Friday, October 18, 2013

Isn't She Lovely Book Tour: Review + Interview + Giveaway!

Click on the banner for the full schedule.
Welcome to my post for the Isn't She Lovely book tour! I have a review coming up, as well as an interview with the author and a giveaway for a $15 gift card and t-shirts. But, before we get to all that, allow me to introduce the book:

Isn't She Lovely
Release date: October 28, 2013
Publisher: Flirt
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: N/A

The rules are clear—until they’re broken. Lauren Layne puts a New Adult spin on Pygmalion, also the inspiration for Pretty Woman, and gives the classic love story its edgiest twist yet.

“Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?”

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she’s pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn’t exactly Ethan Price’s type, either. He’s probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund . . . or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie’s a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan’s brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan’s privileged world, the “acting” begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating them. And Stephanie faces a question she’s too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

My Rating: 5 Roses

Sweet, light, and tons of fun, Isn't She Lovely was a brilliant New Adult read! The romance was sweet, the story was tons of fun, and I completely adored this book.

Stephanie was a great heroine. She was likable and easy to relate to. She's held on to her resentment of her father's marriage to her step-mother just 6 months after her mother's death, and she's used that resentment to push away the rest of the world. But, she went through a lot of growth in this book. She moved past her grudge and realized who she really wanted to be, and settled into a happy medium. Though I occasionally wanted to shake some sense into her for almost letting a great guy go, I thought she was awesome. She was tough, sarcastic, witty, and tons of fun. I really liked her.

Ethan was also amazing. He's a total sweetheart. He comes off as arrogant at first, but it doesn't take long to see how great he is beneath all that ego. Like, Stephanie, I wanted to shake some sense into him a few times. He also got perilously close to losing a great girl. And,what he does to get her back was hilarious, sweet, and oddly fitting for their relationship. I adored him. I thought he was wonderful.

The romance was lovely. Their relationship built slowly and it was so much fun to see (or read about, whatever) two people who are so different fall for each other. I thought it was really funny how their relationship in the beginning was trading stereotype insults between a Goth and a prep. Then, it built into more. It was really sweet to see. And, the chemistry between then was hot. When they got together, the sparks were flying. I thought they were a great, if unusual, couple.

The plot was fast paced. I was hooked the entire way through. I really enjoyed the story. It was so much fun to read. And, there were serious moments as the characters grew beyond the stereotypes. I loved the story and the ending was perfect.

Isn't She Lovely was a brilliant New Adult romance. I loved this book! It was so much to read and I enjoyed every bit of it. Lovers of New Adult romance, this is a book you have to read.

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*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"If we don't find a cab soon, I'm going to freaking kill someone with the heel of my shoe," Stephanie says as her gait becomes even more wobbly.
I've moved before I realize I'm going to, and suddenly Stephanie is in my arms, and I'm carrying my fake girlfriend through the Upper West Side as she mutters threats in my ear, and even though my delicate little flower is cursing up a storm, I find myself grinning.
My dad was right.
I am happy.
Author Interview:

Lauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in political science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Layne moved to New York City, where she now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and their plus-size pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

Welcome to Imagine a World! I’m so glad you could be here :)

What is the hardest part about writing for you? The easiest?
Getting the first draft on paper is without a doubt, the hardest part. I love the planning part — that stage where the story has so much potential, and you can’t wait to sit down and write down all the scenes you imagined that are going to be so, so great. And then you sit down to actually write them, and those scenes are so, so hard! I think what’s most discouraging is that you can have a really epic writing day . . . I’m talking like, 10-20k new words. But then you look at your manuscript and realize you still have 60k to go, and it feels a bit like pushing a fatty boulder up a really steep hill while wearing slippery shoes.

But the fun (and easy) part comes after typing The End on the first draft. I love the editing process. That’s where the manuscript goes from being a clunky mess of words to an actual story.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play your characters?
Stephanie would be Anna Kendrick as she is in the movie Pitch Perfect, right down to the eye makeup and clothing choices. Heck, Stephanie’s last name ended up being Kendrick, which wasn’t intentional, but I’m sure was definitely my subconscious at work!

And Ethan . . . ahh, Ethan. He is so clear in my head, but I never ended up finding the perfect actor for him! That’s never happened to me before! But despite lots of very difficult research looking at hot guys, nobody was quite right for my boy. In fact, you know how a lot of GoodReads reviewers will insert gifs into their reviews with their vision of the characters? I can’t wait for that to start happening with Isn’t She Lovely.

I’m dying to see other people’s Ethan!

(My Ethan was a dead ringer for Liam Hemsworth. So, I'll leave him as a casting suggestion)

What do you do when you get writer’s block?
I’m not really a believer of writer’s block, so I try not to accept it as something that just “happens.” If I’m stuck, it’s because something’s wrong with the story. Either there’s a plot hole, or the character motivation isn’t strong enough . . . sometimes it’s as simple as “this scene is boring,” and I’ll find a way to make it interesting again.

That being said, once you figure out what the problem is, sometimes it does help to step away from the computer to go think it through. I’m a big fan of bubble baths or a run for mulling things over. However, I always try to have a fairly clear goal in mind for what I’m trying to work through. I never just say “I’m stuck” and walk away until I get another burst of inspiration. That can take weeks. Spending a little time figuring out why you’re stuck will get you unstuck a whole lot faster!

Are there any authors in particular (living or dead) who inspire you?
I’d have to say Judith McNaught. My writing style is nothing like hers, my plots are nothing like hers, and I don’t think I’ll ever have her knack for historical, but she more than any other author is the one that made me want to write romance. For me the marking of a perfect book is that “stomach flip” you get during a sweet moment, or a heartbreaking one. Very few authors can get that reaction out of me, but she always does. Sandra Brown and Lisa Kleypas are also amazing.

Do you have any upcoming books you’re working on? Can you tell us a little about it?
I can’t talk too much about the details at this point, but I can tell you that my current work in progress is a New Adult spin on Beauty & the Beast, and the hero is breaking my heart in the best way possible.

If you could go back in time (to any time at all), what time period would you go to and why?
You know? I like it right here and right now with my Apple products and hot water and really soft toilet paper. Maybe I’d go back to the twenties for the speakeasies, but only for a hot minute.

Summer or winter?
Winter! Summer’s alright for like a week, but winter’s always been my favorite season. There’s nothing like the first snow, especially if it happens on a day where you have nowhere to be and can just curl up and watch the world turn white. I’m also a Christmas nut, and rarely make it to Thanksgiving before all of my playlists get their carol on. I also have an odd obsession with jackets. Pea coats, trench coats, puffy jackets, fleece . . . bring it.

Cat or dog?
I’m a total dog person, but not the crazy variety that is also a cat hater. If I weren’t absolutely positive that a cat would kick my dog’s @$, I’d totally get a cat too.

Tea or coffee?
Ooh, kind of same answer as with the cat/dog thing. I do have coffee pretty much every morning, so I guess that’s my preference, but I love a cup of tea too. More in the afternoon or evening though.

Book or movie?
Okay, THIS one I’m clear on. Books all the way.

Bad boy or boy next door? 
Boy next door. Not a huge fan of “bad boy” books. In theory I absolutely get the appeal, but I’m a sucker for the preppy, clean-cut, all-around-good-guy types. Also, leather jackets have never been sexy to me. Motorcycles are even worse.

Thanks for coming!
Up for grabs is a $15 gift card and 2 New Adult tees. Ends November 10.
Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway