Danny Bright was born to entertain. He just needs his big break. So when he hears that Blue Horizon Records is holding auditions looking for the next big thing, Danny jumps at the chance. It doesn't turn out exactly as he imagined, though. Instead of getting solo contracts, Danny and four other guys are put into a boy band.
Innocent, idealistic Elliot Price thinks he's headed for college. An impulsive decision to sing in the local talent search changes all that. A bigwig producer happens to see him, hands him a business card, and turns Elliot's life upside down.
Elliot and Danny are close from the beginning. They love all the guys, but it's different with each other. Soon their friendship turns into feelings more intense than either of them can ignore. The other three boys only want Danny and Elliot to be happy, but when their management team and record label discover two of their biggest tween heartthrobs are in a relationship, they're less than pleased. Danny and Elliot find themselves in the middle of a circle of lies and cover-ups, all with one bottom line-money. They have to stay strong and stick together if they don't want to lose themselves... and each other.
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Didn't really work for me.
I'm going to be honest with you - the story is well written, the narration is really well done, and it's got all the parts that make a whole including a bit of angst that to spice things up. However, my review is going to be totally subjective because I have to be honest and say this story bored the ever-loving stuffing out of me. Seriously. It's almost twelve hours long - and it felt. every. single. bit. of. it.
Further, I was blown away by how immature these characters were, and by "immature" I mean that both literally and figuratively. Danny and Elliot are supposed to be eighteen year olds. I swear I have never met two eighteen year olds who act as clueless, giggle-prone, and child-like as these two boys.
I take that back, I know an Amish kid who's like that. But these kids were raised in modern day California.
They act far more like they're fourteen, maybe fifteen? I kept thinking, maybe O'Shea wrote it for them being really young, but she was forced to edit them older later because of the (tame) sexy times? Which, that was another thing - the not quite fade-to-black sex? Grr.
I know so many people who gush over this story. GUSH, I tell you! So I don't know, maybe now that I'm pushing forty I just don't get the YA side anymore?
I normally LOVE YA/NA, including O'Shea's own Unintended (which, BTW the characters are also eighteen, and behave far more maturely than Danny and Elliot do). So I don't know. The characters were just really "young", the whole beard plot really annoyed me, the producer being the ultimate bad guy struck me as cliché, and everyone in their inner circle and friends being okay with them being gay struck me as inauthentic. Maybe I'm just too old for this? It just didn't speak to me at all.
Then again, maybe it just got me on bad day? Because the bones are here. The setup is good, the writing is well done, I really enjoyed Tyler Stevens narration and all of his character voices, and I can see why people are mad for this.
For those who love a lower angst, romantic, young adult story with tame sexy times you should check it out - I'm definitely in the minority.
Cute story, good narration.