Thursday 26 June 2014

Review ~ Understudy by Cheyanne Young.

Title: Understudy.
Author: Cheyanne Young.
Publisher: 336Love.
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult Romance.
Publication Date: February 14, 2014.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon | B&N

The high school play is in two months and senior Wren Barlow just became director. Wren still isn't over the fact that she got stiffed as a stagehand instead of the lead role that she totally deserved. Now she is in charge of rehearsals, costumes, navigating around cast member hookups and managing the real life drama at home.

The principal counts on her to succeed because tickets have been sold and the money has been spent. But when he drops a gorgeous bad boy on her and wants him to help the play for extra credit, she falls hard for someone she knows she can't date. With everything spinning out of control, the mysterious and secretive detention king named Derek has a few tricks up his sleeve and wants to help—too bad Wren is scared to give him a chance to prove himself.

Margot and I have an unspoken best friend code when it comes to dating hot guys: She who sees him first, gets to date him first. The good news is that Margot hasn’t mentioned any new guys at school lately, so that means I’ve seen him first. The bad news is that she is way prettier than I am. Actually, that’s just the neutral news. The bad news is that Margot is currently single.

At lunch, Margot picks on her garden salad while I think of an organic way to bring up Derek and stake my claim on him. All the seniors have the same lunch period but it isn’t hard finding him in the crowd. Because he’s sitting alone in one of the corner tables made for two people. His sexy level goes up by a million points when I see that he’s reading a book instead of a magazine with a half-naked babe on the cover.

“That must be a new guy,” I say casually, poking my fork in Derek’s direction. “He’s cute.” Mission complete. With those two words, I have unofficial dibs on him.

Understudy is a fun Young Adult novel with some fab characters and a sweet romance. Instantly, I look at the cover and love it for its simplistic, cute nature and that pretty much describes what I felt about this book – an endearing, feel-good story impossible not to like.

The main character, Wren, hoping to make her college resume stand out, auditions for the school play. Given her aunt does the casting, she’s convinced she’s bagged the main role but regardless, she’s soon distracted by the mysterious Derek. I really wasn’t expecting Derek to be the bad-boy he was made out to be and the way his character played out was sweet. I don’t think this was the most unpredictable romance novel but I really didn’t care because it just made me smile.

I liked how the characters we were meant to like weren’t forced, perfect people. They all had flaws and that makes them easy to relate to, which I find one of the most important things about Young Adult books because at that age, we all need to know it’s okay not to be perfect, right? Other than Wren and Derek, who I loved, I really warmed to Wren’s best friend Margot because she wasn’t “perfect”. At the beginning, she came across as judgmental and a little pushy but that’s what I liked about her.

What I enjoyed about this book the most was that Wren didn’t conform to be like the rest of her classmates. I’m sure everyone at that high-school stage at times just wished they could fit in but Wren was naturally different, not the typical teenage girl and it worked for her. She shows it’s okay to be who you are and I think I really rooted for her for that reason. Understudy was an uplifting story not without a twist and definitely deserving of putting a smile on your face this summer.

Cheyanne is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, nail polish and paid holidays. She lives near the beach with her family, one spoiled rotten puppy and a cat who is most likely plotting to take over the world.

She also writes under the pen name Amy Sparling.

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