THE IDEA OF YOU by Robinne Lee

I gave into the hype and got The Idea Of You by Robinne Lee from the library for my recent vacation. This book has been around for a few years but I still see it everywhere, and it has a lot of ardent fans. For the unaware, it’s what my daughter calls “Harry Styles fanfic”: the story of a 39 year-old woman named Soléne who accompanies her tween to a meet and greet for her favorite boy band. While she’s there, Soléne chats briefly with Hayes, one of the band members. There’s a spark there, and against all odds, Soléne and 20 year-old Hayes develop a relationship. The Idea Of You is the story of that relationship.

Why I picked it up: I kept seeing this book on bookstagram and it finally came in at the library.

I liked this one! I am not a big romance reader, but I do sometimes enjoy the genre, and I definitely did this time. Yes, Soléne is twice Hayes’ age, but they have good chemistry and he’s mature and pretty emotionally evolved for a twenty year-old superstar. Soléne’s reactions to her situation, including the thorny issue of her daughter’s discomfort with the whole thing, are relatable and realistic. They were a cute couple! And they were happy together! Their relationship faced long odds but they tried to make it work! There’s a lot of sex and it’s pretty graphic, so if you’re not into that, be forwarned. But the sex isn’t gratuitous, and it’s nice to see an older female protagonist pursuing what she wants.

I flew through The Idea Of You on vacation and finished it on the plane home. I was sad to see it come to an end. It’s a fun, sexy read with a surprising amount of emotional heft.

The Idea Of You was the 42nd book of 2021.