Summary from 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.
I’ve been following Dahlia on twitter for a while now, and I knew from the books she recommends that I’d enjoy her writing.
I was right.
Ally is a sweet, fun, totally relatable protagonist who is easy to root for. When she meets and develops a crush on Liam, we’re not jealous of her very lucky situation… we’re hoping she realizes she’s every bit as worthy of his attention as anyone else. I loved that Ally and Liam met through Van, but that it wasn’t anything “Hollywood” related that made them connect; it was a similar family situation that made them open up to each other. The romance between Ally and Liam is beautifully and, though the situation is more dream-like than reality-based, realistically written. They aren’t perfect people, but their romance is one that any girl would love to live out.
There are plenty of other great characters here, too, with a lot of depth and full of their own stories to tell. I’d love to see Dahlia write more books involving these characters!
My only reservation here is the language and some of the sexual content, both of which would make me cringe to see in the hands of my 8th grade students, but for more mature readers it’s a really great choice, especially for the summer. Behind the Scenes comes out on June 24th; you can find it here on Barnes and Noble’s website, or look for it at your favorite book store.