I squeezed in one last romcom before the end of the year!
In Rhiannon Richardson’s novel The Meet-Cute Project, Mia is dealing with her bridezilla sister, who insists Mia needs to find a date for the wedding. Mia isn’t interested in the idea of romance, but finds herself with little choice. She and her friends attempt to stage romcom-worthy “meet-cutes” with eligible guys, all while Mia is juggling school, math team, swim practice, and volunteering at the community garden. But as each meet-cute leads to less than stellar results, Mia starts to realize that not only does she maybe want a real relationship, but she also might have found one in an unexpected place.
This was a cute enough book, but it definitely isn’t the best romcom I’ve read lately. Mia is a decent protagonist, and the other characters are generally fine, though I think this book dealt with too many bonds between people for any one to be developed strongly enough. Mia’s friends aren’t that distinctive to me; their personalities weren’t that clear to me. The boys chosen for the meet-cutes were given more personality, but I didn’t pick up on much chemistry with them.
As for Mia’s sister, Sam, I found her pretty annoying. She goes through a transformation of her own throughout the book, but it wasn’t that convincing to me. I think she bugged me too much in the first half of the story for me to care much in the second half.
However, I do like the boy Mia ended up with—even if I saw it coming the moment she met him. He had the best, most fleshed-out personality and development other than Mia, and I found myself wanting way more scenes with him than we got. Oh, well.
A couple minor pet peeves I had—which doesn’t have anything to do with the actual plot—have to do with the swim team. To me, it’s obvious that Richardson isn’t a swimmer, nor did she consult any swimmers while writing this. First of all, Mia avoids carbs and sugar. What?! As someone who was on her high school swim team for four years, this makes no sense to me. My coaches organized pasta nights before the biggest meet of the season, and I basically lived on Cheez-Its, Swedish Fish, and more pasta the rest of the time. For swimming, you need to eat those kinds of things because of how many calories you burn. Just look up Michael Phelps’ insane diet during the Olympics, and you’ll see what I mean.
Also, Mia gets her wrist caught in a lane line, and I have no idea how. That’s… that’s not how lane lines work… Sure, I’ve jammed my finger really hard into one several times, but I don’t see how it’s possible to get your entire wrist stuck in one.
Anyway, I said these were minor and had nothing to do with the actual story. It just bothered me.
In the end, The Meet-Cute Project is a silly but entertaining enough romcom. The hijinks are amusing, and the boy she ends up with is sweet. I just think all the other relationships (Mia and her sister, Mia and her friends, etc.) and some of the themes could have been strengthened. To me, something felt lacking overall. It’s not a bad book, though—swimming errors aside.
Overall rating: 7/10