Monday, December 18, 2023

Betting on You by: Lynn Painter

Betting on You
Lynn Painter
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: November 2023
Pages: 432
Format: ARC Paperback
Rating: 5/5
When seventeen-year-old Bailey starts a new job at a hotel waterpark, she is less than thrilled to see an old acquaintance is one of her coworkers. Bailey met Charlie a year ago on the long flight to Omaha, where she moved after her parents’ divorce. Charlie’s cynicism didn’t mix well with Bailey’s carefully well-behaved temperament, and his endless commentary was the irritating cherry on top of an already emotionally fraught trip.

Now, Bailey and Charlie are still polar opposites, but instead of everything about him rubbing Bailey the wrong way, she starts to look forward to hanging out and gossiping about the waterpark guests and their coworkers—particularly two who keep flirting with each other. Bailey and Charlie make a bet on whether or not the cozy pair will actually get together. Charlie insists that members of the opposite sex can’t just be friends, and Bailey is determined to prove him wrong.

Bailey and Charlie keep close track of the romantic progress of others while Charlie works to deflect the growing feelings he’s developed for Bailey. Terrified to lose her if his crush becomes known, what doesn’t help his agenda is Bailey and Charlie “fake dating” in order to disrupt the annoying pleasantries between Bailey’s mom and her mom’s new boyfriend. Soon, what Charlie was hoping to avoid becomes a reality as Bailey starts to see him as not only a friend she can rely on in the midst of family drama—but someone who makes her hands shake and heart race. But Charlie has a secret—a secret that involves Bailey and another bet Charlie may have made. Can the two make a real go of things…or has Charlie’s secret doomed them before they could start


First, I'd like to thank Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review! Boy this book was a journey, but that clearly didn't stop Lynn Painter from ripping my heart out and putting it back together by the end of this book.

I will say that while it was on the longer side, I truly felt like the development between Bailey and Charlie was perfect. I think that you really got to read how their relationship went from two random people who were stuck beside one another on a plane to someone you literally can't go a day without messaging. I know what that's like to have a person to talk to daily, and to see that come out throughout the story was awesome! This book had me all up in my feels, and I could not stop reading! I had to force myself to slow down at certain parts just so I could make reading it last longer.

Right from the beginning Bailey is going through a lot with her parents being divorced and now seeing her mother start to date a new person that's coming into her life. Being unsure if it'll last and the changes that she feels will impact her relationship with her mother is a lot for a teenager. So when the boy you couldn't stand comes back into view and offers to fake date in order to disrupt this new relationship... it's only a matter of time before things turn real.

But the emotional push and pull between all of the characters was incredible. There were many different layers, some not so subtle pop culture references, mental health, new families, and friendships tested. With each layer, it really helped both Bailey and Charlie grow individually and together. Not to mention the many many times I had my heart in my throat — can we take a second to talk about the blanket fort scene?! Because that left me almost throwing the book across the room and screaming NOOO!

Charlie is seriously the sweetest in so many moments with how he remembers the little quirks about Bailey and just him saying "Bay" like I've died. dead. I'm gone. He had me swooning and cheesing so damn hard, I didn't think it was possible to fall for a character like him, but gahh! I think it was a collection of small things, but also just their interaction with one another that I loved so much. While they may be faking it to derail her mother's relationship, you seriously start to see how they care for one another and their true feelings come out. Miscommunication is a key factor when it comes to professing your love for someone, and between these two they had me wanting to reach in and slap them both to just admit how they feel for one another!

Overall, this was a page turner that kept me on the edge of my seat, I fell in love with all the characters, their development with one another and themselves, and to top it off, the way that Bailey and her mother's boyfriend have a moment alone together just put the cherry on top. It was everything you'd want in a cut rom-com and I ate it up! All the swoony and laugh out loud moments, it was amazing!

That's all for my review, I hope you enjoyed it. Definitely check this out as well as Lynn's other book Better Than the Movies!

So until the next time, keep reading!
Your Graduated Bookworm!! :)

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