REVIEW: The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

Release Date: June 13, 2017

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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.



The Idea of You was unlike anything I have ever read before. Powerfully classy and elegant, Lee’s narrative felt intensely personal and real. Solène jumped from the pages and told her story in such a fashion that it felt very much in-the-moment, as if she were next to me and regaling me with her life’s tale. Even with the slow start, I’ll admit I kept reading out of curiosity, but before I knew it I couldn’t stop devouring it.

I had some trepidation prior to reading in regards to the idea of an older woman with a younger man simply because it’s not something written about much, but I needn’t have worried as Lee took such care with creating two very different characters that rarely fit the persona of their age and instead they transcended any sort of role or stereotype placed on them. As a divorced mother of a pre-teen, Solène seemed to invent poise and self-assuredness, but it didn’t take long for boy-bander Hayes to expose the raw sexual power she carried within. That fiery magnetism and his confidence in what he wanted allowed her to let her baser desires overrule her more logical side and that gave me the ability to connect to him and his pull, for me to be attracted to the idea of him.

The Idea of You carried with it real life issues and topics ranging from age gaps in relationships to teen obsession with celebrities, all wrapped into a story that pushed against barriers and norms in a very real, informative way. Lee had a unique way in telling their story, not sensationalizing it, but instead artfully portraying the draw and love and connection these two shared; even their drawbacks and struggles. I’m honestly surprised I fell so hard for this story and its characters, and that ending will forever stick with me.



ROBINNE LEE is an actor, writer and producer. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds. She recently completed shooting Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, playing Ros Bailey. Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. The Idea of You is her first novel.

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