As many of you know, I am gun shy when it comes to purchasing self-published novels. Many of them are pricey and poorly written, nevertheless, I continue to scour Amazon for those that have received positive reviews because when they are good, they are really good and I am not one for missed literary opportunities. So, after reading through all thirteen books I borrowed from the library two weeks ago I decided to reach for my kindle and download instant gratification. My choice, Between the Lines, by Tammara Webber.
Receiving 4 1/2 stars out of 5 from 109 reviewers, I figured this was a safe bet. Easy to read, It took me a day to finish and left me wanting more, so I bought the next two in the series that distractedly drew my attention away from writing my Masters thesis. (Don’t tell my professor…;-) ) I wish I could say that all three were amazing, but sadly, that wasn’t the case. Don’t get me wrong, they were well written and I liked them, but I felt lost for a second in book 2 (More on that below).
What first intrigued me about the series was the premise, set around a group of famous teens who relocate to Austin to film a movie based on a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice. Being a former movie industry professional (Barf) who spent many a day frolicking on sets both in town and out of town, I know full well what kind of stress, drama, intense passion and egos derive from these situations and the author nailed it (for the most part). The plot didn’t disappoint. I was drawn right into the crazy world these over-worked and over-sexed young Hollywood almost A-listers.
The first book, (Between the Lines) told by the female protagonist and the male protagonist/antagonist, was interesting because it is assumed that they are going to end up together since we get their first-person perspective. However, that isn’t necessarily the case. The second and less pleasing of the series (Where You Are) added two other voices which kind of lost me. It wasn’t that I was confused, because she was very clear about who I was reading, I just didn’t like what was in the characters heads. I found myself questioning who to root for. One guy was a douche, the other a sap, one girl a psycho and the other wishy-washy. In the end I didn’t really care whether the couple made it to the finish line (sex of course). I wanted to, I did, but I found myself in a constant state of disbelief that these people would fall for such blatant trickery. Luckily, I decided to stick the series out because book three (Good For You) was a home run.
This was by far the best of the lot. The a-hole character from the first two was the lead in this and he finds redemption in the love of a selfless (NON-VIRGIN, EUREKA!!!!). I found his transformation into a decent human like watching Lindsey Lohan decide to love humanity more than her plastic surgeon and a bottle of Jack Daniels (yeah right). Plus, introduction of a selfless and STRONG young woman was a breath of fresh air and the fact that the writer chose to use only two voices brought me back to my happy place.
In the end, my gripe with the second book isn’t lethal enough to dissuade readers from reading the series in fact, in the end it just made the final book that much more enjoyable, because you find yourself rooting for the underdog and that happens to be one of my favorite things to do.