Summary (from Goodreads):
Things I know about Reece Malcolm:
1. She graduated from New York University.
2. She lives in or near Los Angeles.
3. Since her first novel was released, she’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week.
4. She likes strong coffee and bourbon.
5. She’s my mother.
Devan knows very little about Reece Malcolm, until the day her father dies and she’s shipped off to live with the mother she’s never met. All she has is a list of notebook entries that doesn’t add up to much.
L.A. offers a whole new world to Devan—a performing arts school allows her to pursue her passion for show choir and musicals, a new circle of friends helps to draw her out of her shell, and an intriguing boy opens up possibilities for her first love.
But then the Reece Malcolm list gets a surprising new entry. Now that Devan is so close to having it all, can she handle the possibility of losing everything?
As soon as I saw a YA book about a girl into show choir and musicals, I knew I had to read it. It sounded like just what I needed to read my way through a snowstorm. I wasn’t quite expecting it to be as serious as it ended up being. I was hoping for a little more Glee and a little less Sarah Dessen. However, I ended up really loving all of its serious bits almost as much as all of its humorous ones.
There were a few things that seemed a little questionable to me. Like how is it possible for a bestselling author to have so little information online? And I guess it would make sense if her mom was like a recluse or always afraid of being noticed, or even had some sort of reason at all. But, this was never explained. And I know it’s in no way a major point of the book; but, it did keep bothering me.
I loved all the scenes with Devan trying out for shows and participating in musicals. It was nice reading about a performing arts school; it’s not something I routinely read in YA. I also kind of loved the romance bits. It wasn’t easy to read about Devan going out with her first boyfriend because I was super shipping her with someone else. Though, I found the whole thing really believable.
I super related to Devan, and sometimes I felt really sorry for her. Sometimes I did wish she was a little stronger. I wanted her to tell her mother how was she feeling on day one. And I really wished she saw herself as other people did. I understand why she didn’t. And I get any teenage girl would be self conscious around famous people. I was kind of hoping for a bit more confidence from her. Though, I was happy to see her grow over time. And by the end of the novel, I definitely liked Devan a whole lot more.
Spalding definitely knew how write drama: family drama, boyfriend drama, and friend drama. And I think I loved Devan the most for her ability to handle it all –and still remain as nice as she was. Overall, I really loved this book. It wasn’t what I was expecting. But that’s okay. I give it a 9/10.