Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rules of Seduction by Jenna Mullins

Rules of Seduction by Jenna Mullins
Release Date - April 21, 2015
Publisher Website - The Studio, Paper Lantern Lit
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
My Rating - 3/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The first rule of seduction is: don’t fall in love.

Fresh out of college, Dani Young heads for the LA sun to chase her dream of becoming a screenwriter-director. So when her former BFF turned actress Elise offers Dani the opportunity to work on the hit teen show Vamp Camp, Dani can’t refuse, even if it comes at a price: Elise wants Dani to seduce her boyfriend, Vamp Camp superstar Tate Lawrence. Turns out Elise has some major trust issues, and needs Dani to test Tate’s faith. The only rule: don’t fall in love with him.

Sure, Dani doesn’t mind occasionally glimpsing Tate’s megawatt smile…or accidentally-on-purpose brushing up against his perfect torso…but she’s no fool. There’s no way she’d ever fall for a shallow celebrity and no way one would fall for her, a lanky movie nerd.

But amidst vampire-crazed fans, a conniving fellow intern, and a devilishly handsome showrunner, Dani feels like all the rules she used to know have disappeared, except for one: Love doesn’t play by the rules.

Part The Devil Wears Prada, part How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days, this story of friendship and romance is sure to appeal to fans of Stephanie Perkins, Jennifer E. Smith, and Anna Todd. 
It seems fitting that a novel set in Hollywood would be so reminiscent of a romantic comedy movie. Rules of Seduction hits all the classic tropes for a rather enjoyable, sweet read. If you've ever day dreamed about being on a hit television show set, this novel is for you.

This novel tackles that time right out of college when you're filled with so many expectations and wide eyed dreams. The reality of the situation is not always the way you view it through these more dream filled glasses. The reality of being thrust into 'adulthood' is often not like our expectations, and that is the story this novel is really telling. Dani quickly learns that her vision of her life after college will not be what she immediately walks into. The Hollywood of her dreams is vastly different from the one she gets. Life sometimes has other plans, and changing your view on something can be jarring but rewarding. It subtlety showcases how these changes can open you up to new experiences and and take your life in unexpected, but rewarding places.

Jenna Mullins' writing strength is her humour and satire. The novel is filled with funny moments and lines that are used to enhance the characters and plot. She plays with the genre and the inherit clich├ęs that come with it by embracing them and using them for humour. It's sort of 'tongue in cheek' about it, and it works for this type of story.

Dani's penchant for creating lists was used effectively throughout the novel. It's a cute character element that feels true to who she is in the novel. While I enjoyed all of the characters, the only down side for me, was that I didn't feel like I got to know them. Other than Dani they felt like characters with potential, rather than fully fleshed out characters.They read like characters in a TV show where it takes time to get to know them. The positive side to this is that there is plenty of potential for companion novels since the secondary characters are charming and memorable, even if I wish we had gotten more of them.

The budding friendships and relationships in the novel also shine. They are slowly built, and a foundation is constructed before any romance enters the scene. It helps that nothing feels instant about the connections being built. Tate and Dani are friends first and even that connection takes time to establish. The budding friendship between Dani and her room mate Brit is also slower building. It makes these connections feel more natural and authentic.

Predictability is part of this novel's charms. You know what is going to happen, and you know there will be a happy ending on the horizon. This is the novel version of comfort food as a result. It's the kind of read that you'd curl up with while eating ice cream after a really bad day.

A novel that will pair nicely with a day by the pool or at the beach. It's a light, frothy, fun read that has a little bit of everything - romance, friendship, humour, drama. If you love romantic comedy movies, and Hollywood, it's one worth checking out.

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