Monday, October 26, 2015

Review: Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler

Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler 
Series: Daylight Falls #1
Published: June 24th, 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
328 pages (ebook)
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

{Read my 5-star review of Last Will and Testament}

High school senior Ally Duncan's best friend may be the Vanessa Park - star of TV's hottest new teen drama - but Ally's not interested in following in her BFF's Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father's mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van's on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she's capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can't play by Hollywood's rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.

I had my fair share of celebrity crushes as a teen (oh, who am I kidding, I still have a ton of celeb crushes and I’ve been out of my teens for ages), so a book about a regular teen girl dating a hot celebrity totally appealed to me. I liked that Adler put a new twist on the trope by having Ally actually live in Hollywood and be friends with a rising starlet, so her meeting/dating Liam wasn’t a chance encounter or a case of ‘girl stalks celeb, celeb happens to notice her, they have a meet cute, and start dating’. The story was also about a lot more than just their romance and the angst surrounding it; it had all the elements of what I adore most in YA: friendship, family, real life issues, genuine emotion, and character growth.

I really liked Ally. She was smart, funny, and driven. She knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it. I enjoyed her relationship with her family, especially her dad. I really connected with her on that, since I lived through two years of my dad being in and out of hospital with cancer before he died. Her fear and uncertainty came through really well, and it broke my heart whenever she thought of the future without her dad, because I had so many of the same thoughts when my dad was sick. I also really liked her friendship with Vanessa. It was great to see them maintaining a friendship despite Van’s bursting schedule and rising popularity. Like a lot of Ally’s life, her friendship with Van couldn’t be ‘normal’, but they made it work. I loved how loyal they were to each other, how they stood up for each other, and considered each other in so many decisions, big and small. 

And then there was Liam. I loved Liam. He was the kind of celebrity I would have crushed on as a teen and hoped he was as awesome in real life as Liam actually was. He was smart, patient, and sweet, and he cared so much about Ally.

It’s hard to explain how I felt about certain parts of the book. On one hand, I understood Ally’s reservations and issues about dating Liam, and why she got upset about some things. But on the other hand, she said from the beginning she didn’t want anything to do with people in Hollywood other than Van, and she didn’t want to date a celebrity because she wanted a normal life, a normal boyfriend., etc...but she starts dating Liam and then gets upset that they can’t have a normal relationship, even though she knew that would be the case. She drove me nuts at times because she knew how things were and how they needed to be, but she kept freaking out. And yet, I could always sort of rationalize her behaviour in a way, between her age, and the fact she really liked Liam and wished things could be different. It was the weirdest feeling while reading - being incredibly frustrated with Ally while going ‘well she is eighteen, it’s hard enough being a teenager, then throw all this other crap in...’ Despite those odd and sometimes confused mixed feelings on my part, it didn’t take away from the fact that Ally was a good person, and I appreciated that she was flawed and realistic.

Overall, I really enjoyed Behind the Scenes. Ally had a great, authentic voice, tons of growth, and was easy to connect to. She had great chemistry with Liam (who’s one of my new favourite swoony book boyfriends), and her relationships with her family and Vanessa added so much to the story. This book made me giggle, tear up, and swoon. If you’re a fan of contemporary YA, especially ones that explore a relationship between a celebrity and a non-celebrity, be sure to pick up Behind the Scenes!

Have you read Behind the Scenes? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Do you have a favourite book about a 'regular' person dating a celebrity? Who was your biggest celeb crush as a teenager? Let's talk here or on Twitter!


  1. Oh, you had me at Liam! He sounds perfect and just for him, I'd love to give this book a try. Thank you for sharing your beautiful review!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

    1. Thank you Sakira! Liam really is a swoony dream boy. I hope you enjoy the book when you get to it! ♥

  2. This looks like an adorable book! I haven't heard of it but I'll keep an eye out now.


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