For What It's Worth

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: Between the Lines by Tammara Webber

Between the Lines When Hollywood It Boy, Reid Alexander, arrives on location to shoot his next movie, his goals are the same as always—film another blockbuster hit and enjoy his celebrity status to the fullest while doing so. His costar is a virtual unknown with whom he had blazing hot chemistry during her auditions. The universe is lining up nicely to grant whatever he wants, as usual, until he’s confronted with unexpected obstacles on location like a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for the first girl to spark his genuine interest in years.
Emma Pierce just got her big break after more than a decade of filming commercials for grape juice, department stores and tampons, and more recently, bit parts in made-for-TV movies. Nailing the lead role in a wide-release film sent her agent, father and stepmother into raptures, and should have done the same for her. The Problem? Emma is experiencing a building desire to be normal, and starring in a silly, modernized adaptation of one of her favorite novels—opposite the very hot Reid Alexander—isn’t going to advance that aspiration.
Graham Douglas doesn’t fear playing the part of a nerdy dimwit; when it comes to choosing film roles, if it pays, he’ll do it. Besides, his friend Brooke Cameron snatched up the role of the bitchy hot girl and could use his help as a buffer, because her ex is the star. Graham has no problem keeping a handle on the situation, until he finds himself attracted to Reid’s costar, Emma, the girl Reid is pursuing full-throttle with his standard arsenal of charm, good looks and arrogance.

Author recommendation: Mature teens+ (language/drinking/sexual situations) (Goodreads)

Emma is a small time actress. Although she dreams of acting in the theatre, she's mostly starred in commercials up to this point. Then she gets a shot at the role of a lifetime, a modernized big screen retelling of Pride and Prejudice. At first Emma, a die hard fan of the book, is skeptical and wants no part in the twisting of her beloved story but is swayed when she finds out it will mean starring opposite the hunky teen hearth throb Reid Alexander.

Emma and Reid's chemistry is off the charts after their screen test and Emma gets Reid to do something he usually doesn' Emma isn't so sure that she can trust Reid though. He's good looking, lays on the charm pretty thick but he's also gone through almost every girl in Hollywood. Reid takes this as a challenge and doubles down in his efforts to win Emma over. He's not used to competition and he gets a big dose of it from the wonderful but secretive Graham Douglas.

Between the Lines is told in the alternating POV's of Reid and Emma. Although Pride and Prejudice is featured prominently in the story, this is not a strict retelling so just a heads up on that front.

Reid is almost completely unlikable as leading man material even though Webber has given him a fleshed out background and reasons for his behavior. There is hope for redemption and as much as I didn't like a lot of his actions I appreciated that he wasn't made in to the typical YA bad boy. You know the type; the guy who really has a heart of gold under that cool exterior. Reid still has to find his heart in order for it to turn into gold. There are glimpses of his potential though in his relationship with Emma. I appreciated that the author stayed true to who Reid really is rather than caving to our fantasy redemption of a boy that would come off as unauthentic. It was a risky move as a writer and I liked it.

A lot of the character interactions take place between the cast after work where there is next to no parental involvement. There is plenty of partying and irresponsible behavior among the teenage actors. The wild behavior disturbed my 46 year old self and I wanted to jump in and yell at these kids or shake their absentee parents but I'm pretty sure if Lindsey Lohan, Brittany Spears and the like are any indication, this is be a sad but true representation of teenage actors in Hollywood. 

Although I was disturbed by some of the characters behavior I found Emma's conflicting feelings and struggles of how to live in this world interesting. She could go in either direction. She's a good girl, trying to decide between fame or small town theatre. Hollywood or college. To give away her virginity or trust her instincts. I liked the stark contrast of the two worlds. Emma also has to deal with her best friend back home as their relationship changes in addition to a distant father and a step mother who wants Emma to succeed for her own selfish reasons. Graham is an excellent counter point to Reid and always has Emma second guessing her hopes and dreams - in a good way. There's just enough ambiguity with both boys to keep you on your toes for most of the book.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that Between the Lines is a cute romance but with a deeper message if you're looking for it. I think fans of Kody Keplinger would enjoy Tammara Webber's writing style. It treats the teenage experience in a frank and honest way. It isn't always pretty but it just might turn out ok after all.

Rating: 3.5 out of 4 Impressive debut.

Check out the Between the Lines book trailer:

Tammara's BlogA Room of My Own

Source: Provided by the author for my honest review
2011 Debut Author Challenge book - Hosted by The Story Siren
Buy the book! Between the Lines


  1. I loved this debut novel so much. The way Emma tries to navigate through her feelings and do what is right as well as deals with coming of age reminded me of being in high school and having to do the same thing. (Granted, Emma's life is dramatically different being an actress and unsupervised.)

    Can't wait for Where You Are which is scheduled for an October release.

  2. Great review and sounds like a book I need to adding to my reading pile.

  3. Ah, you know me--I'd FLIP over the irresponsible behavior, but the rest of this novel sounds so doggone good!

  4. Okay, I would give this a try. I'd also probably go for the Hollywood fame.

  5. Ha. When I first saw the cover, I thought it was for that book Epic Fail.

    I'd probably find the behavior a bit disturbing too, being from a small town I remember what it was like to run off to college and have all that freedom. Things can get out of control quickly if you let them. Hadn't heard of this one before, but now I'm curious about it. Thanks K.

  6. I saw this book on Amazon!!!! An in typical me-fashion forgot about it. Dang it. I really liked the blurb. Thanks for reminding me with your review. Glad you liked it. Makes me think I will, too. I need to wishlist this asap.
    _yay_ @ BookthatThing