After seeing this all over Goodreads, I finally added it to my holds list at the library. It took me a renewal to finally start reading it, but once I started I finished it in about a day.
Nathan Bird doesn’t believe in happy endings.
Although he’s the ultimate film buff and an aspiring screenwriter, Nate’s seen the demise of too many relationships to believe that happy endings exist in real life.
Playing it safe to avoid a broken heart has been his MO ever since his father died and left his mom to unravel—but this strategy is not without fault. His best-friend-turned-girlfriend-turned-best-friend-again, Florence, is set on making sure Nate finds someone else. And in a twist that is rom-com-worthy, someone does come along: Oliver James Hernández, his childhood best friend.
After a painful mix-up when they were little, Nate finally has the chance to tell Ollie the truth about his feelings. But can Nate find the courage to pursue his own happily ever after?
I wish I had liked this book as much as I thought I would. I wasn’t a huge fan of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Goodreads compares it with This is Kind of and Epic Love Story, so I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised.
Things I Liked
- There was some amazing diversity here! Everything from dyed hair, to sexual identity, to race, to deafness, and to high school stereotypes like the jock needing to be with the cheer captain. There are a lot of people that will see themselves in the characters of this book and will love it for that.
- My favorite character had to be Ollie. He seemed to be the most realistic, with both flaws and strengths. He was the only character that truly seemed to have internal and external conflicts that impacted his actions and decisions.
- Some characters had very specific moments that I thought were funny or cringe-worthy enough to stick in my memory. You know I try to keep this a relatively spoiler-free zone so I won’t say anything too specific. Just know they’re there, they exist, and they’re great.
- I liked the idea of this book. The diverse cast of characters, the return of our protagonist’s childhood best friend, the promise of a rom-com (my weakness), and even the cover all made me think this would be a heartwarming laugh-out-loud kind of story. But…
Things I Disliked
- …the idea wasn’t fleshed out enough. The characters seemed to be stuck in their own personal loop- all but Ollie who seems to have gradual and believable character development. There wasn’t enough of a steady and reliable storyline to really hook me.
- Unfortunately, none of the characters really clicked with me. Nate was too back-and-forth and noncommittal for me, Flo was too oblivious and in her own world, and most of the others like Ash and Gideon weren’t developed enough for me to have strong feelings one way or another.
- I don’t know what the plot was. There were things like “will they or won’t they date” (for pretty much every character), “will he move”, “will he finish his script” and other minor conflicts, but nothing was really driving the story along. So, while I understand these questions are real conflicts and issues, they can’t be the only thing to support a novel.
This is Kind of an Epic Love Story doesn’t live up to the promise it makes in the title. I think it could have been kind of an epic love story, but I didn’t think the book had enough development, direction, or substance to be a great book. That being said, I think the author could go on to write some great books, so I’ll be on the lookout for their next title.