Badass Book Review: The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

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This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
The Idea of You by Robinne Lee
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 13, 2017
Pages: 372
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five-stars

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 further complicates things.

What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate 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. 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.

“Love, she said, was not always perfect, and not exactly how you expected it to be. But when it descended upon you, there was no controlling it.”
I feel like it’s going to be nearly impossible to write a spoiler-free review for this book – but I’ll to do my best. And I know I’m late to the game on this one. Someone should kick me for waiting so long! 
Author Tarryn Fisher recommended The Idea of You early this year which automatically made it mandatory reading. I jotted it on my TBR and started the first few pages a couple of different times and I just wasn’t quite sure. Then Tarryn announced that Robinne Lee would be a guest at the PLN Retreat I’d be attending this summer so I REALLY had to read it. It was obviously that damn good, but…I kept putting it off…
As I’ve been reading this year, I’ve noticed that the YA just isn’t doing it for me anymore. I’m craving something a little more in my age range, something that more accurately reflects where I’m at in my life. So when I read the blurb one more time, it just clicked. It was definitely time…
I was maybe a quarter of the way in when there was mention in one of my Facebook groups about The Idea of You and ugly crying. This sent me into a state of panic. I hadn’t emotionally prepared myself for ugly crying. I logically knew how the story would likely end so I wasn’t convinced I’d be reduced to tears. But I was still scared.
And so there I was, texting my book buddy at 10:30 at night through snot and tears, to tell her I was never going to be okay again. I was destroyed. Robinne Lee had ripped me apart and she did not put me back together again.
It’s now been over a week since I finished The Idea of You and I still haven’t recovered. There aren’t words for how much I loved this book. I haven’t gotten these kinds of reading feels in a very long time. I’ve spent the last week nursing a book hangover from hell while trying to force everyone I know to read it – even my friends who don’t read. “Here, read this, suffer with me. Please?” 
Needless to say, I’m irritated I waited as long as I did to finally dive in. This book is already in the running for the top spot on my Favorite Reads of 2018. And it’s only May.
The Idea of You is beautifully written. Robinne Lee’s words ooze class and sophistication while still maintaining a sexy edge as you get sucked into Solène and Hayes’ steamy, taboo romance. Their passion and chemistry are unrivaled. 
I’m a 39-year-old divorced, single mom with a 13-year-old child. I’ve also dated much younger men. To say this book hit home would be an understatement. It touches on the very agonizing reality of being a strong, successful, middle-aged, divorced single mom, and having those struggles magnified tenfold when you’re dating a younger man.  All the insecurities you feel on the inside; all the judgments forced upon you from the outside. Robinne Lee touched on every aspect in eloquent detail. She made a seemingly impossible, fairytale scenario seem completely plausible while detailing a very honest look at being a middle-aged woman in our society.
I implore you to read this book. Even if it seems as though you won’t relate – I assure you, you will find some part of yourself in these pages and the rest simply makes for a much-needed escape from reality! I would give The Idea of you 6 out of 5 stars if I could! These are the books I live for!

About Robinne Lee

Robinne Lee is a Los Angeles-based actor, writer and producer. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. As the daughter of Jamaican parents of African, Chinese, British and Arawak Indian descent, Robinne has long had an affinity for travel and the arts. Her past endeavors include working as an Editorial Assistant for ELLE Magazine, both in New York and Paris, writing celebrity profiles for the now defunct youth culture magazine, TELL, and running a music management company.

Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds, Don Cheadle in Hotel for Dogs, and Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30. She recently completed shooting Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, playing Christian Grey’s trusted COO, Ros Bailey.

An inactive member of the New York Bar, Robinne has served as a producer on various independent films and regularly speaks on panels regarding the roles of women and actors of color in the industry. She is an avid runner, a mediocre ballet dancer, and a huge fan of cheese.

Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

The Idea of You is her first novel.

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2 comments

  1. Happy u read it-sorry u are in pain-welcome to the club ?
    As many off us had that same ?
    I was left empty and broken as I just broke up from a man i will never get over

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