BOOK REVIEW: Betting On You by Lynn Painter


Title: Betting On You
Author: Lynn Painter
Publication: November 28, 2023
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Teen, YA Fiction, Romance
Pages: 429

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SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

When seventeen-year-old Bailey starts a new job at a hotel waterpark, she is less than thrilled to see an old acquaintance is one of her coworkers. Bailey met Charlie a year ago on the long flight to Omaha, where she moved after her parents’ divorce. Charlie’s cynicism didn’t mix well with Bailey’s carefully well-behaved temperament, and his endless commentary was the irritating cherry on top of an already emotionally fraught trip.

Now, Bailey and Charlie are still polar opposites, but instead of everything about him rubbing Bailey the wrong way, she starts to look forward to hanging out and gossiping about the waterpark guests and their coworkers—particularly two who keep flirting with each other. Bailey and Charlie make a bet on whether or not the cozy pair will actually get together. Charlie insists that members of the opposite sex can’t just be friends, and Bailey is determined to prove him wrong.

Bailey and Charlie keep close track of the romantic progress of others while Charlie works to deflect the growing feelings he’s developed for Bailey. Terrified to lose her if his crush becomes known, what doesn’t help his agenda is Bailey and Charlie “fake dating” in order to disrupt the annoying pleasantries between Bailey’s mom and her mom’s new boyfriend. Soon, what Charlie was hoping to avoid becomes a reality as Bailey starts to see him as not only a friend she can rely on in the midst of family drama—but someone who makes her hands shake and heart race. But Charlie has a secret—a secret that involves Bailey and another bet Charlie may have made. Can the two make a real go of things…or has Charlie’s secret doomed them before they could start?


I feel in love with Lynn Painter’s writing when I read Better Than The Movies. I instantly saw she had another book that was similar genre and I instantly added it to my list.

The story follows Bailey as she navigates her teen life and her mom’s new dating life. Enter Charlie, the annoying boy she met a while before at an airport at a tough time in her life. Now they find themselves with their lives mixed up. Painter’s writing in this book reminds me of Jenn Bennett’s in Alex, Approximately. Instantly, I love Bailey. She is a book lover and gains the nickname Glasses very quickly. I felt even as an adult I could relate to her because I was the same way in school. I loved how she would overthink everything and how open her emotions were. Her character was so easily lovable and I felt all her emotions deeply, which also helped me connect with the characters.

Bailey and Charlie’s “co-worker” relationship and the other friends that play into their circle really brought the story to life for me. I loved her relationship with her best friend and how we watched Charlie and Bailey’s relationship grow step-by-step. Painter developed these characters with raw, unfiltered emotions and heavy topics that a lot of teens unfortunately go through. I truly enjoy books that touch on heavy topics because that is life and it makes it that much more realistic.

I have zero complaints about this book. It read quick and the characters are all extremely likable. There is a great parent/child development that plays out in this story as well as friendship, love, heartache, and more. So much packed into a book. I could keep reading their story to see what happens to them going forward. Lynn Painter is a must-read for me and you should pick up this novel as well as any of her other novels. I cannot wait to her next book later this year.

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