Publication Date: 5 May 2015
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Emi is soon to be a high school graduate, with a job as a set designer lined up for her during the summer. Because her brother is living abroad for a few months, he offers Emi and her friend Charlotte his apartment to live in, with the condition that they do something ‘epic’ in the apartment.
Whilst trying to find a couch for a set at an estate sale, Emi and Charlotte discover a letter hidden in an old record. They try and solve the mystery surrounding the words written by the deceased Hollywood star and locate the person the letter is addressed to. Also present in the novel is a romance between Emi and Ava – a girl that the friends come accross on their search.
The mystery and adventure is exciting to read and kept me wanting more. It was not completely surprising in the end, but still managed to keep me entertained. The mystery was definitely the focus of the novel rather than the romance, though there was still plenty of flirting that occurred.
I really enjoyed learning about set design. The setting of Hollywood is fascinating and I do not often get to learn about the behind-the-scenes of making films. It seemed as though a lot of research went into the Hollywood aspect of the writing, which worked quite nicely.
I loved that it was a romance between two girls and that their sexuality was not greatly emphasised or seen as wrong to either of them. It was not a sad LGBTQ themed novel, which was refreshing.
Something that mildly frustrated me in the book was that it was somewhat unrealistic. Emi had so many amazing opportunities given to her at such a young age. It would have made more sense if she was a few years older because no eighteen-year-old is as experienced as she was. I also felt as though Emi had no flaws; she was essentially perfect. It was Ava that needed fixing, and overall was more of an interesting character than Emi.
That being said, it was a very light-hearted and easy read. I would recommend it to those who want a summer-themed Hollywood novel and appreciate gay characters. As it is a young adult book, it is perfect for younger readers.