Friday, 4 October 2013

Review: Isn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne

The rules are clear—until they’re broken. Lauren Layne puts a New Adult spin on Pygmalion, also the inspiration for Pretty Woman, and gives the classic love story its edgiest twist yet.

“Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?”

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?

ebook, 240 pages
Expected publication: October 28th 2013 by Flirt 
Genre: New Adult
Kristine's Review: 
* ARC provided by Random House Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Isn't She Lovely is a super cute, super easy and enjoyable read. In fact, if it wasn't for life, work, family and responsibilities, I could have easily finished it in just a few hours.
I don't like to re-tell the story or synopsis so here are a few of my thoughts...
The good...
I loved the fact that the book was told from the point of view of both Stephanie and Ethan. It was easy to understand where both characters were coming from and to like them both. Neither one of them were perfect and both had issues which made for lots of drama and enjoyable reading.

The spin on Pygmalion was interesting with similarities to movies like Pretty Woman minus the prostitution. The chemistry between these characters was through the roof. The theory that opposites attract is extremely evident in this story. I have to say that the ending reminded me of a different (much older) movie that I won't mention so I don't give anything away.
 "Life is nothing but phases. Some things stick, lots of things don’t. You’ll figure it out."
The baggage that Stephanie and Ethan carried made for a great plot and I was happy that the book took us to both sides. It stands to reason that they had to deal with the past in order to move on to the future. The fact that Ethan did and said some things (towards the climax) that may offend some readers made him real and human. I appreciated the fact that he made mistakes and wasn't the perfect hunky boy that (lets be honest) does not exist in real life.

 The (NOT SO) bad...
I really enjoyed this book so if I had to find any fault it would perhaps be that the story is a tiny bit predictable and that it leans ever so slightly towards the YA genre vs. the NA genre. There is a ton of sexual chemistry, a little bit of descriptive sexual content and language but it was not extreme therefore not too inappropriate for the YA reader.

This was the first book by  Lauren Layne that I have read but it will not be my last. I enjoyed every minute of it!


About the Author
Lauren Layne writes contemporary romance for Grand Central Publishing (Forever Yours) and Random House (Loveswept).

After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Lauren moved to New York City where she now writes full time.

Lauren graduated from Santa Clara University with B.S. in Political Science that she has yet to put to good use. She lives with her husband and plus-sized pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

Connect with Lauren online

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