Friday, October 23, 2015

The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years #5) by Sarina Bowen

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Freshman Lianne Challice is known to millions of fans as Princess Vindi. But sometimes a silver screen sorceress just wants to hang up her wand, tell her manager to shove it, and become a normal college student. Too bad that’s harder than it looks.

She’s never lived a normal life. She hasn’t been to school since kindergarten. And getting close to anyone is just too risky — the last boy she kissed sold the story to a British tabloid.

But she can’t resist trying to get close to Daniel "DJ" Trevi, the hot, broody guy who spins tunes for hockey games in the arena. There's something haunting his dark eyes and she needs to know more.

DJ's genius is for expressing the mood of the crowd with a ten second song snippet. With just a click and a fade, he can spread hope, pathos or elation among six thousand screaming fans.

Too bad his college career is about to experience the same quick fade-out as one of his songs. He can't get close to Lianne, and he can't tell her why. And the fact that she seems to like him at all? Incredible.

In this fifth installment we have DJ who’s in the midst of a scandal at school, accused of something that he claims had never happened. Until the situation is resolved, he has been counseled to keep a low profile. Lianne, world-famous movie star, enrolled at Harkness so she can experience normalcy. Unfortunately, her fame brings some notoriety causing her presence to become more of a spectacle on campus and in classes. Therefore, she’s forced to keep under the radar. These two from very different worlds are introduced to through their mutual hockey friends and find common ground in their awesome taste for cheesy 90’s music and a disdain for fake people. Mutual attraction aside, they find an easy-going rhythm with each other that makes this dreadful school year so much better.

A couple of the things I enjoy about this series is Bowen’s penchant for whimsical chapter titles that will make you smile while also addressing some serious themes. I did like the approach she chose to come at DJ's predicament from his angle  being the accused rather than the accuser. He agonizes over how far he wants to fight the allegations against him. I got the impression that he’s rather na├»ve about his situation because he can’t accept that he has to be always on the defensive. To make things more complicated, he’s unsure about how much he should confide in Lianne. She, in the meanwhile, has ambitions of her own for her dual lives. Career-wise, she wants to achieve artistic independence. On a personal level, Lianne wants to feel more grounded and a part of the fabric of college life. Side by side they encourage each other to push through their boundaries.

The Fifteenth Minute continues with the fun, mishaps and missteps of growing up, owning mistakes and taking on the challenges that pop up along the way to adulthood. As per usual, you can expect hysterical banter, embarrassing, laugh-out-loud moments and googly eyes leading to passionate interludes. Who doesn’t love those?

~ Bel

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