“All I know is, I’m working on an epic disaster of a musical, I’m in love with a girl who hates me, and my own best friend thinks I’m a screwup.”
What an unexpectedly lovable book! I requested this title from NetGalley because I already liked the author’s 2020 release and because it’s pitched as an #ownvoices romantic comedy, but I really loved this one.
What is this book about?
Melody McIntyre is a stage manager down to her bones. So when her fellow crew and friends convince her that it’s her love life dooming them in an already allegedly cursed theater, Melody promises she won’t fall in love during their upcoming production of Les Mis. Except, Melody’s a bit of a serial dater and she doesn’t expect to fall so hard for rising star Odile Rose.
This book is for you if you like theater and rom-coms!
Rep: bisexual main characters, gay side characters, some characters of color
Reading The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre was an utter delight, even as somebody with zero theater experience who’s never seen or read Les Misérables. (I live under a rock, I’m aware.)
Identifying maybe a little too closely with Melody’s need for perfection and her control-freak-tendencies, she came off as a believable, passionate teenager who can’t help falling in love (often, with many people). Melody’s bisexuality isn’t a source of contention in her own life or with her family, and the only problem with her love life is an imagined theater curse rather than because of the people she dates–and, let’s be real, her love life is only a curse because maybe she gets a little too caught up in who she’s dating or doesn’t give them enough attention. On the other hand, Odile’s struggle with her own sexuality and coming out is expressed but not a major plot point, which made her seem genuine and sympathetic. We also get an adorable look at three adult gay men, Melody’s two fathers and their best friend slash Melody’s teacher, Will Green.
Possibly one of the most important elements of a rom-com is the chemistry between characters, and sparks abound between Melody and Odile with lingering glances and sneaking off to talk quietly. There are a couple of really great moments in the book where the tension is palpable and I was skimming ahead to see what happened, butterflies thrumming in my own chest as I read. I loved them as a couple. Melody’s grand gesture at the end had me tearing up because a) I’m a big sap, and 2) I don’t think I’ll ever tire of reading about girls falling in love and getting a happy ending.
Overall, The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre is funny, adorable, and sweet. I loved Robin Talley’s Music from Another World (you can read my review of it here or at Pine Reads Review), and after this one, I think I’m going to have to check out all of her other books.
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Thank you HarperTeen for providing a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.