This is Not a Love Scene by S.C. Megale
Publication Date: May 7th, 2019
I received this e-ARC on netgalley but this doesn’t affect my views about the book at all!
Lights, camera—all Maeve needs is action. But at eighteen, a rare form of muscular dystrophy usually stands in the way of romance. She’s got her friends, her humor, and a passion for filmmaking to keep her focus off consistent rejection…and the hot older guy starring in her senior film project.
Tall, bearded, and always swaying, Cole Stone is everything Maeve can’t be. And she likes it. Between takes, their chemistry is shockingly electric.
Suddenly Maeve gets a taste of typical teenage dating life, but girls in wheelchairs don’t get the hot guy—right? Cole’s attention challenges everything she once believed about her self-image and hopes for love. But figuring this out, both emotionally and physically, won’t be easy for either of them. Maeve must choose between what she needs and what she wants, while Cole has a tendency to avoid decisions altogether. And her failing lungs might not wait for either.
So let’s dive into this, shall we? I was hoping for some cheesy romance cuteness with a little drama thrown in… and while this book attempted to have all of those elements, I was just thrown off by my dislike for the main character, Maeve.
Maeve has a rare form of muscular dystrophy that makes it hard for her to do a lot of things. I was really intrigued by that part of the synopsis because I haven’t read any books with a lead character with that (and as a nerdy medical student, I tend to be very interested in stories that brings awareness to any and all diseases). I didn’t mind listening to Maeve’s inner monologue of how she just wanted a guy to see her not for her disability.. and that’s all fine.. but one thing about Maeve just really bugged me. It felt a little problematic:
So Maeve is disabled and a woman offered to help her with the task… and she was like “no thanks.” and then in the book it goes: “if she was a guy” (and then there’s some flirty line)… and then: “because she’s not.” (a ‘standoffish comment’). This scene just really rubbed me the wrong way. I understand that it’s to establish that she’s a flirty person, but that had already been established in way better ways… but making her go against other women just seemed… ugly.
ANYWAY, other than that, I guess it was okay. But when you don’t like the main character, things turn a bit sour.
The plot itself was just fine. I liked the friendships, but wasn’t a fan of the romance. The characters didn’t seem to be fully developed and I kept waiting for some more growth and it didn’t really seem to happen???
The plot line I did like was with Maeve dealing with someone trying to use her to advertise for some camp. This plot is honestly what kept me reading. I didn’t really care for Maeve thirsting over Cole. The friendships, even though they were nice, seemed just a bit flat (though there was one scene near the end that pulled it together just barely). I wish there could have been more interactions between the friends that didn’t focus on Maeve pining over Cole.
I don’t think I would really recommend this personally, but this might be for you if you want to read a book featuring a character with muscular dystrophy that isn’t fully defined by that label.