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I Belong

Review: Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren Layne

Isn't She LovelyTitle: Isn’t She Lovely

Author: Lauren Layne

Genre: NA Romance

Series: N/A

Publication Date: October 28, 2013

Format: eBook, 243 Pages

ISBN-10: 0345549112 (Flirt)

ISBN-13: 978-0345549112 (Flirt)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


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?

Quick & Dirty: Isn’t She Lovely is a cute romance about finding yourself and finding love. The first few chapters weren’t very eye-catching, and more than a little boring, but after that it was easy to read and an adorable story.

Opening Sentence: So, it’s like this…In movies, there’s this thing called the meet-cute.

Excerpt: Excerpt 1, Excerpt 2

The Review:

Stephanie Kendricks: dark hair, dark clothing, dark eye makeup, basically goth. And then you have Ethan, the rich boy with no outfit that costs fewer than 1,000 dollars, that color-coordinates his shirts and has a live-in maid to iron his pants. When they get paired to be partners in a college film class project, they seem incompatible, but soon a simple project turns into something else. In other words, Stephanie playing Ethan’s fake girlfriend to appease his parents, Ethan giving her a full rich-kid makeover, and both of them falling in love as they complete a Pygmalion script for class.

The first few chapters of this were hard to read. I wasn’t hooked at all, and it was a drag getting through the pages. The plot wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t very exciting either. Eventually it started to grow more complicated, and I began to like reading it and wasn’t reading just because I needed to review. And I ended up really enjoying this, after all!

Both Ethan and Stephanie have damaged families. Stephanie’s mother died of cancer, and her dad remarried six months after. Ethan caught his mother kissing a man that wasn’t his father. Both of them learn to let go…and are surprised that it is to each other. Stephanie’s mother’s death was sad, and I feel as if the author did a good job trying to convey how depressed Stephanie was, but her sadness didn’t stem into mine. I guess that means that I didn’t connect with Stephanie well, and although I liked her character by the end of the book, there were definitely times I was irritated by what she said and how she said it. Ethan, on the other hand, I loved. He always made me giggle, while Stephanie’s dark jokes earned a small, wary chuckle.

The cutest scenes were the ones when Ethan and Stephanie kissed even though they weren’t in public, the ones where the lines began to blur between acting and real love. These made me go awww and smile.

Underlining. Sentences were underlined so much that it was ridiculous. I’m all for uniqueness, and I haven’t seen a book underline before, but in this case it actually distracted my eyes and made it harder to read. Why can’t it just be italicized? This was a constant annoyance and got on my nerves. It isn’t really a big deal, but I still feel the need to wince when I see underlining in this book.

Other than the above there isn’t much I have to say, to be honest. I read quickly after the first few chapters and finished in a few hours while reading on and off. Stephanie’s transition from everything black to her own signature style was fabulously done. Isn’t She Lovely was a good, refreshing read with a few flaws that I have pointed out above, and it was a hilarious book altogether. It’s also very cheap, and really worth the price (2.99 currently). I would recommend it to any girls out there who love a good romance — try it out!

Notable Scene:

But I hadn’t anticipated the extra hurdle of keeping my motivations focused.

I was here to create a version of Stephanie that would appeal to my parents.

Not a version of Stephanie that would appeal to me.


FTC Advisory: Flirt/Random House provided me with a copy of Isn’t She Lovely. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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