An Adorable Holiday Slump-buster!
Life is real enough for Dylan—especially as the ordinary younger sister of Dusty, former Miss Mississippi and the most perfect, popular girl in Tupelo. But when Dusty wins the hand of the handsome Scottish laird-to-be Ronan on the TRC television network’s crown jewel, Prince in Disguise, Dylan has to face a different kind of reality: reality TV.
As the camera crew whisks them off to Scotland to film the lead-up to the wedding, camera-shy Dylan is front and center as Dusty’s maid of honor. The producers are full of surprises—including old family secrets, long-lost relatives, and a hostile future mother-in-law who thinks Dusty and Dylan’s family isn’t good enough for her only son. At least there’s Jamie, an adorably bookish groomsman who might just be the perfect antidote to all Dylan’s stress . . . if she just can keep TRC from turning her into the next reality show sensation.
I was SO excited to be approved for this Disney-Hyperion title on Net Galley, and it did not disappoint!
If you’re in the mood for a fast, slump-buster read–whether to get you back into reading or to kick-start you into the holiday spirit–this is it! I loved Dylan immediately. She’s the awkward, self-conscious, shy younger sister of a beauty-pageant winner, dragged into a high-profile world she never wanted to be part of. When she ends up meeting a boy she might actually LIKE (for the first time, like, EVER), she’s forced to go through the roller coaster of first love on reality television. UGH, right???
I’ll admit I struggled a bit between four and five stars–I FLEW through the book, but it doesn’t have a ton of dramatic tension. There’s nothing in the world quite like that teen anguish of is-he-going-to-like-me? mixed with the rush of omg-he-might-really-like-me! and I didn’t always feel that here. It was more of an ADORABLE read than a dramatic one–the surprises weren’t terribly surprising, and the complications weren’t terribly complicated–but sometimes that’s exactly what I’m in the mood for.
Bottom line? After starting and putting down several other books that just didn’t hold my interest, this one stuck with me. I’m giving it 4.5 stars and rounding up, for that “stickiness” factor. It held my attention from the first page to the last, and I genuinely enjoyed the read. I cared about the characters (Dylan’s romantic interest is equal parts nerdy and sweet–I LOVED him), the pacing was excellent, and the overall story was a fulfilling ride, with a lot of smiles along the way. I highly recommend both the book and the author, and I will be following Stephanie Kate Strohm for sure!
– Erin’s Pick