Falling for the Competition, by Jen Smith

buffywnabe's review against another edition

Go to review page


This sounded like a really cute story! And it turned out to be just that! But also, it did have a side storyline with Quinn’s best friend that was a little bit more of a serious topic as well. It was different to read a story about a high school aged teenager in another country, because the mom would get her a glass of wine. And really it is more acceptable I know for other countries.

I really liked the spark and tension between Quinn and Patrick. Although both of them could be a little dense about the other at times, even knowing what they did about the bit of a troublemaker, Harry. It confused me a little, even with the explanation, when Patrick would call him Henry. But wow, the knights and the horses and all of that sounded so neat! And then there was Patrick’s ex-girlfriend. At one point she seemed like maybe she wasn’t so bad, but then she’d do things that caused problems between Quinn and Patrick.

The whole summer project in the archives was pretty neat sounding to me. Yes, I’m a bit of a nerd like the main characters. Although my preference would have been digging dinosaurs, lol. I do enjoy some good organizing and sorting, hence my job as a librarian.

There was drama, but not just for drama’s sake, it fit in perfectly to the story. There was romance, perfect for this age, and then there was the natural types of behaviors of teenagers, that led to making this just a wonderfully written story. Very glad I read this one!

Review first published on Lisa Loves Literature.

rubyyreads's review

Go to review page

funny lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


cheseliz's review

Go to review page


This book is a light-hearted read. The characters are cute and quirky, and I liked the competitors-to-lovers aspect. One big downside for me, however, is that this book needs a proofread. The said tags and comma placements left me confused a decent amount of the time, drawing me out of the story. If that doesn’t bother you, this is a cute contemporary romance with interesting history facts sprinkled in that is worth a try. 

selysrivera's review

Go to review page

funny lighthearted relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I really liked this book. Loved it. The main characters are 3D. The setting is cool. Pacing was well done. My only real complaint is that at times the history became almost textbooky. But then again maybe I’m just not as much of a history buff as the MC 😅

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

onebookmore's review

Go to review page


A sweet and fun YA romance, Falling for the Competition follows Quinn as she lands her dream internship working in the archives at a local castle. Little does she know that she’ll be working at Fullerton Castle with her school nemesis Patrick Stevenson and they’ll be competing for the only available letter of recommendation. With her future at stake, medeival reenactors causing issues, friendship troubles, and growing feelings for her enemy, Quinn’s organized and structured life is about to become very messy.

I really enjoyed this story. It was fun and interesting, and I liked the characters, plot, setting, and love story. Quinn is a well-developed protagonist, and she goes through a lot over the course of the story. I enjoyed her arc. At the forefront of her mind is doing her best at he job and ensuring she gets the recommendation she so covets. However, she also deals with pushy young men, meddling friends, betrayal, harassments, and more. I think many of the situations Quinn finds herself in are relatable and realistic. From the Instagram trolling to the sometimes fun parties with friends, Quinn experiences an unforgettable whirlwind summer.

Much of the story takes place at Fullerton Castle, which is a dream come true for Quinn, who has always wanted to work there. Part tourist attraction, the castle has a lot to offer, though Quinn is more interested in the historical aspect than the entertainment. I loved the setting and thought it was a great backdrop to the story. And I loved seeing Quinn fulfilling some of her dreams and striving to achieve others. She is a very motivated person and well-matched to the equally ambitious Patrick.

Quinn and Patrick have a great enemies-to-lovers romance! They are alike in so many ways, especially in their passion for and interest in history. Their enthusiasm is fantastic, and I love when they talk about different time periods and people that interest them. Their shared love of history definitely helps them to connect and grow closer. Their banter is also fantastic, and their staring contests are hysterical.

I have to say, I didn’t love the friendship in this one. I get that she was in a toxic relationship, but some of the things she said about and did to Quinn were just plain insensitive and mean. I didn’t think she was a good friend, though she was a fun character at times. I guess I just wanted her loyalty to Quinn to be stronger. She seems like a very self involved person, but I think that is the point. Sometimes the people we love and trust do things that shake the foundation of the relationship. It’s interesting to see how these best friends deal with some of the challenges they face.

I would definitely recommend Falling for the Competition to readers who enjoy YA romance, contemporary romance, or coming-of-age romance. It’s a fun and entertaining read with great messages about life and love.

raereadsbookblog's review

Go to review page

hopeful lighthearted medium-paced