• Better than Fiction

  • By: Alexa Martin
  • Narrated by: Nicole Lewis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Better than Fiction

By: Alexa Martin
Narrated by: Nicole Lewis
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Publisher's Summary

One of...

Amazon's Best Romances of November

Buzzfeed’s New Romances to Read This Fall

Cosmopolitan's Best Books Coming Out In November

Bustle's Most Anticipated Books of November

Women's Health's Swooniest Romance Novels of 2022

Love isn’t always by the book in this charming romantic comedy about a bookseller discovering how to be the main character in her story.

As a self-proclaimed book hater and a firm believer that the movie is always better, Drew Young didn’t anticipate inheriting her grandma’s bookstore, the Book Nook. She’s in way over her head even before the shop’s resident book club, comprising seven of the naughtiest old ladies ever, begin to do what they do best—meddle.

Bestselling author Jasper Williams is a hopeless romantic. When he meets Drew at his Book Nook signing event, he becomes determined to show her the beauty of reading. He curates a book bucket list in exchange for her help exploring the local Denver scene for his current manuscript. From going river rafting to trying local restaurants, Drew begins to connect with Jasper in a way she only thought happened in fiction.

When messy family ties jeopardize the future of the Book Nook, Drew is caught between a bookshelf and a hard place. She’s reminded that real life isn’t always big dreams and sweeping romance. But Jasper is the plot twist she never saw coming and he’s writing a happily ever after just for them.

©2022 Alexa Martin (P)2022 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

Critic Reviews

“Alexa Martin’s romances never fail to deliver perfectly paced swoons, charming humor and profound questions. Better than Fiction delights with bookish rom-com joy on every page, with a wonderfully relatable heroine whose connection to the man she’s learning to love underlies her moving journey back to herself. This is a romance for the reader and the dreamer in everyone.”—Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of The Roughest Draft

“Alexa Martin is a powerhouse! In Better Than Fiction she delivers another one of her signature stories—clever, relatable, flirty, and warm. Between these pages is a loving tribute to independent bookstores and the people who find home and community among their stacks. Don’t miss this unputdownable story about what it means to be truly loved in more ways than one.”—Rosie Danan, author of The Roommate

Better Than Fiction is a charming, heartfelt romcom, filled with great characters, laugh-out-loud banter and some very cheeky seniors. It’s also a sensitive portrayal of grief and a timely reminder of the vital role books and bookshops play in bringing people together. I loved it.”—Freya Sampson, author of The Last Chance Library

What listeners say about Better than Fiction

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Throughly enjoyed!

I think I finished this in less than a week, which is a record for me.
I enjoyed this tremendously. While I read another review that said that reader would have liked to know more about Jasper, it didn’t bother me that he wasn’t completely fleshed out. I think it worked because it was first person, so we got it all from Drew’s. POV. Nicole Lewis was on point with her various inflections and dialects.
I thought the characters believable. I loved Drews sarcasm and the description of the Colorado scenery became quite vivid in my mind’s eye.
I am searching for my next book by Alexa Martin now! Excited to have found her!

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  • ES
  • 11-21-22

But is it though?

Better than Fiction was a cute rom-com with charming characters and an enjoyable storyline. What worked is the realism that Alexa was able to create by creating relatable and likable characters. Alexa Martin does well with blending multicultural characters into her book worlds that all sound different. Alexa is mindful of how each character is written not to become a caricature of real-life people with eccentricities and vernacular. Which I have always appreciated.

What didn't work for me, and this is a personal preference, is the single point of view. I would have liked to like the Hero more. I didn't connect with him, and for him to be this book boyfriend we all crave in rom-com. Jasper fell short to me. I enjoyed Drew; she was funny, kind, ambitious, and heartbroken. She was well-rounded and fleshed out. But, when it came to her love interest, Jasper, I didn't connect with him. And I wasn't sure if it was because I needed to learn more about him or something else. And Alexa gave us little seeds of what he looks like and what he does for a living, but I needed to learn something essential to like him for her.

When you read a story, you want to be invested in the entire love story. And understanding that this was only one POV, Drew didn't tell a convincing enough story for me to fall in love with the idea of him, besides him giving the bare minimum. Jasper was just two-dimensional for me. He lacked depth and life, to be honest. Jasper writes love stories, and I would have loved a scene about why he chose romance novels. Does he have a relationship with his mother? How does he view love? What is his love language? Something would have given me more to relate to. It's a romance novel, and you are conditioned to root for their HEA, but just because he is attractive and people swoon over him, it doesn't make me want to ship them. Minor spoiler, there comes the point in the book where Drew says she wanted him to fight for her. He doesn't, so that was a disappointment.

Additionally, Alexa Martin wrote, and this is a loose quote from the book, "that books are tools to escape realism. People read books to put themselves in the place of the hero or heroine and live vicariously through them, searching for the HEA." That is beautifully said; however, I have many authors I love and follow on social media and their mailing lists. It is hard to believe that Jasper Williams could be such a thriving and prosperous celebrity that is easily recognizable wherever he goes, especially as a romance author.

All in all, this was cute short read! I would say this was a good addition from Alexa Martin.

Phenomenal performance by Nicole Lewis; she gave life to every character that was in a scene.