Author- Jen Smith
Title- Falling for the Competition
Publication Date- 8 Dec 2021
Genre- Contemporary YA romance
Comment- I was given a free ecopy via Rachel’s random resources. I offer this Letter of Review (Singular) without having to duel or swap a Twix for it.
It’s going to be the best summer ever for ambitious, overachieving Quinn. A huge history buff, not only has she landed her dream job interning in the archives department of the local castle, but her best friend will be working there too.
However, Quinn isn’t the only one to be working in Archives this summer; Quinn’s academic rival, Patrick, is sharing her office in Muniments. They’re competing for the Letter of Recommendation(singular) from the research historian that Quinn needs to get her dream future placement.
Their emotionally-loaded and competitive rivalry turns into a reluctant friendship, as they spend every day working together in silence (and sharing the occasional Twix).
Until the Re-Enactors arrive. Between Patrick and Harry–the Golden Knight of the jousting team–Quinn’s carefully planned summer is thrown into complete disarray.
Meanwhile, her best friend’s relationship may look perfect on the outside, but Quinn is starting to realise that there’s more going on than there seems.
Although Quinn is determined and single-minded about planning every detail of her sparkling future, she comes to discover that the best things in life are the spontaneous ones–and that some people are more important than any Letter of Recommendation (singular) could ever be.
Having had a pretty naff February when it came to reading, I desperately needed something that would pull me back in and get me on track. I’d gone from 19 reads to 8 and they were all a big bunch of pants.
And then came Falling for the Competition: an absolutely adorable con-rom-com with a brain and I felt like all could be well with the world again.
Quinn, an extraordinary History Buff gets her dream job working in the archives at a castle. However, her academic rival is also there and this year there is only one Letter of Recommendation to afford them the placement of their dreams.
Rivalry turns to friendship as the two discover more in common than they think. But ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends and ex-childhood friends all seem to want to come between them.
I am not a history buff. I honestly have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast, let alone what happened years ago (unless it was a murder) and so I have to admit that a lot of Quinn’s dialogue went straight over my head and in the bin.
The only thing I know about Prince John I learned from either Disney’s Robin Hood
or Kevin Costner’s terrible accent. (Nah-ding-HAM still makes me cringe).
That said I really enjoyed the way that Quinn didn’t dumb herself down for others. She was smart and she knew it and she had no intention of dulling her sparkle to fit in. Occasionally this did become annoying and I felt like shouting at her to chill out. Yet she also admitted when she didn’t know something, even though it irritated her when Patrick was more knowledgeable than she was, which is a good character trait.
I found Patrick a bit too obviously feminist at times. I mean, I could be wrong but the average teenage boy when I was that age didn’t often think about letting girls choose every interaction to ensure consent.
“Can I kiss you?” Yes, absolutely ask consent. But “Every interaction with us has to be initiated by you as your choice,” sends him from thoughtful to almost manipulatively passive. I’d probably be rolling my eyes and telling him to ‘man up’ which is actually toxic of me. Thanks for that bit of self-awareness I didn’t need.
Anyway, when Patrick stepped up and punched you-know-who for you-know-what I was thrilled and his final ‘grand gesture’ totally had me grinning.
I was less enamoured of Frankie but I understood her situation and what her ex had manipulated her into doing. I do think she should have told Quinn about the letter rather than ask her not to read it- especially when it was online for the world to see.
All in all I really enjoyed this book, it was hard to put down as I wanted to know what was going to happen next and I will definitely be putting Jen Smith on my authors to read list.