Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Published by Flirt on October 28th 2013
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
“Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?”
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?
Girl meets boy. Girl and boy dislike each other. Girl and boy are forced to work together. Girl and boy fake a romance. Girl and boy fall in love.
Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren Layne tells the story of Stephanie Kendrick and Ethan Price. It’s hate, with a little attraction, at first sight. Drama and comedy ensues when Ethan and Stephanie are paired to write a screenplay together for a school project. The premise of their screenplay is simple and inspired by the story of Pygmalion: a story in which a sculptor falls in love with the statue he creates. But things get complicated when Ethan and Stephanie decide to bring their version of Pygmalion to life. Ethan turns Stephanie into the perfect girlfriend, with new clothes, new makeup, new hair, and a new personality. It’s a story of life imitating art. Or is it art imitating life?
At a glance, Ethan and Stephanie have nothing in common. Movie lover Stephanie is snarky, doesn’t have a lot of friends, and her fashion consists of dark clothes, dark makeup and piercings. Ethan on the other hand is stylish, outgoing, goes to parties and would rather spend his free time on a yacht than watch a movie. And while their differences are many, they share some commonality. Our hero and heroine harbor prejudices, resentments, and secrets that have shaped who they are as people; prejudices, resentments and secrets that have influenced how they relate to their friends, families and each other.
What I liked most about this book, more than the humor, more than the chemistry, more than the romance, maybe even more than the characters (and I liked them a lot), is the remarkable journey of self-discovery that Ethan and Stephanie went on. Stephanie and Ethan brought out the best and worst in each other. But it was their interactions, both good and bad, that changed them for the better.
Overall, I gladly give Isn’t She Lovely four stars. It had likable and emotionally complex lead characters, an intriguing plot, and a convincing love story. This is the first book I’ve read by Lauren Layne and it won’t be the last. (Reviewed by Quiana – The Book Lover)