Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Book Review: The Predictable Heartbreaks of Imogen Finch

By Melissa Smoot

Imogen Finch has just been through her seventeenth breakup. She saw it coming, so she's not as crushed as she might be, but with all seventeen of her exes leaving her for other partners, she's come to believe a prediction her well-intentioned and possibly clairvoyant mother made over twenty years ago: that Imogen would never come first at anything or to anyone. Is her love life failing due to a magical curse? Insufficient effort? Poor timing or personality mismatches? Everyone has opinions on the matter.

Imogen's ready to give up altogether. But when Eliot Swift, her secret high school crush, returns to their small coastal town after a decade of nomadic travels, Imogen has new motivation to try again. Eliot's full of encouragement. He suggests that her curse is not only imagined, it's easily breakable. All they need is one win--any win--and she can believe in love, and in herself again.

From trivia games to swimming races to corn-shucking contests, the pair sets out to snag Imogen her first first. But when victory proves more elusive than Eliot anticipated, and when his deep-seeded wanderlust compels him to depart for far away places, Imogen fears she's destined to remain in second place forever. Fortunately for them both, sometimes magic lingers in the most unexpected places. And love is far from predictable. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

I really enjoyed this book and knew before I started that a lot of it would resonate with me. The story is about a woman named Imogen Finch and takes place on the Oregon coast. She has had to move home after finishing Art school in Los Angeles to take care of her ailing mother and make sure that they don’t lose her childhood home. Heartbreak after heartbreak, Imogen is convinced she is cursed and will never come first to anyone or anything. Every relationship fails and she can’t figure out why.

After a local tragedy strikes, Imogen comes face to face with one of her childhood best friends, who also happens to be her lifelong crush. Can her mother’s predictions be coming true? Is something big about to happen for Imogen, or is it just going to end in another heartbreak? The story takes many twists and turns and explores what the true meaning of love is. Whether it be family, friendship, or romantically, Imogen must navigate her latest hardships all while trying to figure out why she can’t seem to come in first, in anything.

I loved how the author forced Imogen to turn inward and start exploring what it is she really wants out of life and how to put herself first, for once. I also really enjoyed the relationships Imogen had with everyone in her town and how determined she was to never let anyone down. I do wish some things had ended a little differently (I don’t want to give spoilers) or had gotten a little more storyline before the book ended. 

Overall, I thought this was a great book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a heartfelt story about a girl who just wants to be first.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the book in exchange for an honest review. Purchase The Predictable Heartbreaks of Imogen Finch here.

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