On January 20, Lynn Painter announced through Twitter that her NYT Bestselling YA romance Better Than The Movies will be getting a sequel titled Nothing Like The Movies, which is slated for a fall 2024 release!
Initially published in May of 2021, the novel has garnered quite an audience via #Booktok (partly due to the use of rom-com and Taylor Swift references, according to readers) with the hashtag #BetterThanTheMovies acquiring 32.1 million views.
In this “rom-com about rom-coms,” as stated by Junior Library Guild, the novel follows high school senior Liz Buxbaum whose willing to do whatever it takes to win over her crush Michael, after her recently moved back into town. But, when her next-door neighbor and childhood pain Wes Bennett seems to hit it off with Liz’s crush, she realizes her only way to win over Michael involves scheming with her annoying neighbor to make sure he becomes Liz’s prom date. But as she becomes closer to Wes, she slowly starts to reexamine everything she thought she knew about love.
Passionate readers have been eagerly awaiting more of Liz and Wes, especially since during August of 2022, Painter revealed a bonus short story (Better Than The Prom) featuring the couple during a prom scene in the novel.
According to Painter’s thread, she stated “I always said I wouldn’t write a sequel because I like where those silly little love lovers landed, but then an idea popped into my head that I couldn’t shake lose. ALSO – I fell madly in love with Wes’s brain during the bonus chapters and I’m not quite ready to get out of his head.”
The novel will be told in dual POV and set during Liz and Wes’s college summer break. Painter stated more details are to be revealed “soon.” Nothing Like The Movies is available to add on Goodreads.
Liz Buxbaum has always known that Wes Bennett was not boyfriend material. You would think that her next-door neighbor would be a prince candidate for her romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only proven himself to be a pain in the butt, ever since they were little. Wes was the kid who put a frog in her Barbie Dreamhouse, the monster who hid a lawn gnome’s severed head in her little homemade neighborhood book exchange.
Flash forward ten years from the Great Gnome Decapitation. It’s Liz’s senior year, a time meant to be rife with milestones perfect for any big screen, and she needs Wes’s help. See, Liz’s forever crush, Michael, has just moved back to town, and—horribly, annoyingly—he’s hitting it off with Wes. Meaning that if Liz wants Michael to finally notice her, and hopefully be her prom date, she needs Wes. He’s her in.
But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she actually likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own perception of what Happily Ever After should really look like.
Nothing Like The Movies by Lynn Painter is set to be released Fall 2024!