasper Williams is a hopeless romantic. When he meets Drew at his Book Nook signing event, he becomes determined to show her the beauty of reading. He curates a book bucket list in exchange for her help exploring the local Denver scene for his current manuscript. From river rafting to local restaurants, Drew begins to connect with Jasper in a way she only thought happened in fiction.
When messy family ties jeopardize the future of the Book Nook, Drew is caught between a bookshelf and a hard place. She’s reminded that real life isn’t always big dreams and sweeping romance. But Jasper is the plot twist she never saw coming and he’s writing a happily ever after just for them.
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I’ll admit, as soon as I saw the cover of this book, I wanted to read it. I didn’t even know what the story was about, but it looked so cute, and I loved the title. Then when I read that it followed a bookstore owner, I was even more eager to read it. I’m glad my instincts didn’t steer me wrong. It’s a charming story with realistic and funny characters, amazing female friendships, and I found a new book boyfriend!
There are so many fabulous characters and relationships in the story, and they’re all relatable. Drew, the protagonist, is interesting and complex, and I related to her in many ways. After her grandmother’s death a year ago, Drew, an aspiring photographer, inherits her bookstore. Though she is not a reader and had no aspirations of owning the store, Drew feels obligated to keep her grandmother’s legacy alive, even if it means putting her own interests and goals aside.
The story has a lot of great messages about grief and moving on after the loss of a loved one. Drew’s grief is still fresh, and she misses her grandmother immensely. The bookstore is her connection to the woman she so desperately misses, and Drew is conflicted between her dreams and fulfilling her grandmother’s legacy. I lost my mother twelve years ago, and I still grieve deeply. Like Drew, I also struggled to define myself after she was gone and always wonder what she would think of my decisions. Am I making her proud? What advice would she give if she were here? How would life be different?
I thought the author showed the effects of loss well. Grief is not linear, and there is no right or wrong way to mourn. It also hits you when you least expect it, which happens to Drew more than once. She never really faced her grief, and there are times in the story when it consumes her. It was really relatable, and I so sympathized with her in these moments. Luckily, Drew has a great support system to help her through everything.
I want to join the Dirty Birds Book Club! These ladies, who were friends with Drew’s grandmother, are fantastic and are long-time staples at the bookstore. They are so fun and funny, and they are more family to Drew than some of her own family members. Drew’s best friend is also fabulous, and their conversations are fantastic. She’s the kind of friend you can trust implicitly, and she’s often the voice of reason in Drew’s life. They have a great bond, and I love how they bust on and tease each other. Even when they argue or do something wrong, there’s never any doubt that they’ll work through it.
Drew has a more tenuous relationship with her sister, and because of her toxic relationship with her father, their connection has never been strong. It’s interesting to see how they deal with the past and all of the things usually left unsaid. I like how the sister’s relationship grows and changes as they talk more and are more open with each other.
Ok – all of those relationships and characters are great, but let’s talk about my new book boyfriend. Jasper Williams, author and hopeless romantic, falls so hard and so fast for Drew, and I was totally there for it! His words and actions are so swoon-worthy! His love of reading, their travels across beautiful Colorado, and his understanding and support of Drew make me question how she resisted him.
If you like opposites-attract love stories, you’ll love Drew and Jasper. He’s a book lover, and she’s a bookstore owner who doesn’t enjoy reading. He believes in love and happily ever after’s, while she is not convinced of either. Drew is guarded and reluctant to get into a relationship, and Jasper is more open and willing to take a risk in love. She’s definitely the grumpy to his sunshine. These opposites have amazing chemistry, and their adventures and conversations are fun, romantic, and sometimes emotional.
A story about love, friendship, grief, healing, and more, Better Than Fiction is an entertaining contemporary romance. I definitely need to read more by Alexa Martin after reading this book! Thanks so much to NetGalley and Berkley Books for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance!!!! Sa-wooon!!
- The friendships.
I don’t want to watch someone get saved. I want to watch them save themselves. I want to know they can live a fulfilling life with or without a love interest.
While I’m sure that Jasper Williams, Author, creates some amazing characters, absolutely none of them could compare to Jasper Williams, boyfriend.
You’re everything I never thought I could have. And I’m never going to let you go.
Better Than Fiction is a great contemporary romance for readers who enjoy:
- opposites attract
- only one bed
- mmc falls first
- bookstore settings
- great friendships