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Between the Lines by Tammara Webber

 
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 700

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:19 am    Post subject: Between the Lines by Tammara Webber Reply with quote

I loved Tammara Webber's Easy and in the beginning avoided her new series, Between the Lines, which consists of 4 interconnected books about teenagers who are Hollywood stars. OK, I confess I never thought such books would ever interest me, but I got drawn in by all the good vibes and glowing reviews from the blogosphere (I have to face it, I am a teenager at heart). Anyway, the most highly recommended is the 3rd book Good for You, where the hero, Reid, is a successful teen movie star in Hollywood, but he's a real jerk. The heroine is this Mary Sue character, Dori, who has to supervise him when he's doing his community service thing for crashing his new sports car into some poor people's home. On the surface, this is so not-my-kind-of-book. But, amazingly I loved it! I can't do it justice, but here is the review by Jane at Dear Author - http://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/overall-b-reviews/b-plus-reviews/review-good-for-you-by-tammara-webber/ . Tammara Webber is a very gifted author who can turn a very kitsch storyline into something very memorable and touching. This is a very nice romance, and I would recommend it highly.

The 4th book of the series, Here without You continues the story of the main protagonists in Good for You. It's another cliched storyline about the return of the ex, with a vengeance. This is a really good book as it explores the aftermath of teenage pregnancy. The story is wrapped up believably, and there is a HEA, don't worry, but this was a New Adult book that really made me think of the broader social issues.

I have not read the first two books of Between the Lines, but certainly would recommend Book 3 and 4 (to be read in sequence). The teens portrayed (they are 18 and 19) sound very mature majority of the time, but at other times, they behave like teenagers. And amazingly, I could believe that Reid and Dori had the kind of love that would have them stay together all their lives.
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Jane A



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 771
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the rec! I recently finished Easy and thought it was an excellent book. I'm not much of an NA fan given what I've read previously, so I was pleasantly surprised. I looked at this 4 part series and was not convinced I'd like it - teen stars are definitely not my thing! But I'm encouraged to try your suggestion of reading books 3 and 4.

Are you thinking of going back and reading the first two books?
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

msaggie wrote:
I loved Tammara Webber's Easy and in the beginning avoided her new series, Between the Lines, which consists of 4 interconnected books about teenagers who are Hollywood stars. OK, I confess I never thought such books would ever interest me, but I got drawn in by all the good vibes and glowing reviews from the blogosphere (I have to face it, I am a teenager at heart).
...
I have not read the first two books of Between the Lines, but certainly would recommend Book 3 and 4 (to be read in sequence).

I actually think that to get the full impact of Reid's transformation in Good For You, readers should at least start with Between the Lines (book 1). He is horrible; the only true movie star in the books, and he has no problem taking advantage of it in all sorts of despicable ways.

I have a number of issues with your characterization of the books, because I think that despite the recommendation (which I certainly share!), the original post actually does something of a disservice to the series.

First, the characters are not all Hollywood stars. It is true that with the exception of Dori, all the main characters are working actors. But Emma and Graham (books 1 and 2) are not well-known when the book starts, while Brooke (books 1, 2 and 4) starts out as a TV actress - a successful one, but more teen star than Hollywood star. The first book takes place mostly on location in Austin, where they and other characters are shooting what sounds like a truly awful adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Emma is not used to this sort of life and much of her character arc is her desire for success as an actress but also for a normal life, and her relationships not just with the cast members but also with her father and with her best friend from home.

Second, I don't consider Dori a Mary Sue. She is not perfect, she's not the one everyone falls for, and she's more complex than the Mary Sue label implies. Dori is very motivated to do good in her life, but she's also uncertain about how to achieve her goals and has a lot of doubts about her life and her faith. She's not perfect; she's just perfect for Reid, as it turns out. I like that she doesn't change him but he comes to realize that he wants to change things in his life. I also appreciated that Dori's family issues were not wrapped up with a neat bow and that she didn't transform into a gorgeous, super-stylish woman at any point.

Third, I don't think either GFY or HWY are cliched and kitschy. I also think very little of HWY is about the return of the ex; there's never any real likelihood of Reid and Brooke getting back together, and it's not a major part of the story.

Finally, the aftermath of teen pregnancy comes up in all the books, and is not limited to book 4, and Webber explores various ways in which teens and young adults deal with this and other challenges. For me the books are more about taking on and dealing with responsibility, whether by choice of by necessity.

The bottom line for me is that I would definitely recommend the series, with fewer reservations than you had, but I suggest starting with Between the Lines. Where You Are is the only book in the series I'd consider skipable.
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msaggie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 700

PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:45 pm    Post subject: Between the Lines by Tammara Webber Reply with quote

Thanks so much Yulie for balancing out the viewpoints. I actually do agree with all that you say - but my initial post echoed my feelings when I first saw blurbs of the books. Many readers, like myself, pick up books on "feel" after reading blurbs. The plotlines in Between the Lines were just those I never really went for, and so I was very pleased how much I enjoyed the books. Teenage pregnancy and its consequences are in Book 3 and 4, but how Book 4 deals with it is not usually covered in YA/NA books.

After your recommendation, I will get the first two (I have been tempted to do it, particularly as they are now $1.99 on kindle).
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