Title: Behind the Scenes (Daylight Falls #1)
Author: Dahlia Adler
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release Date: June 24, 2014
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.
Guys I love stories set in Hollywood. For real. All you need to tell me about a book is that it’s set in Holly or some part of it takes place in the TV and movie world and I am willing to read it. So why it took me so long to finally read Dahlia Adler’s Behind the Scenes, I will never know. But I am so, so happy that I finally did.
Despite being best friends with an actress, Ally has never had any desire to lead the kind of life her best friend Vanessa does. The last thing Ally wants is to have paparazzi following her around and be recognized everywhere she goes. What Ally really wants is to move to New York to study at Columbia and study abroad in Paris. And she was on track for doing just that before her dad got sick and the medical bills meant her parents had to dip into her college fund. To make her dream happen, Ally is forced to take a job as her best friend’s on-set assistant. Getting to spend extra time with Vanessa isn’t too bad, and neither is getting to spend time with Liam, her co-star. And finding out just how much she has in common with Liam is even better. Until Vanessa and Liam’s publicist decides the two of them need to “date” to generate buzz for their new TV show. Can Ally be okay with seeing her best friend and her boyfriend kiss even if she knows it’s not real? If she can’t, Ally will be losing her best friend, her first chance at love and her dream future.
Guys. How did I not read this book sooner? Late last year, I read Dahlia Adler’s NA debut, Last Will and Testament, and absolutely loved it so I don’t know why it took me so long to pick up her YA debut. I mean, really. This book has my name written all over it. This is a contemporary romance set in Hollywood with awesome best friends and swoony actors. It could not have been a more perfect book for me. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise at all that I loved Behind the Scenes and read it in a day. This story completely sucked me in. Sure, I was a sucker for the Hollywood aspect, but I also really loved reading about the friendship between Ally and Vanessa. There needs to be more awesome female friendships in YA, even if they aren’t the sole focus of the story. The one in Behind the Scenes made me wish for that kind of friendship (paparazzi and fake relationships, aside) and whenever there were scenes with Ally and Vanessa just being great friends it put a smile on my face. It should also go without saying that the romance was great. I mean, it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing considering one half of the couple had to pretend to date the other half’s best friend. Things got messy, but that’s how relationships are so it felt real the whole time I was reading. And the fact that Ally and Liam were totally adorable together didn’t exactly hurt either.
Right from page one, I loved Ally. Despite the fact that her best friend was a famous actress, she didn’t ever see herself as being in her shadow and I LOVED that. She was her own person outside her friendship with Vanessa and she was driven and had a determination that I really admired. I mean, this girl was willing to do what it takes to make her dreams happen. But what I loved about Ally was that I also got to see her more vulnerable side while I was reading. There were moments where she questioned everything, both in terms of her future and with what was going to happen to her dad. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that most of all I loved seeing her being all adorable and couple-y with Liam. And Liam wasn’t entirely who I thought he was going to be. It’s not like I expected him to just be a stereotypical actor-type, but he was so much more than I thought. And of course that just made me love him so much more. I loved how he just got to be Liam, teenage guy, with Ally and she didn’t expect him to be any more than that. And I really loved who that was. And I just loved Ally and Liam, that’s all there is to it. I will also say that what I got to see of Vanessa and Josh has made me plenty excited to read their story in Under the Lights.
Dahlia Adler’s Behind the Scenes was such a “me” kind of book and I loved every minute I spent reading it. This was the perfect contemporary romance and the Holly setting was just an added bonus. And I can’t wait to read more of this story in Under the Lights!