Lesbians everywhere, hello, I have a gift for you! Well for other people, too, but lesbians specifically… I’m part of the blog tour for The Falling in Love Montage organised by Fantastic Flying Book Club! This means that not only do I have a review for y’all, but also a giveaway and a playlist!
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 care 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.
The Falling in Love Montage
Find the full schedule for the blog tour here!
The Falling in Love Montage is a lesbian rom-com we have all been waiting for, including Saoirse and Ruby. The girls literally have a conversation about this, when they come up with the idea for their montage. They talk about how lesbian rom-com movies basically don’t exist, and the few we have contain nothing but cliches and lowkey harmful tropes. The Falling in Love Montage is obviously not a movie, but it does fill this gap rather beautifully!
The real strength of the book lies with its characters. All of them are incredibly well fleshed out and feel like actual people with set world-views & beliefs, and flaws. They’re allowed to make mistakes and to learn from them. They’re allowed to change their minds about things, to grow. None of them are perfect and so none of them seem artificial.
And so thanks to that, the relationships between characters are also beautiful. Not only the main romantic one, either! Saoirse’s relationship with her dad is probably one of the most honest portrayals of a father-daughter dynamic I have ever read. They fight constantly and about everything, but the love they have for each other is clear underneath all that anyway.
All the characters are also very different and that’s another giant plus. It’s visible the most with Saoirse and Rudy. They’re the personification of the “opposites attract” saying. It shows in their interests (Saoirse not having watched rom-coms before), in the way they talk about feelings (that is to say, Saoirse doesn’t), in their sense of humour…
Saoirse not talking about her feelings is actually one of the greatest aspects of the book. She clearly uses that as a coping mechanism and her reasons for developing that are very much valid & probably not what you would assume. Her past relationship, but more importantly her family situation and her health, made Saoirse vary of not only expressing her feelings, but even having them in the first place. The closed-off, brooding protagonist you know from every romantic movie, but make him a teen lesbian? What a concept.
The Falling in Love Montage is generally incredible when it comes to showcasing relationships. The novel makes it abundantly clear that not every couple is gonna be together till death does them apart and – and that’s the real kicker! – that’s perfectly okay. People grow, people change, circumstances change… Things happen. And The Falling in Love Montage, despite being a very cute rom-com, doesn’t try to sell us a candy-pink version of the world.
My only complaints are a matter of personal taste and as such might not bother anyone else. But still, I found the pacing at times rather slow & the writing style verging on boring, making it harder to engage; I didn’t enjoy the narrative choice of constant breaking of the fourth wall by Saoirse, and despite everything I said before, I really am just a sucker for never-ending love stories.
The Falling in Love Montage is a cute, summer-y lesbian rom-com & frankly that alone should be enough to convince anyone to grab a copy. But it also deals with some heavy topics, and does it very gracefully. And you most definitely will fall in love with all the characters.
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.
This blog tour comes with a book giveaway! There are two copies of The Falling in Love Montage to win (US only, sorry). Click here to participate!
I also prepared a playlist for you! My music choices were very easy to make: songs which fit the book and are created by sapphic artists. Enjoy!