Saturday, May 31, 2014

Review on Being Hartley

Being Hartley

Format: Paperback/e-book
Pub. Date: February 27th, 2014
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.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars!
My recommendation: Anyone who likes books about dancing and fame.
My review:
My copy was provided by Netgalley.
Thea is from a family filled with talent. Her mother, Cassie Hartley, is an amazing actress. Rory, Thea's cousin, is famous for being on a television show all about dancing. And Thea is an aspiring dancer, but her mother doesn't want Thea to experience the troubles of being famous. Yet when Thea learns that her cousin is falling apart and possibly has a secret boyfriend, she travels to LA to be there for Rory, even though Thea's mother doesn't want Thea to be discovered.
Thea doesn't understand why her mother doesn't want her to pursue her dream. All Thea wants to do is dance and let others see her dancing. When she's discovered, it's as if Thea's dream has finally come true. But she has to realize if people are exploiting her because of her family or if she's willing to defy her mother to find her own dream.
I really liked this book. It wasn't your average contemporary novel. It was deep and had a meaningful message woven through it. I could imagine the events going on in the book in my head. I felt as if I was really Thea as she had to deal with wanting to experience her own dream instead of letting her mother decide for her.
I felt like Thea and her situation was very relatable. Most teenagers don't have to deal with being famous, but most of them have to deal with parents deciding their futures for them. Parents usually indirectly influence their children by telling them what colleges they want their child to attend or what career they want. Being Hartley told the readers that it's okay to defy your parents to pursue your own dream and not one inspired by parents.
What i really liked about this book was the bonds between the family members. In most YA books, the parents never hold a special role and the opinions of the parents or family never really matter. In this book, however, family is the whole point in this book. Thea's family is very important to her and she would rather give up on her own happiness rather than cause sadness for her family. I liked Thea's strength and selflessness.
I found this book to be highly enjoyable. It wasn't just about humor and romance. It was about discovering how much family means to you and discovering the strength inside yourself that is nurtured by the love of your family and friends.

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