Blog Tour: Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler

Book Title: Under the Lights (Daylight Falls #2)
Author: Dahlia Adler
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Release Date: June 30th 2015
Genre: GLBT, Young Adult/New Adult, Contemporary
Josh Chester loves being a Hollywood bad boy, coasting on his good looks, his parties, his parents’ wealth, and the occasional modeling gig. But his laid-back lifestyle is about to change. To help out his best friend, Liam, he joins his hit teen TV show, Daylight Falls…opposite Vanessa Park, the one actor immune to his charms. (Not that he’s trying to charm her, of course.) Meanwhile, his drama-queen mother blackmails him into a new family reality TV show, with Josh in the starring role. Now that he’s in the spotlight—on everyone’s terms but his own—Josh has to decide whether a life as a superstar is the one he really wants.
Vanessa Park has always been certain about her path as an actor, despite her parents’ disapproval. But with all her relationships currently in upheaval, she’s painfully uncertain about everything else. When she meets her new career handler, Brianna, Van is relieved to have found someone she can rely on, now that her BFF, Ally, is at college across the country. But as feelings unexpectedly evolve beyond friendship, Van’s life reaches a whole new level of confusing. And she’ll have to choose between the one thing she’s always loved…and the person she never imagined she could.
Guest Post
I have a slight confession: I’m not a huge movie person. I know that’s odd coming from someone who writes Hollywood YA, and it’s even odder if you know how frequently I saw movies during high school and seminary. But as an adult, my attention span somehow just won’t stay in place for a movie like it will for a book, which means every year I see maybe one or two, and then I’m one of those jerks livetweeting the Oscars with occasional mentions of how I have no idea what’s going on.

But I digress! I was asked to write about my favorite movies, and dammit, I will deliver. So what if they all came out prior to 2010? These are the best of the best, and as such, they’re truly timeless.

Legally Blonde: I actually just rewatched this with my critique partner, This is Where it Ends author Marieke Nijkamp, and I still absolutely love it. It’s just the most phenomenally feminist movie, with scene after scene of women supporting each other, working on advancing themselves career-wise, screwing up and owning it…and then you have this romantic storyline where the good, supportive, non-judgmental guy wins. It’s basically my favorite things, all rolled in to one.

The Usual Suspects: If you’ve read the Daylight Falls books, you might notice something they have in common—Josh watches this movie in both of them. It’s his favorite, and for good reason: it’s also mine! I could say more about why I love it so much, both personally and for Josh, but I have a no-spoiler policy on this one. Yes, even 20 years later.

Bring it On: I have seen this movie so many times, but while I have a lot of favorite parts involving cheers, romance, and the dearly departed Natina Reed, there’s a single dialogue exchange from this movie that blew my mind hwne I first heard it, and that I still think is so important, and actually really relevant to Vanessa in Under the Lights. When Torrance and Missy are in the car, Missy says, “Look on the bright side—it’s only cheerleading!” to which Torrance responds, “I am only cheerleading!” And I thought that was fantastic. Some people live and breathe their passions in a way that’s incredible to me, even when other people dismiss them as insignificant. They stand tall and proud for what they love, what’s in their bones. They’re obsessed. And I think that is so cool. To me, that’s exactly Van trying to explain to her parents why her acting is so important and how much she believes in what she’s doing. They don’t get it, and she can’t make them, but she also can’t stop, won’t stop.

Empire Records: I don’t even know how many times my friends and I watched this in our teens, but it was a lot. If there’s a movie more gloriously quotable on the planet, I don’t know it. I think Ally and Van would’ve loved watching it together if it wasn’t before their time. Damn kids—get off my lawn.

LA Confidential: I may write about thoroughly modern Hollywood, but this James Ellroy-novel based film Noir looking back on more glamorous times (though a veil of darkness and corruption, of course) was my first great intro into life “behind the scenes.” Of course, the bribery, masquerading, and deceit are a little more hardcore and high-stakes in the movie that really introduced Guy Pearce to America and reunited me with my Usual Suspectslove, Kevin Spacey, but I think Josh, Liam, and Van would be more than happy to participating in a reenactment!
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Follow the Under The Lights by Dahlia Adler Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

I’m an Associate Editor of Mathematics by day, a Copy Editor by night, and I blog at The Daily Dahlia, YA Misfits, and the Barnes & Noble book blog. I also write contemporary YA (The Daylight Falls duology) and NA (The Radleigh University series). Rec-ing books is approximately my favorite thing in the universe, with macarons being a close second. Come say hi on Twitter, where I’m @MissDahlELama!

Review: Behind the Scenes (Daylight Falls #1) by Dahlia Adler

Book Title: Behind the Scenes (Daylight Falls #1)
Author: Dahlia Adler
Published Date: June 24th, 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book 1 in Daylight Falls
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
High school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be the Vanessa Park – star of TV’s hottest new teen drama – but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs. 

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Spencer Hill Press via Edelweiss.

I was really excited about this book despite the fact that it isn’t normally my cup of tea. I am definitely a sucker for good friendship stories and that’s what Behind the Scenes gave me. Ally and Vanessa’s friendship was solid and it was an equal friendship. Vanessa is talented and she is set to be one of the stars of the new show Daylight Falls. Yet, she is careful not to flaunt her success in front of Ally.

Ally’s going through her own problems. Her father is in the hospital, fighting Stage IV skin cancer. Doctors are saying that he doesn’t have much time left so Ally spends a lot of time in the hospital with him. Her family is very close and supportive of one another. Ally has been planning to attend Columbia, but now that her father’s medical bills are eating up the college fund. So Ally wonders just how she is going to be able to go to Columbia when all this is going on in her family.

That’s where Vanessa sweeps in and hires Ally as her assistant so that Ally can go to Columbia like she’s dreamed of. It’s here where Ally met Liam. Ally tried her hardest to ignore Liam. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with a guy who makes a living as an actor. What she doesn’t know is that Liam has his own demons.

When Ally begins to talk to Liam, she learns that he has gone through absolute hell. His mother died from cancer when he was 8 and he was whisked off to his father’s house. He didn’t know his father at all and things between his father and him never improve.

“Sick as it was, there was something oddly nice about being able to talk cancer with someone who already knew the terminology.” -Ally-

I totally understood that as I have often said the same thing about my own health problems. It is definitely really nice to be able to talk about my heart problems with others who have experience with it. That means I don’t have to stop and explain everything that I’m talking about, which sometimes drives me batty. I could tell Ally really needed someone who knew about cancer to talk to them about it.

It wasn’t just the cancer thing that brought Ally and Liam together. They have great chemistry even as friends. Liam desperately wants to prove to Ally that he’s not a total douchebag and Ally wants to believe that he’s not like every other actor on the planet. But as things begin to deepen between them, Ally starts to wonder if she can really deal with being the secret girlfriend to an actor. She starts to think that maybe she’s not cut out for this. Maybe she’s not okay with seeing him “date” Vanessa.

“I just wanted to be enough” -Ally-

That line pretty much broke my heart. Ally’s best friend is a beautiful actress and her boyfriend is a very attractive guy. Ally lives in the real world. The world of high school and homework and prom, and sick dads and money problems. She doesn’t feel like she’s good enough for Liam. She doesn’t feel pretty enough, she doesn’t feel sexy enough. Not feeling good enough is definitely a high school thing so I was happy to see Adler put this in the book as I felt like Ally didn’t feel good enough for Liam for the longest time.

I really enjoyed this book a lot. More than I expected to. I am definitely excited to see what happens next. It was a book that combined friendship, family and love and those seem to be my favorite books regardless of the setting. 4 stars to this book and I’m excited for Vanessa’s story next.