THE IDEA OF YOU by Robinne Lee 

From the publisher:

Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène 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 and genuine relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways in Paris and Miami. For Solène, it is a reclaiming of self, as well as a rediscovery of happiness and love. When Solène and Hayes’ 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 romantic life has impacted the lives of those she cares about most.

Included on The Skimm’s 2020 list of Eight Books Both You and Mom Will Love

I had not heard of this debut novel that came out in 2017 until I received an email from a publicist with Amazon Original Movies. More on that later. I asked for a copy of the book to review but I found it at my library. I read it in a day and to be honest, it is a first novel and it shows. It is also purported to be a romance but is missing the main element of romance, the happy ending. Instead of romance, I would call this more of an erotic love story.

Sophie is a divorced mom with a 13 year-old-daughter, Isabelle. Her ex, Daniel, had left her for a much younger woman, but the marriage was doomed anyway. Sophie owns a contemporary art gallery, and her ex didn’t want her to work at all. He’s a very successful entertainment lawyer, and these are very wealthy people. When Daniel flakes out on taking Isabelle to see her favorite boy band, August Moon, in Las Vegas, Sophie steps up and takes Isabelle and two of her friends. They even have backstage passes to meet the band.

The young teens are all in love with these British boys in the band, and when Sophie meets Hayes, their leader/founder/songwriter, she can see why. He is beautiful, and he seems to be intrigued with her. But he’s twenty years old, and she is, as she puts it, thirty-nine and a half. So twice his age. Nevertheless, he pursues her, and she agrees to meet him for a drink.

Hayes is really turning on the charm and Sophie decides she can just use the young man for sex and then move on. Except he keeps pursuing her and he is obviously paying attention to everything she says, and he is much more mature than one would assume. He’s also very smart and good with people.

It turns into a full-blown affair, with Sophie and Hayes meeting up in various cities around the world as she grows her art gallery business and he is doing concerts with the band. For a long while, Sophie assumes he is seeing other women as they only get together every month or so, and while he never confirms it, he never denies it, either. And when he finally tells her he is not seeing anyone else, she is relieved. They are falling in love but are also keeping their affair a secret. When they are spotted together, Sophie claims that he is just a client. Her business partner and friends soon know, but Sophie is afraid to tell her daughter, who is madly in love with Hayes.

Eventually, some salacious pictures come out, and the world knows. This turns Sophie into a pariah, replete with death threats and the usual internet trolling. At this point it becomes like watching a train wreck; you know it isn’t going to end well, yet you can’t look away.

There is a lot of explicit sex in this book as their relationship is based on sex before it grows into something more. It’s a nice change to see the older woman/younger man relationship and it is a very fast read as you follow Sophie and Hayes around the world, having sex. Fashionistas will love all the designer name-dropping, and women in their thirties & forties will identify with Sophie and love escaping with Sophie & Hayes.

So, the Amazon publicist sent info about the film and a picture of the lead actor, Nicholas Galitzine, who plays Hayes, and informed me that Anne Hathaway is playing Sophie. That this is an Amazon Prime movie shouldn’t be a surprise as more and more actors that dominate the film industry are showing up on streaming television. Hathaway was excellent in “WeCrashed” on Apple+ TV, a limited series based on the downfall of WeWork. The role was very different for her and I thought she did a phenomenal job, even though she was ignored at awards time. But I digress…here are all the details I’ve gotten so far. I couldn’t help but notice that there are several discrepancies from the book, so I’m assuming this is the direction the film is taking:

  • Today it was announced that Nicholas Galitzine will star in Prime Video’s The Idea of You in the role of ‘Hayes Campbell,’ alongside Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway. 
  • The film, based on Robinne Lee’s bestselling contemporary love story of the same name, centers on Sophie (Hathaway), a 40-year-old divorced mother. Sophie’s husband Dan left her for a younger woman, and now he has canceled his Coachella trip with their 15-year-old daughter. Sophie picks up the pieces and braves the crowds and desert heat. There, she meets 24-year-old Hayes Campbell (Galitzine), the lead singer of the hottest boy band on the planet, August Moon.
  • Galitzine will next be seen in Prime Video’s highly anticipated romantic comedy Red, White & Royal Blue, based on Casey McQuiston’s fan-favorite and instant New York Times and USA Today best-selling novel of the same name and Bottoms from MGM’s Orion Pictures. He also recently starred as the male lead in Netflix’s Purple Hearts, alongside Sofia Carson, and as ‘Prince Robert’ in Prime Video’s Cinderella, opposite Camila Cabello. Prior to that, he starred as the male lead in Zoe Lister-Jones’ The Craft: Legacy. On the television side, he can be seen in Netflix’s Chambers. Some of Galitzine’s other credits include A24’s Share, Handsome Devil, The Beat Beneath My Feet, The Changeover, and The Watcher in the Woods.
  • Michael Showalter (The Big Sick, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The Dropout) will direct. Academy Award winning producer Cathy Schulman (Crash, The Woman King) will produce the film via her Welle Entertainment label, joined by I’ll Have Another’s Gabrielle Union, Anne Hathaway via her Somewhere Pictures label, Robinne Lee, Eric Hayes, Michael Showalter, and Jordana Mollick. Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein, Friends with Kids) wrote the screenplay and will executive produce. I’ll Have Another’s Kian Gass will also executive produce.
  • The Amazon Original Movie will premiere on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide at release. Production will begin in October.

10/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE IDEA OF YOU by Robinne Lee. St. Martin’s Griffin; 1st Edition (June 13, 2017). ISBN:‎  978-1250125903. 384p.





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