Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler is a fun contemporary read that I would recommend to anyone who loves to read celebrity gossip. The story follows a girl named Ally who gets mixed up in a big PR stunt in Hollywood. Ally never had any desire to get involved in Hollywood antics, always leaving that to her best friend Van, but she reluctantly takes a job as Van’s assistant when she worries about being able to pay for college. Ally gets close to the teen heartthrob Liam Holloway who was just cast as the lead actor alongside Van in a new teen drama called Daylight Falls. Before the show is picked up during upfronts, Van and Liam’s publicist decides to plant a story in the media that Liam and Van are dating and they have to act the part publicly, while Ally watches uncomfortably.
Ally as a character drove me nuts. She had a very strong sense of her morals and she absolutely stuck to her guns about not wanting to get attention from Hollywood but man was she frustrating at points. I really loved the friendship between Ally and Van and the loyalty Ally demonstrates for her friend. She never criticizes her life choices or judges her and she’s always there to give an honest opinion when Van needs her. And that goes both ways. I also thought the romance was adorable but again, frustrating. Liam is so much more than the stereotypical teen actor and he always does what he thinks will make Ally happy but it’s hard for her to see when she’s constantly being interviewed about the fake relationship between her boyfriend and her best friend.
As if the teen drama isn’t enough, Ally is also trying to cope with her father’s weekly hospital visits for treatments for his terminal disease. After overhearing a conversation between her parents regarding their finances, she decides to take on a position working as Van’s personal assistant in an effort to relieve some of the stress they’re all dealing with. Ally puts a primary focus on her family and it’s endearing to see that she’s not swayed by the temptations of a Hollywood lifestyle. She values intelligence and she would rather hang out at home and watch a movie than go to a big party.
Final Thoughts: Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler is the book equivalent of a teen drama (think The O.C., 90210,and a hint of Gossip Girl). There’s never a dull moment in the life of Ally whether it’s family, friend or relationship related. Ally is frustrating at points and the book dragged a little bit for me in places but overall I could see it being a fun beach read.
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. (via Goodreads)