Book Review: The Do-Over by Lynn Painter


The Do-Over by Lynn Painter

Published: November 15th 2022 by Simon Pulse
Rating: ★★★★★ (5)
Genre: Young Adult // Contemporary, Romance
Quick Thoughts: I laughed, swooned and resonated with this loveable read. The best Valentine’s Day gift of all!

About The Book:

In this riotous young adult romp for fans of Recommended for You and A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, a teen girl has the worst Valentine’s Day ever—only to relive it over and over again.

After living through a dumpster fire of a Valentine’s Day, Emilie Hornby escapes to her grandmother’s house for some comfort and a consolation pint of Ben & Jerry’s. She passes out on the couch, but when she wakes up, she’s back home in her own bed—and it’s Valentine’s Day all over again. And the next day? Another nightmare V-Day.

Emilie is stuck in some sort of time loop nightmare that she can’t wake up from as she re-watches her boyfriend, Josh, cheat on her day after day. In addition to Josh’s recurring infidelity, Emilie can’t get away from the enigmatic Nick, who she keeps running into—sometimes literally—in unfortunate ways.

How many days can one girl passively watch her life go up in flames? And when something good starts to come out of these terrible days, what happens when the universe stops doling out do-overs?

First Thoughts

Me and Lynn Painter books go together like macaroni and cheese (odd analogy but very true.) I got The Do-Over for Christmas and I’ve been trying to sneak it into my TBR in between review copies for ages now, and accidentally, I ended up reading it and finishing it on Valentine’s Day (which the book is about!) so it seemed very fitting and kismet, if you ask me.

My Review

Emilie Hornby has the perfect Valentine’s Day planned—the gorgeous outfit, great gift for her boyfriend Josh, and armed with her first I-Love-You just for him. But it all goes wrong from the moment she crashes her car into another—belonging to a boy from her Chemistry class, Nick Stark—who then gives her a ride to school, where her soon-to-be fellowship gets pulled out from underneath her. On top of that? She catches Josh kissing his ex-girlfriend in a car. Stealing away to her grandmother’s house—the only place she feels solace from her divorced parents and their separate values and lives. Only, when Em wakes up the next day, it’s Valentine’s Day. Again. 

Convinced she’s destined to keep watching herself get cheated on, ruin her car and get on her families nerves, Em relives the day over and over again, wishing it would end. But the more she lives the day, the closer she gets to Nick Stark. Once barely strangers, she grows to find him funny and even charming, somehow something about him feeling older—more mature. And on one day spent blowing up her entire life—just to let loose and do whatever she wants, no repercussions, since the day will surely start all over again—Em convinces Nick to ditch with her. Not that he needs much convincing. They explore, laugh, share secrets and dig deeper into both their troubled hearts. It’s in that day when Em feels something for Nick that she’s never quite felt before, even though it’s only been one day (well, not for her, at least.) And when it’s clear he feels the same, she can’t believe he won’t remember the wreckage she made of Valentine’s—but the pieces she put back together in someone else’s heart. Or will he?

Overall, The Do-Over made me feel. I laughed (Lynn’s books are downright hilarious!!) swooned, and really resonated with Emilie. Her life has been so torn as a child of divorced parents, and though her feelings toward love are slightly distorted by how they came to be separated, she still believes in love at it’s core—and I thought that was beautiful. She was such a strong, loveable character that I would love to be friends with. And as for Nick . . . Wes Bennett has competition! He was just everything you want in a love interest, and I loved how Nick and Em were like magnets—drawn to each other, destined to be in some way. It felt so emotional reading how a part of them somehow healed as they found comfort in their mutual pain. This was the best Valentine’s Day gift of all. Thank you for making my entire year with another stunning read, Lynn! An obvious five-stars! (BRB, off to listen to the book’s playlist!)

About The Author

Lynn Painter writes romantic comedies for both teens and adults. She is the author of Better Than The Movies and Mr. Wrong Number, as well as a regular contributor to the Omaha World-Herald. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and pack of wild children, and when she isn’t reading or writing, odds are good she’s guzzling energy drinks and watching rom-coms.

Have you read The Do-Over?

If you haven’t, don’t forget to add it to your TBR!

Let me know in the comments or on twitter @LittleMemoirs!

happy reading!

Becca x

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