I found the premise of The Idea of You very compelling. An older woman falls for a much younger man. The icing on the cake for me was that the hero is a member of a boy band, and that makes his creditability even more questionable. Who takes boy bands seriously, other than their fans? Certainly not the general public, and certainly not the rest of the music industry. Who cares that these guys are selling out stadiums all over the world and selling tons of their records. Their millions of young, female fans don’t count for much, evidently. This is totally an aside, but any entertainment that appeals to mainly girls or women is not held in high esteem by our society. But I digress.
Solène is lassoed into taking her daughter and her friends to a meet and greet for August Moon, the hottest boy band around. Her ex husband has flaked out, yet again, so Solène packs her bags and steps into the biggest adventure of her life. She and Hayes, one of the boys in the band, hit it off, flirting with each other. When the flirtation grows into something more, Solène faces several personal crossroads. She knows that a relationship with one of the boys in the band will crush her daughter, she is afraid of how it would impact her business at her art gallery, and what will her friends think? Or her judgmental ex?
This is a hard to put down book, and though I found it compelling, I also found it overly long and somewhat repetitive. I readily admit that I got bored with the sex. I found the double-standards and public backlash that Solène was forced to confront far more interesting. The globe-hopping was a plus, as Solène followed Hayes and the band on their world tour. Solène also did globe-hopping for her business, attending art fairs to sell art work as well as search for new talent to represent. I enjoyed all of the travel. I could see how Solène would be caught up in the boy band lifestyle, with rented mansions and five star hotels, enticing. Like all good things, though, it quickly became overwhelming, and all she wanted was to be back home, with her daughter and the life she worked so hard to build for herself.
The life in a fish bowl would put a damper on the romance with a pop star. Solène, once their relationship was out in the open, quickly learns the downside of dating a superstar. Stalker fans are frightening. Public contempt is difficult to deal with. The backlash to her career was also unwelcome. In a society where an older man dating a younger woman doesn’t even merit a comment, it’s unfair that the reverse isn’t true. And what is the future of such a relationship? The ending killed me, because it seemed like Solène was just giving up, and I was really hoping for a better payout for all of the emotional investment.
Grade: 3 – 3.50 stars
Review copy provided by publisher
About the book:
When Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly and at her ex-husband’s request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old complicates things.
What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate and real relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s disparate worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways in Paris and Miami. And for Solène, it is as much a reclaiming of self, as it is a rediscovery of happiness and love. When their romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her new status has impacted not only her life, but the lives of those closest to her.
About the author:
ROBINNE LEE is an actress, writer and producer. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds. She recently completed shooting Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, playing Ros Bailey. Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.