I call this series a trilogy because there are only three books, but my fingers are crossed that Webber will write at least one more book. (Don't leave us hating Brooke! She deserves love, too.) I had two days over the holidays when I didn’t feel well. All I wanted to do was curl up on the couch with a book. This series completely fit my mood. Pure escapism! The characters were well developed, the story was compelling, there was plenty of chemistry between the love interests and the Hollywood element added just a touch of glamour. Since I read all three books in one long sitting over the course of two days, the stories blur together for me, so I have to review them together.
Book one, Between the Lines, starts when a group of teenaged actors are hired to be in a big budget, modern day version of Pride & Prejudice. Filming is in Austin, Texas, and the cast moves into a hotel for the months of production. The second and third books follow the cast as they deal with promotion, premiers and paparazzi. In typical teen fashion, crushes develop, friendships are formed and lost, egos and emotions get bruised. But rather than coming across as vapid, over-privileged brats, these characters have fully developed back stories. The author allows them to make mistakes and learn from them. None of the teens are all good or all bad--rather they are all a realistic mixture of both.
I would say this series is meant for older teens. There is quite a bit frank talk about sex, drugs, alcohol and the trappings of fame. Profanity is used, but didn't bother me. The sensitive or controversial topics were handled with care by the author. We all know that children who grow up in Hollywood face adult challenges. I think Webber stayed true to her characters by addressing these issues head-on, not sugarcoating the story like a Disney film.
Overall, I give Between the Lines...
Plot - 4 bookmarks
Character Development - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Love Stories - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Dream cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Hunter Parrish (Reid Alexander), Ashley Benson (Emma Pierce), Jean-Luc Bilodeau (Graham Douglas), Blake Lively (Brooke Cameron), Jessica Brown Findlay (Dori Cantrell)