Isn’t She Lovely (Redemption #0.5) by Lauren LayneIsn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne
Published October 2013
Series: Redemption #0.5
Genres: New Adult
Format: eBook
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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?

Film student Stephanie Kendrick is looking forward to her summer class at NYSU – even though she hates New York and doesn’t exactly have a place to stay over the summer month. But she doesn’t care because it’s the perfect distraction from her home life back in North Carolina.

However, her mood ends up in the gutter when she learns that she has to deliver a project at the end of the summer, and that she has been partnered up with a preppy rich kid who doesn’t have the slightest interest in film studies, but who – just like her – is looking to escape something.

Ethan Price couldn’t have been more different from Stephanie – the two of them litteraly come from two different worlds. Yet, in spending project related-time with the “Goth girl”, he comes up with the brilliant idea of having Stephanie pose as his girlfriend, which should put an end to his family’s compulsive matchmaking. In exchange for a place to stay, Stephanie agrees to help him out and gets dolled up and fancy for dinners in the Hamptons.

But soon, their fake interactions and kissing seem all to real, and Stephanie wonders whether Ethan is falling for her, or for the version of her that he brought to life…

What I loved about this book:

  • It’s a nice laid-back sunny afternoon read

What I felt needed improvement:

  • The storyline is unfortunately way too predictable
  • The characters are quite immature

Isn’t She Lovely was a really nice read which I quite enjoyed – however, I can’t say I loved it…

The storyline was way too predictable. Outsider girl falls for popular jock. The good old opposites-attract thinger. And to add another cliché’d dimension to the book, the whole story turns into a Pygmalion plot where popular jock thinks outsider girls is just the perfect person to fake the role of his new girlfriend because, of course, there is no risk that she wants him, and no risk of the contrary either. Until said unfathomable scenario actually happens. So unfortunately, it is a bit disappointing to say that all is laid out from the start.

“You can dress up a hooker and she’s still a hooker. A flower girl is still a flower girl. And a grungy film student is still a grungy film student. Even in a pretty dress.”

The characters were nice, but also a bit leaning towards being a bit dramatic and again: overly cliché’d: Stephanie is the irritable and sarcastic goth – a total outsider who’d rather die than engage into conversation with someone outside her circle – and Ethan is was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, with a great family, great connections, heads up his fraternity and soon enough he will also head up with daddy’s company. And both are extremely prejudiced (even though I feel Stephanie is more prejudiced about rich people than Ethan is about outsiders).

But then again, despite the predictability of the plot and the fact that the characters felt a tad immature in my opinion, it was still a nice read (kinda felt like some 90’s movie) and some scenes were fun and cute. The writing was very good, and alternates between Ethan and Stephanie’s POV.

“It’ll be fun! Modern roommates.” Yeah. Fun. Like Pap smear fun. Like paper cut fun. Like PMS fun.

I am glad that I didn’t start the Redemption series with this book, because Isn’t She Lovely certainly doesn’t have the pull that the two other books in the series have, which I totally recommend you check out.

By the way, this is totally unrelated, but there couldn’t have been a cover that is more wrong for this book. It doesn’t represent the book at all. Just sayin’.

Detailed Rating
2.5 Stars
2.5 Stars
4.5 Stars
All the feels
3.5 Stars
Overall: three-stars