I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
Hollywood YA books and me are like this.
Yes, I know they can be cliche. But I really do love a decent movie star YA story. Of course, it has to have semi-decent characters and it can’t be that big of a cliche because then I’ll just grow bored (seeWill the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up).
Behind the Scenes was a book that I actually looked forward to. Instead of having the traditional girl being an actress or wannabe actress, we have a main character who actually has no intention of being involved in La La land and who had some actual real life problems other than teenage drama going on in her life.
I was kind of grimacing when I found out that Ally’s father was dealing cancer, mainly because that can be such a cliche plot line. I mean, look at all those Lurlene McDaniel books or Lifetime movies.
The thing is, the whole cancer plot was for the most part perfectly tolerable It’s resolution to me seemed a little too unrealistic, but given the alternative I’m happy with the ending. And for a book with the big C in it it wasn’t that overwhelming.
I also liked the romance in the book. Liam and Ally weren’t overly mushy and the chemistry was good. Good not great, mind you. But it was an enjoyable enough fling that I was able to read the book without grimacing. Also, unlike a lot of YA celebrities, Liam didn’t feel wooden. There were dimensions added to his character that were an added bonus.
Overall, I liked most of the characters in this book. There weren’t any of them that I particularly hated which is odd because usually in all YA books there’s one character I hate. In fact, I have to say for the most part I liked all them. And there were some I actually wanted to give a fictional hug to and that doesn’t happen often.
We’re told that Ally is mature for her age and that’s actually reflected in the writing-well, she does have her stupid moments. But for the most part, she’s actually mature. Not only does she have the requisite A+ average that so many YA bimbos have, but her decision making for the most part is actually rational.
I think the parts that annoyed me were the parts that actually made the conflict of the novel.
I understood Ally’s frustration and her predicament, but at times I wanted to shake her and go all look at her choices on her.
But the book had to have conflict, right? And it did setup for conflict in the book. And we did have to have some conflict, otherwise it would’ve been very fluffy.
The other qualm I have is Ally’s parents reactions to some of the scenes. I get that they were dealing with a life crisis, but having your daughter come home at three in the afternoon the next day should get some reaction other than did you have fun.
If you like light frothy books, this is probably one for you. If you get annoyed with fluff. Skip it. Is it the most memorable book I’ve ever read-no.
Grade: A solid B.