Forget Me Not by Julie Soto

Forget Me Not by Julie Soto Review: Fantastic Debut From a Fanfic Writer

📖 GenreRomance, Contemporary, Adult
📃 Number of Pages341 pages
🪴 Average Goodreads Rating4.01 ⭐
🌻 My Rating3.5 ⭐

What is Forget Me Not About?

Forget Me Not by Julie Soto is a romance book about a wedding planner and a florist falling in love. Ama’s wedding planning business is growing, and she just got contracted to plan one of the biggest weddings of the season. The catch is, she has to work with Elliot, the florist who broke her heart.

For me, there is nothing more relaxing than diving into a good fanfic at the end of a long, exhausting week. Yes, I’m a fanfic reader — and I’ll gladly admit it. There are some fantastic stories in the fanfic space and some truly talented writers. You can choose your tropes (ahem, and your kinks), see content warnings in advance, and it’s all free and readily available. 

At the same time, I didn’t have a good experience reading original works by some of my favorite fanfic authors (Olivie Blake, and Ali Hazelwood, to name a few), so I was quite apprehensive about this book.

But as hope dies last, when I heard that Julie Soto, another fanfic writer, wrote a debut novel, I knew I had to read it. Her fanfics were some of the first I ever read, so I wanted to read more from her.

And though it’s by no means the best book ever, I do believe it manages to achieve its goals (somewhat clumsily, but still). 

Characterization

The main characters of this novel are Ama (short for Amaryllis) and Elliot. 

Ama

Ama is a wedding planner who started her own business a few years before the start of this novel, and mostly targets low-budget clients. Before that, she worked for a high-end wedding planner who she still looks up to. Her mother had 13 (!) divorces and is on her way to having another one, while her father is mostly absent from the story (and her life). Understandably (at least in the romance-novel-verse), she’s against long-term relationships. 

Still, Ama is an upbeat, bubbly person who loves to connect with her clients. 

Elliot

Elliot, our love interest (who also gets his own POV in past chapters, but we’ll talk about that), is an architect turned florist. When his father died, he reluctantly took over his flower business and implemented his construction knowledge to build various objects out of flowers. His mother is the state senator, and he has no siblings. 

And despite his fairly normal upbringing and life, Elliot is grumpy, unfriendly, and brooding. 

Overall

So, you can immediately tell that we have a grumpy/sunshine situation here. Which, to be honest, I have nothing against it, and it’s quite refreshing to see that the hero doesn’t need a sad backstory to explain his grumpiness. Bonus points for not making a Casanova out of him, even though he communicates mostly in grunts and glares (and I’ve met rocks with more personality). 

Ama, on the other hand, is toeing the line between a unique heroine, and the standard romance manic pixie girl. Her car is constantly broken, she survives mostly on doughnuts and coffee (while staying skinny), and can make friends with anyone. She eats like a man, but can still run in heels, and she’s also oblivious to the clear scheming her old boss is doing against her. 

There is a full cast of supporting characters, some of them with their own storylines, but they’re mostly there to flesh out the world, and not so much to play a significant role. It’s not that they’re bad, but with romance novels, they’re usually just window dressing — and unless they’re outrageously horrible  or offensive, I don’t notice them much. 

Writing Style

And while the characters are generally fine, the writing style is not stellar. The book is written from a first-person point of view, which in a romance novel means characters talking about themselves a lot. There are the usual culprits of describing one’s own clothes, appearance, and horniness in increasingly uncomfortable ways. It’s also told in the present tense, which makes it a whole new level of awkwardness. 

I’m not a big fan of first-person present-tense narration. It’s clunky and cringey at best. However, I did get used to it after a few chapters, at least enough not to let it interfere much with my enjoyment. 

Its saving grace is that it’s not wordy. In fact, it’s quite easy to read and doesn’t try to suck the wisdom out of a thesaurus to be literary. 

Plot and Pacing

Like most romance novels, Forget Me Not has a pretty simple plot. This is not to say that it’s bad or that I mean it condescendingly — simple is good, especially in romance. We’ve got the main romance beats, and some B roll in the background to add to the drama. 

However, it’s also a second-chance romance with a dual timeline. And I realize this is quite common for this trope, but it doesn’t always work. In fact, it seldom does. 

Why they broke up in the past matters, sure — because it’s going to be a major thing for our characters to get over. But do we need the full, detailed story? No, I’d argue we don’t. What we do need is to get to know them in the present and see why they would work out now when they didn’t all that time ago. 

In Forget Me Not, we get more interactions between Ama and Elliot in the past than we do in the present. Ama’s POV (the present timeline) is full of wedding planning and running errands, with very little Elliot. Elliot’s POV is full of Ama. 

So, in the end, I don’t feel like we truly got why they should be together now.

But, you might be happy to know that there’s no huge third-act breakup — if you don’t count their actual three-year-long breakup. All you have to endure is one night of them being apart before the happily ever after. 

And in other good news, this isn’t too angsty or sad (at least for me). There aren’t any content warnings or triggers as far as I know. 

Relationship

As I already mentioned, I don’t feel like I understand why they should be together. 

Let me explain. 

Ama has commitment issues. Her mother has been divorced enough times that she believes love doesn’t last. And it’s understandable, if slightly annoying. 

However, her beliefs don’t change at all before she decides that she wants to be with Elliot forever. There’s no epiphany, no change of heart, no big event that switches her reasoning. She just randomly decides that she no longer cares if things last, and goes for it. 

In the past timeline, their relationship was kind of toxic. Ama doesn’t want labels and only wants sex for a big portion of it. Then she starts planning these big things for them as a couple but still refuses to meet Elliot’s emotional needs. She constantly pushes his boundaries and doesn’t listen to him at all. I’m not saying that he’d have a lot to say, but it’s also not fair. 

The simplest of simple things — she doesn’t ask what his tattoos mean (oh yes, he has tattoos; no, it doesn’t make him more interesting). She comes to her conclusions and rolls with it. 

So, no, I don’t see them together at all, and especially not in the long term. 

The main job of a romance novel is to make you believe in love between two people. The main characters have to be like puzzle pieces together, it has to make perfect sense why they like each other and why they should be together (other than the fact that they’re both hot). 

The spice level is low, despite the many sex scenes. There was nothing particularly entertaining about them, and I skimmed a lot.

Books To Read If You Liked Forget Me Not by Julie Soto

If you loved Forget Me Not, then some of these books might be your jam: 

  • People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry: While this is not exactly a second-chance romance, it’s kind of the last chance romance. It has a dual timeline, tons of pining, and the buildup to the eventual reason why the main characters didn’t end up together in the past. 
  • Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren: This is a cute second-chance romance with a dual timeline between childhood sweethearts. It’s a bit sad, and their first meeting after many years left me disappointed, but it could be worth reading if you’re up for some feels. 
  • The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary: If you mind the trigger warnings (sexual assault), you might enjoy this road trip rom-com featuring two exes stuck in a very small car. There’s a dual timeline, and the present one is quite funny. I liked it a lot until the reason for their breakup was revealed. It was still kind of worth a read. 
  • Seven Days in June by Tia Williams: While I wasn’t a fan of the ending of this book (don’t worry, it’s a happy one, albeit too easy), this is a fantastic, sort of literary romance with tons of humor. Mind the content warnings (drug and alcohol abuse in the past, death of a character, maybe more). 

Books To Read If You Didn’t Like Forget Me Not by Julie Soto

If you like second-chance romance, but not the dual timeline, here are some great books for you: 

  • You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle: This is probably my favorite romance book of all time and I’ll gladly recommend it to anyone who’ll listen. It’s funny, it’s swoony, it’s a true second chance romance (and between an established couple, no less!) which will make you believe in the couple. There’s so much more to say about this book, but just read it and you’ll see. 
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen: It’s a classic for a reason! 

And here are some books with similar vibes (but better!) that you can enjoy: 

  • Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert: One of the best romances I ever read, and similar to Forget Me Not in that the two main characters have to work together and we have the grumpy/sunshine dynamic as well. It’s a fantastic story, but any novel from the Brown Sisters series is.
  • The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka: A bit wordy, but very enjoyable. It does feature a second-chance romance (sort of) and they have to work together (on a book). There are tons of pining and swoon-worthy moments. 

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