The Do-Over by Lynn Painter: A book filled with early 2000s Rom-Com memories


The Do-Over by Lynn Painter is a interesting exploration of love and self discovery.

You’d think living through several bad things like having a a car accident on your way to school, missing you perfectly planned opportunity to say the “L” word on Valentines day, and THEN catching the boyfriend you were going to say the said “L” word to cheating on you with his ex would be more than enough for one day. WRONG! In The Do-Over by Lynn Painter, our main character, Emillie Hornby, is stuck in a time-loop. She doesn’t know why on Earth the universe has decided to play against her on the worst day possible, but it’s happening. Painter takes this opportunity to create the cutest story of love and self-discovery set in a early 2000s romcom-esque kind of world, but during modern times. This gives even the most of hopeless romantics a chance to experience teen love in the most adorable way possible. 


This story was written for the perfectionists. For the ones that expect great things from themselves and work hard to appear calm and organized on the outside while losing their wits on the inside. As a matter of fact, Emillie resembles every overachiever with such clarity that reading her was the most realistic and relatable thign about the book. She is every chaos–loving worst nightmare and every routine disciples’ wildest dream. In fact, her unapologetic drive for success materializes in a hard armor around her inner struggles. She feels like her issues will be nothing but a burden for others, so she decides to keep them behind walls and simply stride on with a delicately build facade of neatness. However, this continued pressure that she puts on herself slowly drowns her, her passions and unsaid things weighing heavily on her mind. Due to this, her characterization throughout the book is crucial to the plot, since her gradual character development allows the readers to connect the time loop fiasco to a personal reason. And, since there won’t be spoilers here, the reason shall remain unsaid, but what can be said is that her shift from closed off mentality to shameless embracing of her previously shunned desires will open Emillie’s eyes to a different reality. Therefore, even though this book is giggles, fun, and chaotically romantic there is also a real dose of teenage angst, and what it really means to be a regular highschooler with big dreams and self-imposed obstacles, which most of the time are placed there unconsciously. 


Painter’s ability to craft a seamless story with well developed characters and a relatable inner struggle will appeal to readers that thirst for success and are scared of becoming a burden to others. This story is for those that seek solace within the pages of a book, for those that always feel like they are too hyper-focused on school and too ‘normal’ to be a book heroine. This book is for that people, its a sweet reminder that life doesn’t start when we succeed, life has already begun, and Emillie’s struggles and her real yet wild adventures make us realize that we are the only ones that can make sure we enoy every moment and take all the chances we want to take.