Jan 28, 2014

Book Review: Isn't She Lovely

Title: Isn’t She Lovely
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication Date: October 23, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Add to: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she’s pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn’t exactly Ethan Price’s type, either. He’s probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund… or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie’s a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan’s brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan’s privileged world, the “acting” begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating “them.” And Stephanie faces a question she’s too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

My Thoughts:

“That’s not how it ends, Kendrick. First he has to apologize. Then he tells her how wrong and stupid he was. He tells her that he doesn’t care if she decides to start wearing a velvet cape to dinner at his parents’ house. He doesn’t care that her boots belong in a Civil War museum. He doesn’t care if she wants to wear sweats to the opera or black to a wedding, or if she wants to draw black permanent marker around her eyes. And he tells her how wrong he was for saying that she lacked guts, because the truth is he wasn’t willing to meet her halfway.”

My heart flipped at that quote. Actually, my heart flipped so many times while reading this book. This is another one of those stories that I wouldn’t mind rereading from time to time.

Funny, sweet and the two main characters are smart and got this interesting banter. This book is one of those refreshing ones in the New Adult category. Ethan’s unlike the guys I’ve read in NA where they usually have this ‘bad boy’ vibe, who sleeps around with girls and has tattoos here and there. Although, he’s got his own vibe that seems to charm the ladies, not to mention his pearly white teeth. Stephanie’s the ‘goth’ (or dresses up like one), which is one of the things that really captured my interest because I hardly read books with the main female acting/dressing up like this one. Her sarcasm, when used in the right moment, never failed to make me grin. I’m into those characters who knows when to strike their sarcasm. Both are so flawed, and things between them weren’t all fluffy clouds and happy unicorns but so rough and like any other human, they messed up big time.

The other characters in the book were surprisingly likable. I didn’t expect to like the ex-girlfriend because I got this picture of her in my head that she’d go all clingy and jealous when she has no right to be. Even Ethan’s mom but then, she has to speak up for her actions. Something I won’t be spoiling. But the other characters like Ethan’s socialite friends, his dad, Chris (Stephanie’s stepbrother), and the rest were all good. Though for Chris, I did wish there was more about him and his relationship with Stephanie because I feel like he’s a nice brother.

Great story, I enjoyed it and when you’re in love and you’re not confident that the person who you’re about to give your love can’t accept you for who you are, especially when you dress, it’s really an eye opener because you definitely can’t waste your time and effort for someone who can’t understand that you’re being you. Or you’re acting/dressing up this way because this is who you are and this makes you happy and all you wanted is for this person to accept and/or love you back as you. Not someone you’re pretending to be, but you. There’s so much in this story and I really dig the friends-to-lovers situation.

My Rating:


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