Awwwwww. This book was so cheesy and so NOT scientifically plausible, but it’s so cute and fluffy and sweet and just AWWWWWW. Add in some glistening muscles, skinny dipping, horse-painting, and an awesome friendship, and this book just made me feel happy and mellow and in love with love. (By the way, words like “cheese” and “fluff” and “cute” show up multiple times below. #sorrynotsorry)
Mackenzie is excited for her second summer at Serenity Ranch and Spa, but she’s less than excited about working with Landon Falls again after he dumped her at the end of their summer fling last year to get back together with his ex. But when Landon falls off of a horse and gets amnesia, he thinks that it’s still last summer and that he’s still dating Mack! Mack and her best friend Bailey decide to take advantage of the situation and get revenge by playing pranks on Landon and getting Mack to dump him at the end of this summer, but Mack might just be falling for Landon all over again…
Mack is such a fun protagonist – she’s not afraid to do her own thing (and that includes having an extremely
atrocious unique fashion sense that distresses her best friend) and she quotes classic horror movies like a boss. Mack’s best friend, Bailey, is assertive and a complete guy-magnet, and even though the two of them are so different, they complement each other well and satisfy the BFF requirements of supporting each other through everything. I’m impressed by the elaborate pranks they pull on Landon, and it’s so nice to read a book that focuses friendship as well as romance; at one point, Mack thinks about how going away to college after the summer would change things and what it’d be like with Bailey at a different college, and I’m glad that the protagonist values friendship as much as romance.
Bailey fake-gags. “You do not own a David Bowie shirt.”
“I do. My sister bought it for me as a joke, and I happen to think it’s so ugly it swung back around to being cute.”
“Ew.” Bailey actually recoils at that, as if the shirt might pop up from underneath the changing bench and attack her. “Yeah, definitely not that. So go buy the jeans.”
“I have jeans, you know.”
“Yeah,” she says, in her best duh voice. “A pair with seventeen holes in them – I counted – and the pair with pink Sharpie marker art.”
And the romance is just so fluffy that I CAN’T EVEN.
Mack’s struggle with her attraction to Landon is entertaining, and I can’t say that I was annoyed by the descriptions of well-defined muscles and nice teeth. The one thing that annoyed me a little was that Mack decides to do everything differently in this “second” relationship with Landon in order to get him to fall deeper in love with her, and it feels too manipulative at times. And the whole movie/book amnesia thing is just ridiculous and made me hesitant about reading Fool Me Twice (here’s proof of the ridiculousness), but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy watching The Vow or 50 First Dates! There’s also a side romance that develops with Bailey and Boy #2, which is also super cute. This book is just CUTE.
Another aspect of the book that I really enjoyed was how Hubbard incorporated references to pop culture. Several movies, including rom-coms (like The Vow and Pitch Perfect) and horror movies, were mentioned, and debates about James Bond actors happened. Altogether, these references made the story more relatable and fresh.
So who needs rom-coms when you have this book? The ending of the story was just as cheesy as the rest of it, if not cheesier. All the characters are likable and interesting, and even the setting itself seems ideal for happy-making. And there are horses! I can’t hate a book that has horses.
Bloomsbury’s If Only… series is marketed as “wanting what you can’t have”, which obviously means lots and lots of cheese. Fool Me Twice did not disappoint – it was cute, fresh, and totally fluffy and cheesy. This story is good for your heart! (Sugar substitute, anyone?)