Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Feature Review: The Do-Over by Lynn Painter

  • The Do-Over
  • by Lynn Painter
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster BFYR
  • Imprint: Simon Pulse
  • Release Date: November 15, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781534478862

Emilie is excited for Valentine’s Day because she plans to tell her boyfriend that she loves him for the first time. The chance never comes, though, because of bad news happening at every turn. Then, Emilie wakes up the next day only to find out that she must relive Valentine’s Day over and over, including learning her bad news again. Literally colliding with her lab partner Nick pushes the two closer and closer, although he has his own burdens to come to terms with. Together, they realize that messiness is inevitable, and nobody can defy fate.

This title is a good candidate for QPRR because it is fast paced, funny, and blends three different genres: contemporary realistic fiction, science fiction, and romance. Painter does an excellent job at portraying how stressful high school is while trying to balance academic obligations, familial obligations, and friend obligations, and feeling like you can never get it all right. Reading about characters who earn high grades, yet still battle their own demons, is helpful for someone who may feel as though school is not the right place for them.

The teen reader who would most appreciate this title is someone who needs the reminder that just because our peers may seem to have their lives together, what is apparent on the surface is not always what it seems. Everyone has their own struggle, regardless of how they look on paper. Additionally, the story is an excellent example that teens should never force a relationship with someone just for the visual that they are in a relationship. Our own happiness is more important than trying to fit with anyone else’s personality. Similar titles to read include The Here and Now (2014) by Ann Brashares, Pretty in Punxsutawney (2019) by Laurie Boyle Compton and The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan (2016)

-Emma K. McNamara

Release Date: September 27, 2022
Release Date: February 28, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.