*I received a digital ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
About the book:
Title: The Movie Version
Author: Emma Wunsch
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, realistic fiction, young adult
In the movie version of Amelia’s life, the roles have always been clear. Her older brother, Toby: definitely the Star. As popular with the stoners as he is with the cheerleaders, Toby is someone you’d pay ten bucks to watch sweep Battle of the Bands and build a “beach party” in the bathroom. As for Amelia? She’s Toby Anderson’s Younger Sister. She’s perfectly happy to watch Toby’s hijinks from the sidelines, when she’s not engrossed in one of her elaborately themed Netflix movie marathons.
But recently Toby’s been acting in a very non-movie-version way. He’s stopped hanging out with his horde of friends and started obsessively journaling and disappearing for days at a time. Amelia doesn’t know what’s happened to her awesome older brother, or who this strange actor is that’s taken his place. And there’s someone else pulling at her attention: a smart, cute new boyfriend who wants to know the real Amelia—not Toby’s Sidekick. Amelia feels adrift without her star, but to best help Toby—and herself—it might be time to cast a new role: Amelia Anderson, leading lady.
Source: Thanks so much to ABRAMS Kids for providing me with an e-ARC via Netgalley!
How I Found Out About It: Netgalley
This was a really sweet and enjoyable read, and very memorable as well! It really isn’t the lightest of reads, but it’s still a great book with lots (and LOTS) of things to be enjoyed.
To sum up, The Movie Version is about a teenage girl named Amelia, who has a big, loving family. (And as you may be able to guess, she’s a bit of a movie buff, too, who often compares her life to what she sees in movies.) She has a cool, adventurous older brother named Toby with whom she is very close, and two adorable twin younger brothers named Sam and David. From the outside, they really seem like the perfect family- that is, until Toby starts acting, well, let’s say unlike himself. He used to have bundles of friends, until it seemed like he had withdrawn himself and became a completely different person. Everyone notices a big change in him, and thus he’s taken to the hospital to get checked out. The result? You’ll have to read the book to find out, because I don’t want to spoil it! All you need to know is that his diagnosis makes Amelia feel very distant. She’s used to having Toby be the leader, but now, for the first time ever, she may have to switch sides for once.
I really enjoyed the premise of this story. I’m used to most (around maybe 80%) YA contemporary novels being just about the romance and/or friendship, and the protagonist’s family not having much presence in the plot. In this story, however, it’s the other way around! There is still romance between Amelia and a guy named Epstein (yes, Epstein!), but it’s more of a side plot. It’s the family part that takes up most of the book. Many teenagers aren’t very close with their families, and they’re often in a phase where they want nothing to do with them. It’s different in this story, though, because it mostly centres around the family aspect. I personally love books with more of a family vibe! I know I love my family a lot, which is more than many people my age, and these types of books show teenagers how much they should appreciate their family, because you won’t have them forever.
The characters in this book were amazing and definitely relatable! I really liked Amelia. I could really feel for her when Toby was going through all his struggles, and I found her to be so strong! Yeah, yeah, I know how often I say this, but really, Amelia was just so brave and accepting of her brother’s condition, and even though she often tried to get her mind off it, when reality eventually came flying back at her, she was the first to accept what was going on. I also thought that she was a very realistic portrayal of a modern teenager, and that all of her actions in the book were completely normal for somebody of her age. The author really seems to know what’s up in the teenage world, that’s for sure!
Toby, on the other hand, wasn’t an amazing role model, but don’t get panicked, since that’s partly because of the disease he had. Before he acquired the disease, he was an outgoing, brave guy with lots on his mind and tons of realistic life goals. I really felt bad for him upon diagnosis because before it happened, he had absolutely nothing to lose, but now some of his dreams were taken away from him, which is quite sad!
I’d recommend this book to anyone wanting a nice character-driven story involving more family than usual, especially for fans of I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson and The Time Capsule by Lurlene McDaniel. I know you will fall head over heels for this book when it gets released on October 11th, 2016!
Rating: 4.25/5 Stars!