Review: The Truth About Romantic Comedies by Sean McMurray

The Truth About Romantic Comedies cover shows a cartoon image of a boy playing guitar, singing to a cartoon girl.

The Truth About Romantic Comedies
Sean McMurray
Anaiah Press
January 15, 2019

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About The Truth About Romantic Comedies

Sixteen-year-old Timothy Gephart’s life is a chronicle of loser-hood. Trapped by the decaying walls of his family’s trailer and saddled with the responsibility of caring for a grandmother stricken with a wicked combination of Alzheimer’s and cancer, Timothy isn’t exactly thriving in the teenage chapter of his life. To make matters worse, his girlfriend inexplicably dumps him through a text message. Heartbroken, Tim drives his grandmother to and from her radiation treatments as if the last page of his life has already been written. And then the enigmatic Rachel Wilson struts into the cancer center’s waiting room.

Self-proclaimed social scientist Rachel Wilson hasn’t reconciled herself to her mother’s cancer, but she’s doing her best to stay positive…and distracted. With his dry wit and easy acceptance of her bright blue hair, Timothy might be the answer to a prayer Rachel hasn’t had the strength to ask.

As a fast friendship blossoms into something more, Timothy and Rachel learn that Rachel’s father’s job will soon take her family to a new life across the country. Knowing that their time together is running out, Timothy and Rachel go all in on an experiment that will put every romantic comedy cliche to the test, to say nothing of the foundation on which their relationship was built. Happily-ever-after has never been so hard.

My Review

This is such a cute book! It took me a couple chapters to really get into Tim’s character, but I found it easy to like him once I did. He’s caring and sweet, funny and a little bit awkward. The romance develops in that classic, sweet way with bumps and unexpected reveals here and there keeping it interesting.

Only a couple small things stuck out to me as not working, and they’re all pretty minor. If a girl dyed her hair as often as Rachel did, I think it would all fall out. At one point I kind of expected that Tim would discover her hair was all wigs. Ha. But she’s quirky and fun, always a bit of a mystery to Tim, which again, made THE TRUTH ABOUT ROMANTIC COMEDIES a fun read.

Later in the story, Tim goes with Rachel to a youth convention and listens to a speaker talk about online bullying. I liked the message, but it’s kind of a pet peeve for me when a story includes a long sermon section. It feels like taking a time out from the novel for a PSA, which most of the time doesn’t work. It’s just the one scene, and it’s not that long, so it’s kind of a minor deal.

On the whole, THE TRUTH ABOUT ROMANTIC COMEDIES reminded me a little bit of ZAC & MIA, another contemporary romance with a pretty straight line narrator and quirky love interest. Plot-wise, it has a little of the John Green (think PAPER TOWNS or THE FAULT IN OUR STARS in terms of the list element) vibe to it in that Rachel and Tim have a list of things (romantic comedy clichés) to do together before their relationship ends.

I highly recommend THE TRUTH ABOUT ROMANTIC COMEDIES to anyone looking for a sweet, funny contemporary romance.

The Truth About Romantic Comedies on Amazon

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

I think all the major characters were white and straight.

Profanity/Crude Language Content

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. References to making out or kissing for longer periods of time. Rachel discusses not being ready to have sex.

Spiritual Content
Rachel is a Christian and goes to a Christian school, but she’s not preachy about her faith. Tim has pretty limited experience with and interest in Christianity. He’s pretty much just an observer on that front. At one point Tim goes with her to a youth conference and listens to a Christian speaker talk about his past as an online bully and how damaging/wrong the behavior was.

Violent Content
Tim briefly wonders if he should have fought another boy who’s interested in Rachel.

Drug Content
A grief stricken adult calls Tim for a ride home from a bar after becoming too drunk to drive.

The Truth About Romantic Comedies on Goodreads

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links which cost you nothing, but help me buy more books.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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