Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review: Between The Lines by Tammara Webber

Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Release Date:15/02/13
Publisher: Penguin
I bought it in a store.

Seventeen-year-old actress Emma is starring in her first major film role, opposite Hollywood It Boy Reid. The exclusive nightclubs, snapping photographers and screaming fans are a normal part of life for Reid but it's all new to Emma. The rest of the cast befriend her but Emma can't help feeling out of her depth. She's grateful to fellow actor Graham for his friendly support and thinks maybe he's interested in something more - until she sees him sneaking out of beautiful Brooke's room one night . . . Reid has no holds barred in his pursuit of Emma; he loves the thrill of the chase but he's also experiencing something new. 

Could he be genuinely falling for his co-star?Tammara Webber is the author of New York Times and Amazon bestseller Easy and three novels in the Between the Lines series. Before becoming a full-time writer, she was an academic advisor at the University of Texas. Tammara lives in Texas with her husband and too many cats. She loves baby carrots and happily-ever-after endings.

I've been on a bit of a teen romance kick lately and while I know it's not the most intelligent or dignified genre to read I just seem to keep finding myself wrapped up in soppy books with no vampires or evil faeries to compensate for the mushiness... The funny thing about this novel was that the characters are actors in a modern day film version of 'Pride and Prejudice' and I had just read 'Epic Fail' where the characters were actually living a modern day version of 'Pride and Prejudice'. I was pleasantly surprised by this book though and found that the story-line from 'Pride and Prejudice didn't exactly reveal itself, but a few themes from the novel did...

The main character Emma is your typical Cinderella style character. She has a pretty bitchy step-mother and her own mother died when she was younger. What's different about Emma is that she isn't made to clean up and she isn't too worried about trying to fit-in. Emma is an actress that's been trying to get a role in an indie film with a decent story-line or in a theatre production, but her Dad and her manager keep telling her to wait out for something bigger and better like - I don't know- a role in Hollywood's latest modern-day re-make of one of her favourite novels? The film is sure to be a hit, but Emma's not sure she wants to be a part of it, seeing as she's so attached to the novel it was inspired by.

I instantly like this about Emma. She ends up doing the role to make her Dad happy anyway (hey the way he and his new wife are carrying on, it's not like she even really has a choice) and before she knows it she's in an audition room with THE REID ALEXANDER. Emma isn't one of those girls that follows the trends and she has morals. I thought she was pretty likable, but she was also kind of naive...

One thing that really surprised me about the novel was how much talk there was about sex. There wasn't any actual scenes or anything, but there was a lot of speculation about who had done what with who and deciding about who they wanted to do what with. The book was written in first person and split between two perspectives. I know that I am biased because I knew Reid's thoughts, but gosh what a sleaze. And, that's the main thing that I found at fault with Emma's character. Even though she had chemistry or whatever with him, I couldn't believe that she could hang around with him for so long. There were things that he said to her, like he "wants her so bad" or he implied that they weren't together yet because they hadn't slept together yet were sheer signs of sleaziness.

I find it interesting that while playing the part of characters who are known for making too many assumptions, these characters become guilty of doing just that. It's not only Reid and Emma who are guilty of this. The press and fan-sites start to come up with some crazy and varied allegations which some people actually pay attention to. There are a few messages hidden within the context of this story, but the most obvious would be to know the facts before coming to conclusions. Don't Assume!

The main problem I had with the novel was that I began to loose interest because Emma kept being so naive and wouldn't ask anyone questions. I also found that I couldn't "side" with Emma on her fight with her best friend. I totally understood where her friend Emily was coming from. I really liked how the novel ended and I think the most important thing about characters is not where they begin, but what they learn and where they end up. The ending was far from what I had imagined, but I preferred it a lot to what I thought I was going to get.

Overall, I think this book deserves 4.5/5 stars. It was a great novel with some great messages, but there were a few things that just didn't sell it for me. I thought it was a cool read for those who want to know more about the life of actors.
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