Wednesday, May 29, 2013

In the Spotlight by Liz Botts

When sixteen year old Hannah Brewster lands the lead in the school musical she hopes it will be the perfect chance to get the attention of her family and her long time crush, Kyle. The only problem is that school super star, Josh Larson, has been cast opposite her, and he seems to like her as more than just a cast mate.

As Hannah and Josh grow closer, things between Hannah and Kyle get complicated. When Hannah realizes that Kyle is not who she thought he was, she also realizes that she just might like Josh as more than just a friend.

Will Hannah and Josh be able to overcome their obstacles and admit their feelings before the musical ends?

jewelz:) review:
This is a fun YA novel that follows a high school junior, Hannah Brewster, as she navigates the treacherous waters of teenage love. Of course, such a journey is fraught with drama - which Hannah should be well equipped to handle since she is a "drama kid". Hannah's a typical teenage girl who has had a crush on Kyle for about 3 years now. She has loved him from afar & hopes to get his attention this year by auditioning for the female lead in the school musical that he wrote. Then there's Josh, new transfer to the high school & sports all-star who manages to also audition for the musical and land the lead male role (much to the chagrin of Kyle).

I loved that this novel had a definite "teenage vibe" going. It read and felt like a teenage romance. I think that sometimes adults read YA expecting the kids to act like adults do, when teenage romance is a completely different beast. Teens are easily blinded by love and are often fickle in love too. I felt that the plot was solid and that there was decent character development.

I'll admit that I got a bit frustrated with Hannah, but once again - it's typical teenage behavior, so it's to be expected. There was definitely some variety in Hannah's family. Drama and general family craziness kept it light and fun. I did appreciate how Hannah and her mom were able to have a conversation around Harlow and her influence on the younger girls and how their parents interacted with them. That interaction is one example that helped to give a bit of depth to the story.

What I didn't like as much: 3 things in particular. First, Grandma and Duke. It's one thing for Grandma to be dating a man 30 years her junior. It's another thing entirely when Duke meets Grandma at a strip club, where he works, when she participates in "amateur night". Not exactly something I would expect in YA clean fiction. My second beef is with the party scene. Hannah is a junior in high school. Her older sister Harlow is a junior in college. Harlow brings Hannah to a party where the first thing Harlow does is drink two shots out of another girl's belly button and then takes off with a guy, not to be seen again that night. This book is labeled as "clean", but in my opinion this is not appropriate content for clean YA. Finally, the end. Specifically the fact that a freshman girl, her upperclassman boyfriend, and then a junior along with her boyfriend all fly out to Las Vegas together. Really? Once again, just not what I would expect from clean YA.

Over all a fun and enjoyable read.

(source: picked up when it was free on smashwords)

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