Title: The Idea of You
Author: Robinne Lee
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: June 13, 2017
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.
“I’m really happy when I’m with you. I get the feeling you feel the same way. And if that’s true, I don’t think you should give a fuck about what people may or may not think of our age difference. Furthermore, if our ages were reversed, no one would bat an eyelash. Am I right? So now it’s just some sexist, patriarchal crap, and you don’t strike me as the kind of woman who’s going to let that dictate her happiness. All right? Next issue…”
I hated the ending. There I said it.
The only way this could work for me is if Robinne Lee is thinking of writing book #2.
I have read prior books where there is an age difference between the leading female and male character. On The Island and The Education of Sebastian, both have older women falling in love with a younger counterpart.
Solène Marchand is thirty-nine-year-old when she meets twenty-year-old singer Hayes Campbell. How does it happen? When her ex-husband fails to deliver taking her twelve-year-old daughter and her friends to the hit popular boy band August Moon's concert. Solène and the girls meet the band players but only one of them makes his interest clear. Soon she's making up clandestine dates with Hayes and what's starts as a fling morphs into a real relationship. But, Solène has many doubts. First, her daughter is infatuated with Hayes. Then, there's her age difference, the girls, and women trying to get the band players and of course the paparazzi who can destroy her privacy and her daughter's too.
“I’m saying it because I love you.”He was quiet, weighing the moment. And then he smiled, wide. “What took you so long?”I laughed. “I was just making sure it was you, and not the idea of you.”
Hayes is mature for his age. He has traveled the world and he knows what he wants when he sees it. He has charm, looks, and sincerity in his words which is the main reason he was able to woo Solène in the first place. He made her feel important and sexy again. He was also a good listener. Although I kept on thinking at twenty, you really don't know what life is all about.
“This is insane. You realize that, right?”
“Only if someone gets hurt.”
“Someone always gets hurt, Hayes.”
I went into this book blind. I didn't read the blurb but I knew it was nominated for a Goodreads Award and I didn't have any books in this category.
I started late at night (big mistake) and it pulled me so thoroughly, I couldn't stop. I knew from the beginning their relationship was doomed. An older woman with a young famous artist in a world where there is a double standard on age in relationships was not going to be easy. The heartache was expected. The "world" pulling them apart was expected and yet, it touched me on a deeper level. My heart broke for them and I only wish that Robinne Lee could put it back together by giving me a sequel. After all, a property was up for sale.
Long, long before I had stopped loving him.
Don't hesitate to read The Idea of You you just need to be aware of its content and if the age difference is a problem then you're missing a great piece of fiction.
I want to do things that feed me. I want to surround myself with art and fascinating people and stimulating experiences … and beauty. I want to surprise myself.”
Hayes smiled then, slow, knowing. “It’s like unfolding a flower.”
“You, revealing yourself. You, who vowed to share as little as possible.”
Cliffhanger: I wish.