Tour Stop: Understudy by Cheyanne Young- Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
Author: Cheyanne Young
Publisher: 336 Love
Release Date: February 14, 2014
Genres: Young adult, contemporary romance
The high school play is in two months and senior Wren Barlow just became director. Wren still isn't over the fact that she got stiffed as a stagehand instead of the lead role that she totally deserved. Now she is in charge of rehearsals, costumes, navigating around cast member hookups and managing the real life drama at home.
The principal counts on her to succeed because tickets have been sold and the money has been spent. But when he drops a gorgeous bad boy on her and wants him to help the play for extra credit, she falls hard for someone she knows she can't date. With everything spinning out of control, the mysterious and secretive detention king named Derek has a few tricks up his sleeve and wants to help—too bad Wren is scared to give him a chance to prove himself.
About the Author:
Cheyanne is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, nail polish and paid holidays. She lives near the beach with her family, one spoiled rotten puppy and a cat who is most likely plotting to take over the world.
Mr. Harrison gives an old man arthritic grunt as he settles onto his work stool. He slides the longest piece of molding across the workshop table toward me. “Cut this on the chalk line.”
I slide open my tape measure, but he stops me. “Use the square. Come on girl, I taught you better than that.” Of course he did. The normal me would have known to grab the square to mark a perfect line, but right now I can’t think over the thudding of my heart in my chest. How is it that I’m more nervous standing across the room from a guy who hasn’t even noticed that I exist, than I was moments ago while auditioning for the biggest role in the school play?
I head over to the pegboard wall with all the tools on it. The square, which actually looks like a triangle, should be on the lower left corner but it’s not. I check the workspaces around me but still can’t find it. I’m about to tell Mr. Harrison that someone stole his tools again when I see it.
It’s shoved in the back pocket of the hottest ass I’ve ever seen. I make my way over to the possible movie star, miraculously not dropping dead from cardiac arrest. A sheepish grin falls over my face. “Can I have that square?”
Hot Boy turns around, a carpenter’s pencil sticking out of his mouth. He takes the square from his pocket and hands it to me. “Thanks,” I say. He glances over at my project and then back at me, and I’m pretty sure his eyes graze over my entire body in a split second, but it feels like it takes an hour.
“Crown molding?” He says it like he’s confused. Like we’re in a shoe factory instead of wood shop.
I give an awkward shrug. “I want my room to look like a French boudoir.”
He nods and this smirk spreads across his lips as he looks at the molding and then back at me, as if suddenly understanding my entire personality.
There’s something in his smile that makes me want to rip off my shirt and throw myself into his arms, declaring my soul as his love slave, like some lunatic in an Axe body wash commercial. He holds out his hand. “I’m Derek.”
This book is about Wren, a high school senior and an aspiring interior designer. She wants to go to a prestigious arts college, but the only thing keeping her away from that is the dreaded extracurricular activities section. So, what does she decide to do to fix that? Join the school play.... that's being directed by her Aunt, Ms. Barlow. Wren wants the lead, but of course she gets the role as lead stagehand and understudy to the lead.
In drops the dangerous Derek, a mystery to the whole school since he had been arrested. Wren can't keep herself away from him, even if her bestie, Margot, constantly tells her how she can do better.
Then, she ends up having to direct the play herself. This brings her heaps upon heaps of stress, added to the fact that Derek is her "assistant" stage hand. She also needs to figure out to make the play succeed after people quit, get kicked out, and just simply don't do as they're told.
I really liked this story. It was short and sweet, and to the point (as in it didn't completely go into different tangents that weren't wholly explained). With it being only 178 pages (or 2053 locations for those that read on Kindle), it was easy to quickly read it in one sitting.
I liked Wren's character, though she did assume a lot when it had to do with Derek (you know what they say about people who assume things...). But, she did hold up to the stress of directing the play. She even had a sort of epiphany moment (though the reader doesn't really understand this until moments later).
Wren's supporting characters of her aunt and her best friend, Margot, were not my favorite characters. Margot only cared about herself the whole time, and I felt like she was one of those friends that only like talking about themselves (although she did kind of redeem herself, somewhat at the end). Aunt Barlow... jeez, if she was my aunt, I'd shake her and tell her to grow up. Adults don't just quit their jobs like she did, and the foist off the responsibility of dealing with a play that she wrote onto her niece. She didn't even want to help Wren, and when Wren succeeded with the play, she ignored her! Wth, Aunt Barlow? STOP BEING CHILDISH.
On to Derek... He was fine, I guess. Wren and he had good chemistry; they seemed like they could've been really good friends if a romantic relationship didn't work out (of course, if Wren got over her trust issues). I do think that the "Lexie" thing was nicely written into the storyline (in fact, there's a sort of foreshadowing thing to why he was arrested in there, but you don't really realize it until he tells us why he was arrested).
There was only one sentence that didn't work in the whole story, that I noticed, and that was only because there was a word or two deleted from the sentence. So, applause to the author/editor of this book!
As I said, I did like this book, i.e. the storyline was nice, there weren't really plot holes, I didn't absolutely hate the MC or love interest, and there were little to no mistakes in the writing. BUT, the one thing that knocked this down a heart, was that I felt like the story got wrapped up too quickly, if you understand what I mean? I felt like there was kind of just the climax, and then just kind of a resolution (as opposed to a climax, falling action, and then a resolution). It actually kind of gave whiplash (not really), but it did make the ending expected to a point that you guessed where it's gonna happen at.
So, this book got 4 hearts, and I would recommend this to anyone who like short and sweet romances that can be quickly read.