Monday, June 23, 2014

REVIEW: WILL THE REAL ABI SAUNDERS PLEASE STAND UP? by Sara Hantz




Title: Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up?
Author: Sara Hantz
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Genre: YA
Reviewed by: Angie Edwards
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
My rating: 2/5

SUMMARY

Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.

Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi's completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one.

But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?





REVIEW

I’m giving this book a two-star rating because it’s not the worst story I’ve ever read, and the cover and title won a lot of points with me.

From the book summary, I was expecting a no-nonsense, butt-kicking heroine who performs stunts, gets a taste of the Hollywood A-list high life while still retaining her butt-kicking, no-nonsense attitude, gets carried away by all the attention, learns a hard lesson or two, shrugs it off and moves on. I was also expecting glitz and glamour, and what it must be like for a stunt double on a movie set. Clearly, I set my expectations too high. Maybe I should’ve read the book summary three times or more, and not let myself be misleaded by the awesome cover. What did I get instead? An annoyingly and incredibly insecure, shallow Abi Saunders who always second-guesses herself, needs constant reassurance and praise, and who carries on and on and on about how handsome her best friend Matt is; the same Matt on whom she has a huge crush.

Honestly peeps, I had a hard time with this novel. I find it disheartening that a publisher who generally publishes above average books would publish something like this. This sort of YA protagonist has been written to death, and her crush, whom we are told over and over again is so handsome and has incredibly good looks, has similarly been written to death. I found Abi’s character frustratingly tiresome. Apart from her passive, whiny, insecure behavior, I found it even more irritating to be told the entire time how much she adores Matt. I simply couldn’t understand why! Was there anything more to Matt than his good looks? Apparently not. His character was so monotonous, it bored me to tears. Don’t even get me started on Tilly Watson. She was just a plot device to make Abi’s character look like a saint. It didn’t work for me.

My problem with this novel is that it doesn’t offer anything exciting or different. It’s just the same old story with a great cover, an interesting title, but the same typical YA characters with different names, and the same typical YA plot with mediocre romance for a backbone. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone, unless they’re new to this genre and haven’t read any such books yet. They’ll find this plot formula new and exciting, but for the rest of us who have been reading YA for quite some time, this book offers nothing new. Insecure protagonist with one flaw? Check. Hot bestie friend on whom she has a crush? Check. Stinted, unrealistic dialogue? Check. Predictable plot with a weak ending? Check, check, and check.

I’m still waiting for the real Abi Saunders to please stand up.

Give this one a miss.

My thanks go to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for this free eARC in exchange for an honest review.   






  
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ABOUT the AUTHOR


Sara Hantz originally comes from the UK and now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Australia (via 10 years in New Zealand). She writes young adult fiction and her debut book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green made the prestigious list 'New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age'. Sara lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and when not writing, working, or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV - in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she'd win gold.



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