Hi there, bookworms and dragons! It’s been quite a while since I was able to participate in a blog tour, but when this one was sent out as an option I knew I had to make the time for it. Keep on reading for my full review, a bookish soundtrack, information on where you can go to get your hands on a copy of The Falling in Love Montage, and a tour-wide giveaway! But first, let’s have a look at the Goodreads synopsis…
Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a case home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.
But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.
Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.
How could I possibly pass up the opportunity to read what is so obviously the book I need to read while in quarantine? Exactly. I could not.
I went into The Falling in Love Montage without really having any expectations. I thought it might be a light and fluffy flf story and… I was wrong. It’s not light and fluffy at all, but it manages to remain hopeful through all its anxiety and teen angst. While I’m sure I noted a content warning while reading, I can’t seem to find my notes so if you’ve read it and noticed one, please let me know in the comments or anonymously via this page.
It’s obvious from the cover and description that this book is a flf contemporary story and I was so excited for that. The characters are all very complex and well developed. I could easily have had a full conversation with each of them or all of them together as a group. I really like how every person was developed through the lens of how Saoirse experiences them so, while I was able to form my own opinion of them based on their actions, I also got to see very vividly how Saoirse thinks and feels about them.
Also, Saoirse’s level of sass and wit? Admirable. But don’t go into this expecting to see some perfect high school girl character. She is extremely flawed, just like any real teenager (or adult for that matter) is. The book being written in first person definitely allows you to see her flaws and process them as someone on the outside while also acknowledging that she might not see them as flaws or even see them at all. She is definitely a realistic character.
Before we move on to talk about the rest of the aspects of the book, I also have to mention how awesome it was to see a plus size girl be both unapologetic and described as gorgeous? There are books out there about fat girls or with characters who are fat, but they rarely portray them as beautiful or attractive. This book does that and it was so wonderful to read.
The book is set entirely in a modern day seaside town in Ireland. The world is maybe a little less immersive than I usually like for it to be, but it was easy to visualize the places where the story takes us. The space inhabited by the characters is almost secondary, but the characters inhabiting them always seem to fill the space with their personalities and interact with the world as the story carries on. There are some aspects that someone who has never been to Ireland might have trouble understanding (I could imagine some Americans not understanding why people would insist on hanging out outside instead of inside when it’s hot) but overall, the world is developed just enough to be functional.
The story itself is lovely. It reads a lot like a romantic comedy movie, which I think is probably exactly what Ciara Smyth was going for given the theme of the book. It flows just as well from beginning to end with a plethora of drama, romance, and humor. Both Saoirse and Ruby have family members who are dealing with serious problems and the stress of this weighs on them throughout the story, moving it in perhaps different directions than it otherwise might have. It is definitely character driven and it works very well.
I really enjoyed reading The Falling in Love Montage from beginning to end. It dealt with some heavy issues while also being funny and romantic. The story wraps up very nicely at the end, leaving no loose threads hanging but making it obvious that their lives do not end at the end of the book. I’d love to see a sequel at some point but as a novel this stands well on its own.
Overall, I rate The Falling in Love Montage 4½ out of 5 bookworms. But don’t take my word for it! You can add it on Goodreads and order a copy to enjoy it for yourself from:
- Amazon (US)
- Amazon (UK)
- Barnes and Noble (US)
- Waterstones (UK)
- Chapters (Canada)
- Book Depository
- your local library!
Given that The Falling in Love Montage is thoroughly packed with movie references, it was really impossible to narrow down the number of great songs that should go into the bookish sound track. I somehow managed to do it and the following is the result. Enjoy! 🙂
About the Author
Ciara Smyth is a social work student by day, writer by night and cat enthusiast 24/7.
Her first YA novel – about memory, rom-coms and girls who like girls – will be published in Summer 2020 by Andersen Press in the UK and HarperCollins in the US.
She previously worked as a teacher and mental health trainer. She enjoys jigging (verb: to complete a jigsaw) and claims to enjoy yoga in order to cultivate a zen persona that is shattered approximately ten minutes after you meet her.
She is from the south of Ireland but has lived in Belfast for so long that her parents make fun of her Northern accent.
You made it to the giveaway! Woo hoo!! Not one but TWO lucky readers (US only, sorry International bookworms and dragons!) will win a finished copy of The Falling in Love Montage! *Please be aware that delays due to COVID-19 may occur in the shipping of prizes.
Do you want to see more awesome content and have more chances to win? Of course you do and why wouldn’t you?! All you have to do is follow the tour by following this link! 💖
Thank you so much to Ciara Smyth for writing The Falling in Love Montage! Without you, this book would not exist and I would be a very sad panda. You are a rockstar!
Thank you to HarperTeen for allowing me the privilege of reading a digital galley of The Falling in Love Montage before its 9 June release (which has not affected my review in the slightest)!
Finally, thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour for The Falling in Love Montage! You always make hosting tours such a blast! (If you’re interested in being an FFBC host—which you totally should!—just click on their logo below! 😀