Emma is a die-hard romantic. She loves a meet-cute Netflix movie, her pet, Lady Catulet, and dreaming up the Gay Rom Com of her heart for the film festival competition she and her friends are entering. If only they’d listen to her ideas. . .
Sophia is pragmatic. She’s big into boycotts, namely 1) relationships, 2) teen boys and their BO (reason #2347683 she’s a lesbian), and 3) Emma’s nauseating ideas. Forget starry-eyed romance, Sophia knows what will win: an artistic film with a message.
Cue the drama. The movie is doomed before they even start shooting . . . until a real-life plot twist unfolds behind the camera when Emma and Sophia start seeing each other through a different lens. Suddenly their rivalry is starting to feel like an actual rom-com.
If you know me, you know I love rivals/enemies-to-lovers, and I’m always here for more sapphic books. I Think I Love You follows Emma Hansen and Sophia Kingsley, two girls in the same friend group, competing for a coveted first-prize trip to a film festival in Los Angeles. To attend the NYC-LA Film Festival, all they have to do is create a fifteen-minute short film in the genre of their choice. Easy enough, right?
When Emma finds out about the film competition, she instantly ropes her friends into helping her create the Gay Rom Com of her dreams. It’s a subject that’s close to her heart, especially since she’s out at school, but not to her family – save for her cousin, Kate. Everything seems to be going as planned, until Sophia is back after spending a year abroad in Paris, and is determined to shoot down every idea of Emma’s.
Following her mother’s remarriage, Sophia has spent the last year in Paris. While returning home after spending a year away is never easy, Sophia’s also got the additional stress of trying to fit back into her old friend group. Especially after she’s the one who stopped responding in the group chats, and didn’t tell anyone that she was coming back. With news of the competition, Sophia’s eager to use it as her way to get back “in” with her friends. But her pragmatic, still-jaded-from-her-parents-divorce self seems to put her foot in her mouth at every chance.
Before long, the group decides it’ll simply be easier to just split up into two groups: Emma, Kate and Myrah in one, and Sophia, Tom and Matt in another. It’s an easy-enough temporary solution for the sake of the competition, but Kate, Myrah, Tom and Matt are determined to get everyone back together, and getting along. With their meddling, it isn’t before long that Emma and Sophia start seeing each other with a different lens.
I found I Think I Love You to be an incredibly fast-read — In fact, it’s the book that got me out of a reading slump. I kept going “Oh, I’ll just read one more chapter”, and before I knew it, it was 12:30 am, and I had finished the book. I really enjoyed how each chapter alternated between Emma and Sophia’s point-of-views. I haven’t read a lot of enemies/rivals-to-lovers where we get to read both points of view, and really appreciated how it allowed us to understand both girls better.
One of my favorite things about I Think I Love You was how Emma’s bisexuality was approached. I loved how she wanted to fight for representation, and how Desombre discussed how important representation is. I loved how supportive Emma’s friends and cousin were. There’s a specific moment in I Think I Love You between Emma and her parents that I loved, but I can’t touch on it too much because it’s a major spoiler. The strong friendship and family dynamics in I Think I Love You were such a standout for me. Emma’s special bond with her parents was adorable to read about, and I really appreciated how they properly communicated about their feelings In contrast, Sophia’s relationship with her dad, and her more complex relationship with her mom was one that was more familiar to me, and one that I saw a lot of truth in. Something I truly loved about the familial relationships in I Think I Love You was the communication that occurred between the children and their parents, despite the complexity of their dynamics.
It’s been a while since I read Much Ado About Nothing, so I will say that a lot of the references completely flew over my head, but that didn’t take away from any of my enjoyment! There was definitely a lot of scheming, whether between Emma, Myrah, and Matt, or Tom, Kate, Myrah and Matt, or any other combination of the group, and I enjoyed the chaoticness of it all. You could definitely tell how they all cared for one another, and how they just wanted the best for their friends.
Overall, I found I Think I Love You to be an easy read, and thoroughly appreciated the bisexual representation in it. A major thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours and Underlined for providing me with a copy of this ARC.
Auriane is the author of I Think I Love You, and works as a middle school teacher and freelance editor. She holds an MA in English Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing for Children & Young Adults. She lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Sammy, who is a certified bad boy.