by Lauren Layne
3 of 5 stars
Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she’s pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn’t exactly Ethan Price’s type, either. He’s probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund… or does he?
As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie’s a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan’s brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.
But when Stephanie steps into Ethan’s privileged world, the “acting” begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating “them.” And Stephanie faces a question she’s too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?
Stephanie Kendrick: Third year NYU film student. Her self-description: “I’m twenty-one and I already have a pretty good list of things I know about myself. The smell of roses makes me nauseous, I look sallow in green, small talk makes me queasy, and I’ve got a thing for old movies.”
Ethan Price: NYU business student preparing to follow in his father’s footsteps. He is preppy, rich and going through something close to an identity crisis. Clean cut and good-looking with dark blonde hair and brown eyes. He’s kind and intelligent with a dry wit.
I started reading this book while I was on the phone enjoying one of those indefinite holds that we all know and hate. When I got to the quote below, I started laughing out loud and, of course, that is when they took me off of hold. As a result, my insurance company now thinks I’m crazy.
“Sorry ’bout that,” Pretty Boy says with a crooked grin. I don’t know whether he’s apologizing for our initial collision or for the humiliating near-miss of an inadvertent motorboat situation.
This really isn’t an original story, just a re-imagining similar to Grease. However, the writing style and sarcastic banter make up for the lack of originality. The narrative was so entertaining that I wanted to highlight and quote everything.
All of the little nicknames that Ethan had for Stephanie cracked me up.
Of all the possible partners, I get a pit bull puppy.
I resign myself to apologizing to the miniature goth monster.
It’s not just dry wit and sarcastic humor, there are surprisingly flowery descriptions.
By now I’m done expecting a laugh from this girl, but she surprises me, letting out a little giggle that reminds me of a rainbow escaping from a mud puddle.
Towards the middle of the book, things got a little too slow for my taste. The banter stopped being able to carry the story and, to be honest, I almost stopped reading.
All in all, I’m not sorry I read this book because there are some great quotes. But I knew what was going to happen nearly every step of the way so it was hard to stay interested.
Point of View: Alternating first person, Ethan and Stephanie (clearly marked)
Length: 288 pages
Price: $2.99 on amazon
Isn’t She Lovely (Redemption, #0.5)
Broken (Redemption, #1)
Crushed (Redemption, #2)- not yet released