When it comes to looking at upcoming releases I’m always easily sold on books that have characters that love books, have a bookstore, or is an author themselves. Better Than Fiction kind of has all of these, so I was very curious! Today I want to tell you about this book and what I thought.
Also a big thank you to Berkley for providing me with an e-arc to read and review.
Love isn’t always by the books in this charming romantic comedy about a bookseller discovering how to be the main character in her story.
As a self-proclaimed book hater and a firm believer that the movie is always better, Drew Young didn’t anticipate inheriting her grandma’s bookstore, the Book Nook. She’s in way over her head even before the shop’s resident book club, comprising seven of the naughtiest old ladies ever, begin to do what they do best–meddle.
Bestselling author Jasper Williams is a hopeless romantic. When he meets Drew at his Book Nook signing event, he becomes determined to show her the beauty of reading. He curates a book bucket list in exchange for her help exploring the local Denver scene for his current manuscript. From river rafting to local restaurants, Drew begins to connect with Jasper in a way she only thought happened in fiction.
When messy family ties jeopardize the future of the Book Nook, Drew is caught between a bookshelf and a hard place. She’s reminded that real life isn’t always big dreams and sweeping romance. But Jasper is the plot twist she never saw coming and he’s writing a happily ever after just for them.
Better Than Ficiton had a few of my favorite elements: a bookstore, great side characters, a sweet romance, emotions, and a strong friendship. Alexa Martin definitely pulled me into this story and had me laughing and crying.
Drew just lost her grandmother (who was her everything in many ways) and while trying to grieve, she also has to run the bookstore she inherited. This can get tricky, because Drew isn’t a fan of reading. As someone who had an amazing grandmother and was really close to her I definitely understand the feeling of losing her.
Let’s start off with the bookstore, because the side characters who visited and spent time there were amazing. The “Dirty Birds” are a group of elderly ladies that have their book club there and who were friends with Drew’s grandmother. They were so much fun and definitely meddled in their own way, but I also loved how much they really supported Drew. We also have Drew’s best friend who was hilarious, but also very supportive. And Drew’s half sister who ended up becoming more important to her than ever expected.
While Drew is trying to figure out what to do with the bookstore and how to deal with not following her own photographer dreams, Jasper enters the scene. The “Dirty Birds” arranged for him to come visit the bookstore, because he’s a popular romance author. I loved Jasper. He was sweet and funny! The deal they make is a lot of fun and I loved reading about their adventures. I did really miss his POV though. I think that would’ve added just a little bit more emotion to this story.
I loved that Drew started finding some love of books and even trying to take pictures again, but the drama near the end of the book was just a bit too much for me. Yeah, there were secrets and I can understand it was painful, but it also kind of felt like the extra drama was just put in there. Also, there’s a lot of drama with her father, but it kind of felt like the ending was talked about a little and nothing more was said.
All in all, I really did enjoy Drew and Jasper’s adventures and them falling in love. I think they really fit together and so many elements of this story kept a smile on my face. I’ll definitely be reading more by this author!
Better Than Fiction is a book I really enjoyed. I’ll definitely be looking up more books by Alexa Martin. If you could have a bookstore of your own, what would you name it?