Camryn Roth has it all planned out: a perfect senior year with her friends and then it’s off to Columbia with her boyfriend, Marc. But the first week of school, everything falls apart. Not only does she not have enough extracurriculars for her dream school, her relationship falls to pieces when Marc publically dumps her!
With the help of her two best friends, Camryn is determined to pull her life back together. Step one, more extracurriculars. Step two, get over Marc and find someone better.
Finding Mr. Better-Than-you has been on my TBR list for so long now, that I decided it would be my first novel of 2021 and that choice couldn’t have been better!
The first thing about this book that I absolutely loved and connected with immediately was Shani’s writing. It was exactly the way I would love my writing to be one day – fresh and gripping. She really placed herself in to the mind of a teenage girl, who was a hopeless romantic and thought that the world was going to end because her boyfriend decided she wasn’t what he wanted. Every teenage girl goes through that, every teenage girl believes that the guy they date in high school is going to be their forever and while that does happen for a lucky handful, it’s not in the cards for everybody and Cam needed to go through some extra experiences in life to see and realise that for herself. Her whole life had been planned out by her now ex-boyfriend, Marc, whether she knew it or not and I think their break-up was the best thing for them, even though I had only just met the couple.
Cam started out as quite a dependant teenager, always needing the acceptance of others, never really knowing how to make plans/decisions for herself and by the end of the book, became an empowered woman who didn’t need to rush to find “the one” and had everything she could want right in front of her. She learnt to make her own decisions, stand up for herself and appreciate the people who had stood by her through thick and thin – her best friends. Her character development was wonderful overall and the message in this book was something I’m good passionate about. We all love a good romance, where girl gets dumped and left heartbroken, girl then meets new boy as revenge, girl and new boy then fall in love, etc. However, Shani put an even more better spin on Cam’s life and allowed her to see love within herself, rather from someone else. The best relationship throughout is with Cam and herself, and Cam and her best friends. Her best friends were so loyal and wanted nothing more than happiness for Cam, finding every way possible for her to find a guy to make Marc envious of, despite them knowing how it would go down. They needed Cam to see for herself that right there and then, they were all she needed. Cam and her best friends had that friendship some people – including myself – only wish they could have. They have crazy, spontaneous dances together in front of everyone with not a care in the world, they had open and honest conversations with one another and they would do absolutely anything, to make sure they all go what they wanted. My favourite moment, especially, being when Cam supports one of her friends in convincing their parents to allow them to study Art. It was such a heart-warming and emotional moment, showing where Cam’s heart truly laid.
Finding Mr. Better-Than-You was a fun, entertaining and humorous book of self-discovery, self-love and friendships built on strong foundations. I want to give a quick shout out to the cheerleaders within this book as well – Shani didn’t make them stereotypical whatsoever. They stood by Cam through her break-up and even joined in with helping her find somebody better, no agenda added on to it. They were just that lovely. Every woman in this book championed Cam and made unexpected, but necessary alliances. I absolutely devoured this book in about one/two days and didn’t want the journey to end. That being said though, the ending was really lovely and kind of left you on a cliff hanger of what was to come of Cam next. I would highly recommend, not only for the wonderful characters and story they bring along, but also for the lesson you learn along the way; YOU are your own happiness.