There seems to be a recurring theme here: the abundance of YA reads. I like YA reads, I really do. I would read and share titles when my daughter was younger – and often recommend books to friends with tweens, teens and in-betweens.
Title: Loved In Pieces
Author: Carla J. Hanna
Format: Paperback and eBook
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Genre: Young Adult
About the Book: A-list actress, 17-year-old Liana Marie Michael struggles to find herself when Hollywood’s obsession with youth and power threatens to destroy her future. Liana is dating Hollywood’s hottest heartthrob and is on-set filming her seventh motion picture with sexy co-star Byron. Surrounded by a culture of casual sex, drinking and drugs, Liana feels lost and confused. To top it all off, she realizes she may be deeply in love with her childhood best friend, who is NOT a fan of the Hollywood scene. With her film soon to wrap, her acting contracts up for renewal, her high school graduation looming and growing tension between her and Manuel, life feels overwhelming. Will Lia Marie find the courage to share her love for Manuel? In the eternal quest for youth, what life-shattering secrets has Lia’s mom been keeping from her? Can Lia’s wish to live a “normal life” ever come true? Book Rating: PG-13; Contains: Sex and Swearing
My Review: I received an eBook copy from FreeBooksy Reviews for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility. I like YA, and am always particularly hopeful when reading a book of a younger woman, that she will be a strong character, not easily influenced or led, and most importantly, able to function without ‘needing a man”. I’ve been a reader of YA since I was of the age to read YA. I would often read and discuss books with my daughter when those were her preferred choices. So, I was prepared for the ‘immaturity’ of the main character, and her excessive vacillation on decisions.
I wanted to really like this book – because it seemed to present a different picture to the over-reported “train wreck” stories of teenage actresses. But, I think that the author tried to incorporate all of the “wrongs” inherent to the price of fame, that the characters were difficult and frustrating to empathize with. Liana particularly as she frequently mentions her therapist and her stint in rehab; one would expect a little stronger tether to reality and emotions.
Much of her remove is laid off on the pressures of Hollywood, her career, the public’s expectation, her mother’s determination and single-minded attention to ‘career first’. And sadly, the shell of a girl is as deep as her character went. And that was unfortunate. Now, I will say that there is a strong appeal for the more faith-minded reader: Liana is quite vocal and judgmental about premarital sex and her wish to be ‘normal, married and have children’. But one can be vocal and believe, without appearing to preach, and that happened far too often for me. I am, however, not a regular reader of more ‘inspirational’ reads.
These are, however, all my own opinions. I think most 14 and 15 year old girls would appreciate the ‘insider’ view, and seeing that someone on the screen has much of the same issues and insecurities that they often have themselves. Unfortunately, I think that there were some missed opportunities to deal with both Liana’s health issues and her need to ‘be in love’ and thinking that it would solve all of her other problems. It was a good first story, but I would like to see others in this series to be more character focused and less emphasis on the day to day issues dealing with her work.
About the Author: Carla J. Hanna is the author of the Intentions Series coming-of-age novels, including her debut novel Loved In Pieces. A graduate of Colorado State University with a Masters of Arts, she lives in Colorado with her family.
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