by Dahlia Adler
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Synopsis:Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents' wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls...opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. (Not that he's trying to charm her, of course.) Meanwhile, his drama-queen mother blackmails him into a new family reality TV show, with Josh in the starring role. Now that he's in the spotlight—on everyone's terms but his own—Josh has to decide whether a life as a superstar is the one he really wants.
Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents' disapproval. But with all her relationships currently in upheaval, she's painfully uncertain about everything else. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on, now that her BFF, Ally, is at college across the country. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van's life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she'll have to choose between the one thing she's always loved...and the person she never imagined she could.
“The thing is, K-drama, sometimes you just have to accept that no one else’s opinion means shit, you know? Sometimes you just have to do what makes you happy and say fuck to everyone else.”
► These characters sound so REAL to me, I can’t even express how much I find this fantastic. Yes, I have to admit that it took me ages to warm to them, but in the end? In the end I’m glad to have had the opportunity to follow them.
✘ Josh is this guy we see in a Reality TV show and ask ourselves what the fuck he did to deserve (Haha, talk about a super prize) to show his life on TV. The fact is, I’m not objective because I hate that stuff. I have zero interest in anything celebrities related, especially when it comes to their love life/partying/children. I don’t fucking care about that. So, you know, I should hate him. I should despise him – I don’t. Truth be told, he annoyed and maddened me sometimes, but no, I don’t loathe him. Yet I did get pissed at his continual comments about girls doing blowjobs to him. I mean, was it really necessary to refer to them every time he was at a party? Every fucking time? I don’t think so. But move on.
So, yeah. Josh’s an asshole and a womanizer – sorry but there’s no other way to put it. Josh’s an asshole and yet, I doesn’t hate him, because first he’s unapologetic and doesn’t ask for people – including the readers – to love him and then he isn’t the love interest here. Don’t get fooled, I’m not saying that he’s that kind of super jerk but broken inside many authors LOVE throwing at us, because he’s not. He’s way more complex and interesting than that. According to me, although he doesn’t strike people as the unconfident type, he’s afraid and doesn’t trust himself for shit. In my opinion? He’s just feeling lonely
but hey, I’m not a psy you know, only a teacher^^. Anyway – Josh struggles to become the person he wants to be, hell, he doesn’t even know who he wants to be, and to see him growing up was fantastic.
✘ I’m not gonna lie, Vanessa wasn’t my favorite person in Behind the Scenes. Not because of the scheme they had to play with Liam (in my opinion Allie should have said what she thought, but hey, who am I to judge?) but although she was an interesting character, I had a hard time relating to her and yes, I have to admit that to me she was quite a bore.
So, did she improve here? Well, I kind of hated her at first. She annoyed me so much. But in the end? Definitely. Even if she doesn’t become my favorite character, being in her head helped me to understand her better, and in the end, I’m glad to have gotten the opportunity to really know her, even if I wasn’t always feeling involved in her story unfortunately. I mean, I enjoyed her romance with Brin, but in my opinion we didn’t get enough time to really become involved in their relationship. I definitely wanted more of them together, let’s say.
✘ I know they aren’t under the lights here (Haha) but can I say that I was ecstatic to see Liam and Allie again? Well, let’s be frank, mostly Liam. Really, I don’t know under what spell I fell, but every time he appears I can’t help but smile like a complete moron. However, I have to say that to see their relationship’s evolution through Vanessa and Josh’s eyes worried me something fierce. Of course I understand that life goes in the way and that people, even in love, don’t always act perfectly but damn, that was painful for me, and sometimes I felt like Liam acted out of character. And… Oh, fuck that. I’m just gonna say it : I cared more about Liam than I did about Josh or Vanessa, and I’m not sure it’s a good thing. Is it because I love his character too much that I wasn’t able to completely invest myself in their story? I don’t know. Maybe. It’s just how it was.
✘ Finally, the other girls – namely Shannah and all – were portrayed as such stereotypical bitches, for real, and as in Behind the Scenes, it did bother me. Really, it made me wonder if I was just too naive about the girls living in that world – anyway, I can’t believe that they’re all like that, I can’t, and if I’m wrong, well, it’s on me.
► When I reread what I wrote about the characters, it occurs to me that you may wonder why I liked this book if I wasn’t their biggest fan, but THAT’S THE THING!I’ll take flawed but realistic characters over perfectly boring ones any day, as long as the author doesn’t try to justify their actions. Dahlia Adler never does that. Josh is an asshole? Sure. Nobody is forcing me to love him – yet he is complex and multi-layered, he evolves, so YES, he IS interesting as a character (and he did make me laugh so much, but then, I may have an horrible sense of humor, because you know, I’m French and all)
Well, despite the fact that I didn’t quite like it as much as Behind the scenes
but let’s face it, I’m such a fangirI when it comes to Liam, I can’t even believe myself, I thought it was a pretty courageous book, for starters, because it comes as a surprise.
Indeed this is NOT our regular contemporary romance. And this is so much BETTER as it is.
✘ This is not about a guy who’s going to fix some girl – or some guy, for that matter.
” /> This is about finding your place in the world.
” /> This is about difference and how to live in a world that put people in little boxes.
” /> This is about emancipation and how to learn to be true to yourself.
” /> This is about friendship and family – and what we’re ready to do to protect it.
And yes, we get to see Liam again but I have to stop being obsessed now. I swear, I will!
Oh, and by the way, this writing? I’m in love with it, and I shall read anything Dahlia Adler writes.
“Anyone who doesn’t want you to be happy with who you are is an asshole. Fuck pleasing everyone else. You only live once. Who are you gonna do it for?”
► What are you waiting for? Go discover these awesome books!