Author: Dahlia Adler

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler | ARC REVIEW

Posted July 15, 2016 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler | ARC REVIEWJust Visiting by Dahlia Adler
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on November 17th 2015
Genres: YA Contemporary
Pages: 407
Goodreads

Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas.
Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn’t go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won’t stand out for being Mexican.
One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective…only to learn she’s set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants…only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they’ve sworn to leave.
As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don’t know about each other’s pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they’ll have to decide whether their friendship has a future.

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Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler | REVIEW

Posted July 14, 2016 by Samantha in booktube, reviews / 0 Comments

Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler | REVIEWUnder the Lights (Daylight Falls, #2) by Dahlia Adler
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on June 30th 2015
Pages: 279
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents' wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls ... opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. (Not that he's trying to charm her, of course.) Meanwhile, his drama-queen mother blackmails him into a new family reality TV show, with Josh in the starring role. Now that he's in the spotlight—on everyone's terms but his own—Josh has to decide whether a life as a superstar is the one he really wants.
Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents' disapproval. But with all her relationships currently in upheaval, she's painfully uncertain about everything else. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on, now that her BFF, Ally, is at college across the country. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van's life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she'll have to choose between the one thing she's always loved ... and the person she never imagined she could.

Before picking this book up, I had been following the author, Dahlia, on Twitter for some time. She was always very outspoken about diversity, especially the inclusion of queer girls in YA and New Adult. I knew I needed to pick up something by her, and once I found out that Under the Lights had a protagonist that was a queer girl of color, I decided this would be the first book of hers I’d pick up.

Under the Lights is technically the second book in the series, but it’s a companion series and you do not need to read the first book to understand this one. You are not missing anything with the first one, if that synopsis doesn’t interest you, and anything of importance is filled in at the beginning of this one. I chose to skip the first book as well.

Before reading this book, I didn’t realize it would be a dual POV. Initially, I was not a fan of that. My main interest was in Vanessa and her story line, and I couldn’t care less about Josh. As time went on and characters developed, I did come to like Josh more, which is saying a lot as he starts out very unlikable. But overall, Vanessa is the protagonist I care about.

The story line was fun. The majority of the characters are stars in a show that sounds very similar to Dawson’s Creek or Gilmore Girls, and it was fun to see “behind the scenes” in a Hollywood environment like that instead of a more glamorous one. It provided just enough of a backdrop for the story, while not ruling the story.

I found the relationships to be the strongest element of the story. Vanessa is finding herself, without it being the overly angsty mess that it could have been. Any sexual activity is discussed maturely by the characters, and enthusiastic consent is a HUGE part of that narrative, which I appreciate seeing. It’s not something I see often, if at all, in other YA contemporaries.

Overall, I enjoyed this story and it was an excellent gateway into Dahlia’s other work. She has become an auto-buy author for me, and I look forward to working my way through her backlist, as well as any future releases of hers.

three-half-stars

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