amanda_reads13's review against another edition

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emotional lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Solène is almost 40, a successful art gallery owner, and a single mother of a 13 year old daughter. When her ex bails on taking their daughter and friends to an August Moon concert, Solène takes his place. Her world is shifted upside down as she falls for Hayes, a 20 year old member of the band. 

Let's just start right with the age gap. I really wish that Hayes had been slightly older, even like 24. I have no qualms with the age gap. I don't care who is older, but 20 is VERY young. I think for that reason, there was always this foreboding cloud over their relationship. 

There are so many complex themes that run through this book. Society's attitude toward aging (especially women), feminism, downsides of fame, and expectations of men and women in relationships. 

You can tell right away that they were both in way over their heads. You could feel that they had so much love and admiration for one another.  Sometimes love isn't enough and that is heartbreaking and soul crushing, but it's the real world. Sometimes our lives don't mesh well with another's and Solène and Hayes are a perfect example of that. 

Hayes is very young and naive when it comes to Solène's life. Yes, he loves her and he is willing to sacrifice everything for her, but his age and the different places they are in their lives is an insurmountable barrier. He doesn't understand the chaos that their relationship has brought to her and her daughter's lives. He thinks that is it something she can learn to accept in time, she knows that it isn't. 

Solène is a very successful, hardworking, level headed woman. Falling for Hayes was not in her plans. She allows herself to get swept up in the romance of the relationship, but deep down she knows that there can never be a real future for them. She is torn between wanting to protect her daughter and wanting to follow her heart. I think that the relationship goes too long, if she had been really honest with herself, she would have ended it sooner. Yes, that shouldn't fall just on her, but we are constantly reminded (by her inner monologue) that she knows that this has an expiration date. 

I think that we all were cheering for a happy ending, but it was a reacurring theme throughout the entire book. The ending is heartbreaking, but incredibly realistic. 

Tropes: age gap, rockstar, single parent, taboo

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thatswhatshanread's review against another edition

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emotional reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I would like to personally thank Robinne Lee for ruining my life by writing a story so intensely close to my fangirl daydreams that I fear I will never, ever recover.

“The Idea of You” did me in. I knew from the moment I discovered who the book was inspired by (iykyk), that I would have a total book hangover from it. For this reason, I think I put off reading it for awhile. Allowed myself some time to come to terms with… the idea of it.

The idea being that the FMC, a divorced mother of a tween, gets completely swept up in a globetrotting, all-consuming romance with the 20-year-old lead singer of the hottest boyband in the world. The very same one that her daughter is infatuated with.

Even if this wasn’t about Harry Styles—I mean, Hayes Campbell—I would have devoured it. Lee’s writing is so hypnotic, emotional, sexy, candid, witty, zealous. It felt like reading very well-written gossip, a fever dream, how the pages oozed with fame and lust and heartbreak and fantasy. The characters and their thoughts melting into your skin. 

Time ceased to exist while reading this, and yet also caught up with me far too soon as I began to reach the end. Why must stories like these end? It’s really quite rude, but I guess I’ll live to read another day, somehow.

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