Fake dating will forever be one of my favorite tropes. Talk about fighting those feelings and the yearning?! THE YEARNING?! So when I saw Like a Love Song I was beyond excited. Like a Love Song is a story about identity, fame, and ambition. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Fake boyfriend. Real heartbreak?
Natalie is living her dream: topping the charts and setting records as a Brazilian pop star…until she’s dumped spectacularly on live television. Not only is it humiliating—it could end her career.
Her PR team’s desperate plan? A gorgeous yet oh-so-fake boyfriend. Nati reluctantly agrees, but William is not what she expected. She was hoping for a fierce bad boy—not a soft-hearted British indie film star. While she fights her way back to the top with a sweet and surprisingly swoon-worthy boy on her arm, she starts to fall for William—and realizes that maybe she’s the biggest fake of them all. Can she reclaim her voice and her heart?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I was excited for Like a Love Song as soon as I heard about it and hosted Martins here! And then all you had to do to sell this book to me was: fake dating, coping with our identity, and fame. Like a Love Song is a fabulous and engaging read. It delivers swoon worthy romance – because I loved watching their, “is this real??” interactions – and conversations about identity and sacrifice. While I loved all the tension and yearning, what really cements my love is how Natalie journeys with her own identity.
I love how Natalie is stuck between the lines of popularity and fame. The pressures of being seen everywhere she goes and wondering what is truly real in her life. Not only in the relationships around her, in her own career, but also in her own life as she internally asks questions about her name and her family. In some ways, she feels like she has to pick between being Brazilian and American, to figure out how she wants to be perceived and who she wants to be.
How do we be true to our authentic self? As someone who did a lot of self-erasure growing up in relation to where I was from and coming to terms with my identity as a Chinese American, Natalie’s struggles had me so emotional. Because for her there’s this added layer of pressure, responsibility, and visibility. If we try not to rock the boat, who does that ultimately help? Because of this, Martins presents a story where this line between real and illusion is constantly questioned with Natalie’s own life and her relationship.
Like a Love Song delivered a romance that I was totally swept up in – it gave me serious Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn vibes – and one that mirrored a lot of my feelings about fitting in and being true to ourselves. I highly recommend for all contemporary romance fans and anyone who has ever felt that conflict between who we want to be and who the world wants to smooth us out to be.
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