Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review: Being Hartley by Alison Rushby

Rating: ★★★★ stars
Date Published: March 1st, 2014
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Thea Wallis was born to entertain. Her mother, Oscar winning actress Cassie Hartley, thinks differently and has kept her daughter out of the spotlight since day one. Coming from showbiz royalty, it hasn't been easy to go unnoticed, but mismatched surnames, a family home in Tasmania and a low-key scriptwriter father has made this possible.

Just like her cousin Rory on the hugely popular TV show Saturday Morning Dance, Thea loves to dance. She learns the show's routines off by heart each week, despite her mother's attempts to convince her that dentistry would be a far more fulfilling career choice.

However, when Rory goes off the rails in LA, Thea's mother is suddenly left with no choice at all – Rory needs them and to LA they must go. Within forty-eight hours, Thea finds herself a long way from Tasmania and living her dream – on the road to Las Vegas with the Saturday Morning Dance team.

It doesn't take long before Thea's talents are discovered and she's offered everything she's ever wanted on a plate, including the dance partner she's had a crush on forever. But, as her mother has always told her, Hollywood dreams come at a price. Thea soon realizes she will have to work out just how much she's willing to pay. And, ultimately, discover her own way to be Hartley.

What I Thought:

I'm wondering what rock I've been living under.  I had no idea Allison Rushby was such a prolific author and was blissfully unaware of all the books she's written, especially since many of them are now on my to-be-read list.  When I first read the synopsis for this book I thought to myself, " This book sounds cute."  All it took to hook me was the first chapter.  

It's really hard not to like Thea.  She's a teenager who is trying to find her place in her family and reconcile what she knows with what she wants.  She'd be like any other teenager out there except she's got the added burden of dealing with fame.  Both that of her parents and family members and the one she wants for herself. She is a little naive, but she's been sheltered all her life so it's easy to understand and accept it.

Allison Rushby did a very good job at presenting the realities of the charmed life while entertaining readers.  The story flowed well and I read the book quickly.  I was surprised by one or two twists.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it and by all the emotions I felt on both Thea and Rory's behalf. I loved the connection between the cousins.  It's not often I find a book that deals with fame, family, and finding one's self that I enjoy.  I'm really glad I gave this book a chance.

Purchase links:

About the Author
Allison Rushby is the Australian author of a whole lot of books. She is crazy about Mini Coopers, Devon Rex cats and corn chips. In November 2013, she will release her thirteenth book (she thinks… maths was never her forte). You can find her at, procrastinating on Facebook, or on Twitter at @Allison_Rushby. That is, when she’s not on eBay, or Etsy, or any other place she can shop in secret while looking like she's writing…

* A copy was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review via Netgalley.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any manner.*

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