Book Talk: Behind The Scenes by Dahlia Adler

Book Talk: Behind The Scenes by Dahlia AdlerBehind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler
Series: Daylight Falls #1
Published by Spencer Hill Press on June 24, 2014
Genres: Contemporary YA
Also by this author: Just Visiting, Outrun the Moon, Last Will and Testament, Empire of Storms, Right of First Refusal
Format: ARC
Source: For Review, From Author
Amazon/Twitter
Goodreads

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!

 

 

 

Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”

 

A1
Ally and Vanessa have been best friends since they were kids. Ally is happy for and supportive of her best friend’s Hollywood career, especially now that she’s landed the lead role in a hot new teen show,  but she couldn’t be anymore different in what she wants for her life — going to Columbia and studying in Paris. When she realizes that the money to make those dreams come true is being all used up because of father’s serious medical bills, she knows she has to make some money so she becomes Van’s assistant on set. The gig is fun and she slowly starts to fall for Liam, Van’s co-star. And then Van and Liam have to agree to fake date for a publicity stunt to drum up gossip about their show. Ally’s left to figure out how to date a boy who appears not to be hers to the rest of the world and if she can handle being wrapped up in Hollywood.

a2THIS WOULD BE A FUN MOVIE OR TV SHOW!

a4It was really hard for me to NOT compare this to one of my favorite books of this summer — Open Road Summer. It was very similar plot-wise except this was Hollywood and not young music stars. Both stories featured “normal” girls who were best friends with a famous person. Both stories featured a love interest that was also famous and who ends up fake dating their famous best friend for a publicity stunt. Luckily I love this trope so reading another book so similar so soon didn’t turn me off to it and I felt like there were a lot of things Behind the Scenes did different/brought to the table that made me forget how similar they were on the surface.

1. I SHIPPED ALLY AND LIAM SO HARD: Like I said, I have a soft spot for that “normal girl dates a famous person thing.” I just do. As a teen I always fantasized about a celebrity falling in love with me. I really felt their chemistry! Ally is jaded towards Hollywood because she sees how it is for Van and Liam is also really jaded towards a lot of it but he has his reasons for staying in the business. I loved that they bonded over something that was actually really similar to how Will and I bonded. I loved how their relationship definitely had some sexy bits, too! You could feel that tension from Ally and Liam being forced to be so careful and private with their relationship spill over into their moments together. I really got the frustrations and hardships that made this relationship tough!

2. I loved the “drama”: It wasn’t over the top but, come on, this is Hollywood so there’s all that goes along with that. The biggest drama is obviously with the fake Liam and Vanessa relationship and I felt like it was done SO WELL and so realistically. I thought that it was realistic that Ally would think she would be okay with it at first and then we slowly see how hard it actually is for her so much that it DOES come in between them. Between having to watch them be all over each other, to barely ever getting to see him and not being able to tell really anyone I could really see why we had the drama. I think the drama level Open Road Summer had with the fake relationship was right for THAT story but I really liked that we saw how absolutely hard this would be to maintain in this situation. The fake-dating thing was definitely more of a bigger deal in this one and I think it suited the story really well! I just loved these characters and how they dealt with the drama at hand — even if not always perfect (which YAY FOR IMPERFECT CHARACTERS WHO MAKE MISTAKES) but always rang true to me.

3. I loved the family situations presented: Vanessa and Liam’s family situations are told but the one we see the most that contrasts those two is Ally’s obviously. Ally’s family is going through something really tough but they are so supportive and in tune with each others lives. I really loved Ally’s family and how Van was like another daughter to them. There was a lot going on in this story and even though the romance was important I still felt how her family situation was in the forefront of her mind and what kept her going.

4. Some things I didn’t love: Nate (I didn’t get his role at all or what his real deal was), sometimes the story would hit lulls for me where I wasn’t super compelled to read, sometimes characters (Ally) made really dumb mistakes which doesn’t bother me but I felt like it was SOOOO glaringly obvious and I felt like it was just drawn out for too long. I also found the ending to be a LITTLE rushed for the time they spent apart..I felt like there needed to be a little more there.

 

a6RATING-LIKED

factors+ plot, romance, how fun it was,
times when the story lulled for me, little bit of a rushed ending for me, some plot areas being drawn out

Re-readability: I probably wouldn’t but I’m itching to read the next book in the series.
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Probably not because I wouldn’t reread it and it wasn’t a favorite!

a5fans of Open Road Summer, people who like books set in Hollywood, contemporary YA romances lovers, readers who like the “normal person dates celebrity” trope, readers looking for something fun and romantic

a8Behind the Scenes was an enjoyable read with a fun Hollywood setting and a VERY shippable romance aka normal girl falls for the hot co-star on her bff’s new teen show who ends up being her faux boyfriend in a publicity stunt. Despite some random lulls in the story and little irksome things, it was an addictive read and I can’t wait for the next book in the series because JOSH…I want to know HIS story for sure.

review-on-post-itBehind The Scenes by Dahlia Adler

 

a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does this series feel like something you’d be into?
* What are some other “normal person dates a celebrity” type romances you’ve read?
* Is anyone else super intrigued by Josh?? I can’t wait to learn his story!

 


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

Save The Date: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

To learn more about why I started doing this Save The Date feature and how it differs from my reviews — go here!

 Falling Into Place review Amy Zhang

 

* Release date according to Goodreads

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Pre-Order It | Add It To Goodreads


What Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang is about:

Liz Emerson, a popular junior, decides to drive herself off the road and into the tree. Nobody knows, except the mysterious narrator who pieces Liz’s story together for us, that she did it on purpose — everyone assumes it was an accident because of an icy road. The story unfolds as Liz’s family, friends, and classmates find out and cope with the news and flips back and forth to the past and the present to tell the story.

Why You Should Be Saving The Date for Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang:

1. I could not put Falling Into Place down. It just sort of crept up on me, dug its claws into me and I just had this pit in my stomach until I could finish it. The plot mixed with the way it made me feel propelled me forward.

2. It was tragically beautiful and heartwrenching and really, really stripped down the characters: At a glance, these characters could have been one dimensional but as the story is told it really strips down the characters, (and the relationships I would say) in all their complexities and they  just became so vulnerable to me. Even the “dislikeable” ones. Which you could say there are a few. The relationships and friendships are rather unhealthy and, as a reader, you just feel like “OMG WHY STOP.” As you read you see why it all lead up to this destructive event.

3. The narrator is fascinating: It’s told by a mysterious narrator who sees and knows all and is told in a non-linear way (meaning flashbacks and jumping around to different places in the story). It’s easy, after a little while, to guess at who the narrator is but it was a really, really effective way to tell the story.

4. It made me weep at 1am. It’s a quiet novel but it creeps up on you and just lays you out like a wrecking ball does and caused all my insides to crumble.

 

Who Should Save The Date: people who like quiet novels that really dissect the characters, people who want lovely prose, people who like unique narrators, lovers of the complexities of human interaction and motives

 

A Sneak Peek: “Force. Liz. She looked around and saw all the broken things in her wake, and then she looked inside herself and saw the spidering cracks from the weight of all the things she had done. She hated what she was and didn’t know how to change, and half an hour before she drove her car off the road, she saw that despite all of that, she didn’t have enough force to stop the world from turning. But she had enough to stop her own.” (this is taken from the advanced copy and could be subject to change)

Be on the lookout for my FULL review closer to the release date where I will flesh out my thoughts a little more!

 

Have you read this one? Are you excited for it?? Putting it on your TBR list?

The Rules For Disappearing by Ashley Elston | Book Review

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston cover & reviewBook Title/Author: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
Publisher/Year
: Disney-Hyperion – May 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA – Mystery
Series: The ending seems  to leave it open that it could be one (and I see a #2 on Goodreads) but I think it could also stand alone.
Other Books From Author: None — debut!

Amazon| Goodreads | Twitter |

I received this from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!

 

 

Meg and her family have been put into the Witness Protection Program and have been bounced around to new towns and given new identities six different times. Meg doesn’t what her dad did to land them  in the program and her parents refuse to speak about it. Meg sees her family falling apart — her mom is drinking a lot, her dad is keeping something and look stressed all the time and her little sister is so fragile and is barely speaking — and she knows she has to figure out why they are in this situation to save her family and to stop all the tiring identity changes. She’s sick of making relationships only to have to leave so she enters this new school keeping a low profile and vowing not to make any friends — until she meets Ethan, the cute farm boy, whose curiosity could be dangerous for them both.

I really enjoyed The Rules For Disappearing though the first half was significantly a better experience for me in many ways. I didn’t fall in LOVE with this book like so many did but it was a pretty good read for me that and the MOST PERFECT gym book! It was a fun blend of mystery, romance, action, great character development and some nice familial aspects that I don’t often see.

The premise, right off the bat, drew me in as it was wholly unique with the main character and her family being in the Witness Protection Program. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of the WPP and Ashley Elston definitely drew me in with the main character’s experiences of being moved around and having new identities all the time. The majority of The Rules of Disappearing takes place in the latest town but I loved the way we learn about the prior moves and how, at this point, she’s just so weary of it all. You really see why she is so hardened now when she arrives in this new town and I really felt for her and how her life was now totally different than it ever was. I felt for her especially since it seemed like the rest of her family was taking all of this even worse than she was and I was drawn into how all of this moving and changing of identities could wreak havoc on a family. I thought Ashley Elston really excelled in creating a believable voice and exploring how this experience might really mess a family up –especially with so many secrets and mystery around WHY they are in this situation.

The mystery element of this book was what made it the most perfect gym read because I just wanted to keep finding out MORE of what happened that put them in this Witness Protection Program and her dad was so hellbent on not telling her that it drove me just as crazy as Meg. It was unraveled at what I found to be a good pace and I was surprised once we finally found out the event that was the catalyst for everything. I figured out “the twist”  for sure because of how fixated Meg was on it but the actual event was surprising to me but that’s where it kind of got EH for me as things start being remembered and Meg decides to take matters into her own hand.

Things that prevented this from going beyond a GOOD read to that next level? I thought the romantical element started out  interesting — she was so cold to him because she knew they’d probably have to uproot again and he kept annoying her and trying to find out more. I thought their exchanges were fun and playful but then as the romance progressed it just fell flat for me. The love interest is by all standards swoonworthy and I really adored Ethan but it just really felt like really intense so soon and the things that I loved about Meg just seemed to get lost inside of this romance. There was just so much of her doing things wrong and him always coming in to save the day and I just thought the first part of the book was better in terms of their relationship dynamic. I just didn’t feel anything after the halfway mark when  I was LOVING their exchanges in the beginning.

The second part of the book gets increasingly action packed and I had a love/hate relationship with it. It was good because it kept up this page-turning tempo that held my attention until the very end but pretty much I had to suspend my disbelief VERY often. I mean,  I know it’s fiction but just the way everything went down I started to get eyerolly about certain things and it distracted me from the things I LOVED about this book — the character development, the familial dynamics, etc.

The Rules For Disappearing was a book that I enjoyed but ultimately didn’t finish as strong for me. It made a great gym read for me because of the mystery and the building suspense. I was invested in Meg and her family and finding out the reasons for why they were thrust into the Witness Protection Program but as the why’s started being revealed I felt conflicted about where it went. On one hand, I flew through it but, on the other hand, I just thought it missed the mark as it progressed. I loved the character development and the unique premise and thought it was a breeze to read and quite fun. It never went anywhere past the “good” mark for me but overall an enjoyable read.

 

The rules for dissappearing ashley elston

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one??  Heard of it?  If you’ve read it, did you enjoy it? I’m probably in the minority on the love story huh? I mean,  I did LOVE Ethan but I just loved it more in the beginning than the end. Did you guess the twist? Have you read any other stories with the Witness Protection Program plot?

 

three-half-stars
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