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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

“Better Than the Movies” has become the best YA romance novel

Photo Credit: Danielle Allen
“The sequel to Better Than the Movies” comes out in September of 2024. It is called “Nothing like the Movies” and is a 368 page romance centered around Wes trying to win Liz back.

“Better than the Movies” by Lynn Painter is a young adult romantic comedy novel. It was published on May 4, 2021. The book is a USA Today and New York Times bestseller.

About the Author:

Lynn Painter is a talented bestselling author, living in Nebraska with her husband and children. She’s a biweekly contributor to the Omaha World-Herald’s parenting section. Painter is a fan of romantic comedies and has a passion for writing romance novels for both teenagers and adults. She is most known for her books “Mr. Wrong Number”, “The Do-Over”, and “Better Than the Movies.” 

About Better Than the Movies:

Better Than the Movies centers on Liz Buxbaum, a hopeless romantic who’s been obsessed with romcoms for as long as she can remember. They connect her to her mom who passed away when Liz was a child. As Liz enters her senior year, she dreams of having the magical, perfect prom night. 

You would think her next-door neighbor, Wes, would be a perfect fit for all of her romance fantasies. The problem? Wes has tormented her ever since they were little kids. Luckily, her old neighbor and longtime crush, Michael, moved back to town just in time for prom. So, she decides to scheme a plan with Wes who’s becoming friends with Michael to achieve her magical prom moment. 

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But as they spend more time together, she realizes that Wes may not be so bad after all. Will Liz Buxbaum get her perfect, desired love story?


“Better Than the Movies” is pretty PG. There are a couple of scenes of passionate kissing between love interest and jokes about sexual activity. There are some instances of teen drinking and smoking. Regarding language, there is regular swearing such as the f word and s word. There are a few occurrences of “damn”, “hell”, and “bitch.”


This is one of my comfort books. As a die-hard lover rom-coms, this book absolutely caught my attention. 

Larissa Cambusano commented on Goodreads, “ It combined all my favorite things: music, playlists, romcoms & romance novels. It had me smiling the entire time. Wes was an angel and Liz was all of us in book character form. I’m still giddy over it.”

On the Barnes & Noble site, Devi Ramprasad stated, “Better Than the Movies does in fact live up to its name. Liz and Wes’ love was truly unlike the unrequited love of today’s society and has readers questioning whether their definition of love is right or wrong. This book is perfect for fans of love triangles and anyone in need of a little laughter. I can’t wait to keep up with Liz and Wes’ story and would definitely recommend this book and other works of Lynn Painter to anyone and everyone.”

While this book is cheesy and so predictable, it’s so easy to fall in love with the characters. Liz’s character development throughout the book is amazing and Wes simply has my heart. I also love how Lynn Painter starts off each chapter with a popular rom-com reference/quote. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who simply loves love.

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About the Contributor
Gabryelle Chouloute
Gabryelle Chouloute is a Haitian-American 17-year-old junior at CHS. She is an active member of Minithon, Interact Club, and Medical Careers Clubs. After high school, she would like to pursue dermatology as a career. Her favorite color is pink and her favorite TV show is Jane the Virgin. She enjoys listening to music, especially R&B and rap. Although they change often, her favorite artists right now are SZA, Drake, J.Cole and Daniel Caesar. She spends her free time dancing, baking, and watching romcoms. When she isn’t watching The Proposal or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, you’ll either see her snuggled with a good book or at Starbucks getting an iced chai latte. She loves hanging out with her family and friends and having a good time.

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