Friday, October 17, 2008

Likely Story by David Van Etten

I'm happy to present Amber Felix's first review at The Well-Read Child.
You can find Amber blogging regularly at A Fetal Attraction.

Likely Story by David Van Etten (who is actually comprised of three authors: Chris Van Etten, David Ozanich, and David Leviathan)

Daughter of a reigning soap opera queen, Mallory is tired of her mother's drama and contrived catch phrases stolen from the set of her soap opera "Good as Gold". After a particularly disastrous conversation with her mother, Mallory takes to her blog to gripe about how unreal daytime television is, claiming she could write a better soap easily.

Although Mallory wrote that blog out of anger, her mother's agent finds the entry and calls to tell her he'd like to see the script if she had it. Lying through her teeth, Mallory says she's got it all written up and will send it out per his request. The instant she gets off the phone, she frantically sets to writing a synopsis (or "bible" in her words) of her vision of what a soap opera should be. A realistic one that teens can relate to, all the while picturing her best friend Amelia in the title role, despite the fact that she has no real-life acting experience. !

The book takes us through what happens when a script is greenlit, from casting to set designing, all from the viewpoint of a teenager with her own soap opera story unfolding in her real life- from dealing with her less-than-affectionate mother to struggling with dating a boy who is already taken; the storyline and character beg to be believed, but fail.

While it was a catchy book and mildly entertaining, the characters and events make it easy to believe that this book is fiction. A pretty quick read with a lot of "Does he like me? Do I like him?" internal questions asked, you try to feel a little bit of emotion for Mallory and her mother, instead you find yourself indifferent, perhaps even disliking the characters at some points.

Likely Story could be a fun read for a young adult, there are little to no sexual situations, the dialogue is easy to follow and the story has a twist at the very last page, all the better to get you to read the next in the series!

What Other Bloggers Are Saying:
Mrs. Magoo Reads: "Most girls will probably find it a quick but enjoyable read. It's also really cool that three authors- all male- were able to create the character of Mallory, as well as a novel that has one collective writing style." (read more...)

Flamingnet Young Adult Book Blog: " was all a little less stimulating than expected. Likely Story was obviously in the genre of teenage but compared to other books, I believe there is a lot better out there." (read more...)

Wordcandy Bookshelf: "Likely Story is witty, clever, and stylish, with a lot of delicious soap opera in-jokes...Unfortunately, much like the soap operas it parodies, Likely Story is also totally unsatisfying." (read more...)

The Book Muncher: "Likely Story is not a particularly exciting novel all the time, but it was an enjoyable read. Readers looking for a milder version of the A-List will enjoy this novel too. " (read more...)

The Book Reader: "Likely Story was a really original book. The plot moved a little too slowly for me though. The characters weren't all that likable either." (read more...)

Bookshipper: "What I really enjoyed about this book is that the lead character Mallory could have been written as a vain, stuck up teenager - but rather the authors decided to make her the exact opposite of her shallow, rude tv-star mother. The interaction between mother and daughter is sometimes painful to read, but you get the distinct impression that both are putting up a front for the benefit of the other." (read more...)

More Info:
  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (May 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037584676X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375846762
  • Source: Review copy from publisher

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