Rating: 4.5 stars
UNDER THE LIGHTS is one of those books you read and stays with you for weeks after you’ve finished it. We live in a society where LGBTQ literature or media in general doesn’t get much attention and there are still a lot of prejudices around gay and lesbian issues. There is a silence we must stop and this book takes a step towards that goal. It is truly a wonderful story about struggling with identity, unexpected love and being happy with who you are and who you love.
Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents’ wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls…opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. (Not that he’s trying to charm her, of course.) Meanwhile, his drama-queen mother blackmails him into a new family reality TV show, with Josh in the starring role. Now that he’s in the spotlight—on everyone’s terms but his own—Josh has to decide whether a life as a superstar is the one he really wants.
Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents’ disapproval. But with all her relationships currently in upheaval, she’s painfully uncertain about everything else. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on, now that her BFF, Ally, is at college across the country. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van’s life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she’ll have to choose between the one thing she’s always loved…and the person she never imagined she could.
The positivism the story is told with is infecting; even with all the drama that goes down you still feel like it’s such a happy read! The f/f romance is all I ever wanted to read. I love how the author went through all the emotions you feel when you are feeling in love and don’t even know it, and at the same time she explores the internal struggle of a person who is struggling with his/her identity/sexuality.
Adler’s writing is fresh and addicting. I started the book when I went to bed at around 12am and the next morning I only had 30 pages left to read and believe me, that’s very fast for me. The atmosphere Adler created with her character’s relationships was addicting and I wanted more from this group of friends! Yes, I have a pretty big hangover and BEHIND THE SCENES, the first novel in this series is going to be mine and only mine very soon!
The characters were one of the things that I enjoyed the most while reading the book. Josh, one of our main characters, is the typical asshole who cares about himself and only himself but we get to know him a lot more throughout the story. We get to see that he is a lot more than what you’d think he is and that he isn’t as selfish as he seems.
Vanessa, our second and most important main character, is an Asian-American Hollywood actress who struggles with her racial identity, her sexuality and her confidence. To be honest she is one of the deepest characters I’ve read about this year and I just want to analyze her in depth and do a special post about her. Maybe in the future? When we meet her in the book she lives purely for the rest of the people worrying about her appearance, her unsatisfying relationship with a guy she doesn’t love, and whether the paparazzi will be at the events she attends or not. She goes through an extensive character development and I’m not going to lie; I adored every bit of it. She is a complicated character and I see how she can be hated by some but you have to understand the situations she’s put in and the world she lives in.
All I’m going to say about Allie and Liam is that I need a companion novel solely about them. PLEASE DAHLIA.
If you’re looking for an excellent LGBT read that captures what it’s like to struggle with your sexuality but being uplifting and happy this is your book! Plus, who doesn’t like some Hollywood drama? This beauty comes out on June 30th and you are going to be OBSESSED! Go pre-order!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I’m an Associate Editor of Mathematics by day, a Copy Editor by night, and I blog at The Daily Dahlia, YA Misfits, and the Barnes & Noble book blog. I also write contemporary YA (The Daylight Falls duology) and NA (The Radleigh University series). Rec-ing books is approximately my favorite thing in the universe, with macarons being a close second. Come say hi on Twitter, where I’m @MissDahlELama!
Win an annotated ARC of UNDER THE LIGHTS by Dahlia Adler (INT)
Now let’s get to the fun stuff, shall we? I’ve chosen 6 actors in real life that I think would be best to play the characters of UNDER THE LIGHTS! It was so much fun researching and choosing the perfect candidates so let’s get to it!
Josh (Chace Crawford) – I imagined Josh as a Chace Crawford ever since I started the book and I think he’d be the perfect Josh! We’d just need to darken his hair a little but that’s doable right?!
Vanessa (Jamie Chung) – Jamie is literally the perfect Vanessa.Don’t you dare tell me otherwise.
Brianna (Holland Roden) – Ah, this actress is the perfect mix between business girl and party girls and she’s already a redhead!! PERFECTION!
Liam (Jamie Dornan) – I was going to go with Liam Hemsworth but then Jamie Dornan appeared on my Tumblr feed and I was like… LIAM?! Ugh, guys. UGH.
Zander (Chord Overstreet) – He looks just like I imagined Zander… Maybe with brown hair?
Allie (Amber Heard) – This blonde beauty needs to be Allie if a movie was to be made!
I hope you had as much fun as I had making this post! Follow me on Twitter!