How to Win a Guy in 10 Days
2023 continues my lifelong curse of finding romance novels I quite enjoy but holding them back from getting five stars because they include a trope I HATE. Just My Type by Falon Ballard is no exception to this rule, though I believe most readers will not struggle with it the way I did (in parts).
If you’re looking for something filled to the brim with romance tropes that harken back to the mid-2000s rom-com boom, you’ve found a great option here. Much like How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, one of the seminal pieces of film in the last 50 years, Just My Luck follows two characters who must compete in a series of dating challenges for work. Lana Parker is a serial dater and has issues staying single longer than a month. In fact, she hasn’t been single for a more extended period since she dated her first love, Seth, at the age of 14 until they broke up three weeks into college. She’s a writer but hates what she writes, a relationship column. Her work is being merged with another company, and her boss, Natasha, pits her in a contest for views/clicks against a talented up-and-coming journalist, Seth Carson. The same Seth Carson she dated at 14 and considered the love of her life.
I’m sure you can all see where this is going.
Seth is a love ‘em and leave them type. No relationships for him, just hookups. Lana is a dater. HOW CAN THEY CO-EXIST?! Turns out they fall in love again. Who saw that coming?!
This is a well-written, pretty fun romance novel. The side characters are fun and feel like actual friends an average person would have, and there is enough about the lives of Lana and Seth outside of one another to get a reader invested. Lana and Seth both have issues/trauma from their teen years, and although it isn’t terribly triggering, it does give both characters some grounding in a cliché filled world. I loved Lana’s scenes with her therapist, especially as the reader can see how therapy is helping her re-center the way she thinks about herself and the situations she finds herself in, and opens her eyes to some of the ways she’s been treated that she’s overlooked—an A+ there for sure.
The one thing I hated about this book, which I fully understand is a ‘me’ thing rather than specific to this title only, is the consistent idea that you can know who the love of your life is at fourteen. I get it; plenty of successful high school romances have turned into lifelong marriages. That being said, the majority do not, and I am really tired of reading novels in which the character had worked hard to better themselves and grow as an adult and women, only to constantly talk about the boy she knew when she was fifteen. That aspect completely ruins the self-growth the character talks about having! They haven’t fully processed or moved on if they’ve spent TWELVE YEARS still pining after a child. It’s weird as hell to me, and I get that I might be the only one, but ugh. I cannot stand it. Usually, the book ends up infantilizing the protagonist as well, though I’m happy to say this one was an outlier and probably the best I’ve read with this garbage trope.
Overall this was a fun read. I knocked it out in one work shift, and it kept my attention the whole time. The characters were entertaining, and the writing also had some excellent dialogue. I would read more by this author; I just hope her next book doesn’t involve marrying her high school boyfriend.
Title: Just My Type
Author: Falon Ballard
Three Descriptors: Steamy, Trope-filled, Banter
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