Book Reviews

Review: The Do Over by Lynn Painter

Look, I will forever read time loops stories. Give me all your recommendations because they are some of my favorite! So when I saw The Do Over, I knew I had to request it. And what a delightful and emotional read it was! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


After living through a dumpster fire of a Valentine’s Day, Emilie Hornby escapes to her grandmother’s house for some comfort and a consolation pint of Ben & Jerry’s. She passes out on the couch, but when she wakes up, she’s back home in her own bed—and it’s Valentine’s Day all over again. And the next day? Another nightmare V-Day.

Emilie is stuck in some sort of time loop nightmare that she can’t wake up from as she re-watches her boyfriend, Josh, cheat on her day after day. In addition to Josh’s recurring infidelity, Emilie can’t get away from the enigmatic Nick, who she keeps running into—sometimes literally—in unfortunate ways.

How many days can one girl passively watch her life go up in flames? And when something good starts to come out of these terrible days, what happens when the universe stops doling out do-overs?


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Okay, I don’t think I can fully communicate how much I love time loop stories. From “Ground Hog Day” to “Palm Springs” to See You Yesterday, I want them all. So I shrieked when I heard about The Do Over. And what an experience it was. I love how it has those predictable moments of the stages of grief. The “what if I do everything right” bargaining stage all the way to “nothing matters anymore” to the apathy. From a plot perspective, The Do Over is an utter win. Full of fixed points and agency, time loops always ask us about our own ability to change the world, to change ourselves.

But even more than that, The Do Over is about characters. How Emilie is so convinced a list could save her. To set her sights on attainable, break down into check boxes, all to try to get what she wants. As someone who is currently breaking down my daily habits in a bullet journal, I deeply related. Emilie wants love, but also stability – and she has a list for it. From the very beginning, I related to Emilie and to the idea of what might happen if we stop planning for it. If we stop getting fixed on the future.

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The Do Over also features some amazing side characters. From her parents complicated relationship – which features in Emilie’s ‘disaster day’ – all the way to the love interest(s). The banter in The Do Over is electric and they needle each other in the most perfect way. It’s a book about embracing our impulses, of living in the moments where we’re so concerned about chasing happiness. Of stopping living for others and not being our most authentic person. If you like time loop stories, you have to read this! Find The Do Over on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite time loop story?

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