by Dahlia Adler
Purchase on: Amazon, iBooks,
Add to: Goodreads
High school senior Ally Duncan's best friend may be the Vanessa Park - star of TV's hottest new teen drama - but Ally's not interested in following in her BFF's Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father's mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van's on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.
Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she's capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can't play by Hollywood's rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.
“Why the hell do you do all this stuff if you hate it? Is it, like, in The Rules of Being Attractive that you must become an actor-slash-model?”
He smiled slowly, my heart melting just a tiny bit with each new millimeter. “Does that mean you think I’m attractive?”
Ugh. I’m still not sure what to rate this. I can’t decide whether to give this 3 or 4 solid stars, but 3.5 seems right. This book wasn’t what I was expecting, but I also don’t know what I was expecting. Hm. I am so odd-I mean, seriously, the blurb says exactly what it is and I still was surprised by it. Meh.
And more often than not, I can get past all the little idiosyncrasies and malfunctions of a story-really, I’m a pro. I look past the stupidest shit…but for some reason, these types of stories have the power to either make me hate them…or love them. But, it turns out that I hate them, more often than not.
I love you, but I have to date her for the media. I love you but I have to hug and kiss (pecks on the cheek or mouth, I guess) your best friend for the fans. I can’t wait to spend time with you, but I have to hang out with her in public. Never mind that they can’t even get some damn fro-yo without it blowing the whole media scandal right out the window.
He reached around and pulled me back, folding me into his arms. “Ally, listen to me.” He tipped my chin up until I was staring directly into his ocean-colored eyes. “You are beautiful. So beautiful it hurts.” He took my hand and placed it on the warm skin of his chest. “Tu as mon…How do you say ‘heart’ again?”
“Coeur,” I answered, feeling my own squeeze.
“Tu as mon coeur,” he repeated with a smile, stroking my cheek with his index finger.
But there were lots of things I liked about this, too. Namely Liam-
He was literally the only thing/person/event that didn’t bother me. He was absolute perfection. Now, that doesn’t mean his little media scheme didn’t kill me-it did. But, for that, I blame Ally. Sorry, Ally, but you screwed up, bro-BIG TIME. I would NEVER have disillusioned myself to believe something could be so simple or easy. Never. From the very beginning, Liam tried to make the easy choice-the correct choice…but she quickly squelched that. And no, no one wants to play their jealous girlfriend card so early, but let’s be honest-when does a fake relationship deal EVER work out in the feelings arena? Mmhmm. That’s what I thought.
My point is, that while Ally wasn’t a horrible lead, she also wasn’t a bright lead, either-by any means. I mean…sigh. Come on. Just…really? I think that was my largest problem-you tell someone to do something, and then you get upset time and again over it. And I understand-fickle, right?! SO AM I! But agh I am such a hypocrite but….I just couldn’t handle it from her. AND I HAVE NO CLUE WHY.
The writing was fresh and fun and easy to read. It flowed seamlessly from page to page with the ease of an exhaled breath. But, only sometimes, there was a liiiittle cheesiness in the dialogue between friends. Like, her and Liam? Perfect. The chemistry? So hot. Nail on the head. The dialogue wasn’t forced and it felt authentic and adorable. They really loved one another and it seeped off the pages. But then she’d have a convo with her family or her best friend or the girls and guys at school-or Nate-and I would find myself rolling my eyes. I was being judgmental, sure, but more than once I heard this incessant little chant in the back of my mind-Lara Jean, Lara Jean, Lara Jean…
And oh GAHD, did I loathe Lara Jean. I’m being unfair, I know, because Ally is NOTHING like Lara Jean…but sometimes I’d see little glimpses of her naivety and it grated on me a bit-not a ton, just a teensy bit. I do believe this author deserves more recognition, and I am shocked to see this book hasn’t even reached 1,000 people having read it yet.
“This is ridiculous, you know. You could get any girl you want.”
“And so I did,” he pointed out firmly, kissing me hard on the lips in a “stop talking like that” gesture.
Yikes. This review turned out to be a big old wash. I liked it and I didn’t like it. Simple. I adored Liam. I adored how much he cared for her and did for her-even behind the scenes (har-har) when we couldn’t see it. Their relationship and chemistry were adorable. But then there were the negative things like Ally not saying what she meant and getting mad about preventable things and cheesy friendship stuff and ugh. So….I don’t know that this type of story is for me, but I also don’t know that I’ll ever stop trying. My mind is still trying to process what I think and feel so….hm.