Under the Lights (Daylight Falls, #2)
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.

Under the Lights (Daylight Falls, #2) Details

TitleUnder the Lights (Daylight Falls, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 30th, 2015
PublisherSpencer Hill Contemporary
ISBN-139781633920170
Rating
GenreLgbt, Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, New Adult

Under the Lights (Daylight Falls, #2) Review

  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    January 1, 1970
    ❣ Book 1 : Behind the Scenes Liam ♥ is mine ★★★★ 4.5░ EDIT 12/30! Go check on Dahlia's blog and read deleted scenes from LIAM'S POV (YES I AM FINE EEEKS) ░ " The thing is, K-drama, sometimes you just have to accept that no one else's opinion means shit, you know? Sometimes you just have to do what makes you happy and say fuck to everyone else." ► These characters sound so REAL to me, I can't even express how much I find this fantastic. Yes, I have to admit that it took me ages to warm to them, ❣ Book 1 : Behind the Scenes Liam ♥ is mine ★★★★ 4.5░ EDIT 12/30! Go check on Dahlia's blog and read deleted scenes from LIAM'S POV (YES I AM FINE EEEKS) ░ " The thing is, K-drama, sometimes you just have to accept that no one else's opinion means shit, you know? Sometimes you just have to do what makes you happy and say fuck to everyone else." ► These characters sound so REAL to me, I can't even express how much I find this fantastic. Yes, I have to admit that it took me ages to warm to them, but in the end? In the end I'm glad to have had the opportunity to follow them.✘ Josh is this guy we see in a Reality TV show and ask ourselves what the fuck he did to deserve (Haha, talk about a super prize) to show his life on TV. The fact is, I'm not objective because I hate that stuff. I have zero interest in anything celebrities related, especially when it comes to their love life/partying/children. I don't fucking care about that. So, you know, I should hate him. I should despise him - I don't. Truth be told, he annoyed and maddened me sometimes, but no, I don't loathe him. Yet I did get pissed at his continual comments about girls doing blowjobs to him. I mean, was it really necessary to refer to them every time he was at a party? Every fucking time? I don't think so. But move on.So, yeah. Josh's an asshole and a womanizer - sorry but there's no other way to put it. Josh's an asshole and yet, I doesn't hate him, because first he's unapologetic and doesn't ask for people - including the readers - to love him and then he isn't the love interest here. Don't get fooled, I'm not saying that he's that kind of super jerk but broken inside many authors LOVE throwing at us, because he's not. He's way more complex and interesting than that. According to me, although he doesn't strike people as the unconfident type, he's afraid and doesn't trust himself for shit. In my opinion? He's just feeling lonely but hey, I'm not a psy you know, only a teacher^^. Anyway - Josh struggles to become the person he wants to be, hell, he doesn't even know who he wants to be, and to see him growing up was fantastic. ✘ I'm not gonna lie, Vanessa wasn't my favorite person in Behind the Scenes. Not because of the scheme they had to play with Liam (in my opinion Allie should have said what she thought, but hey, who am I to judge?) but although she was an interesting character, I had a hard time relating to her and yes, I have to admit that to me she was quite a bore.So, did she improve here? Well, I kind of hated her at first. She annoyed me so much. But in the end? Definitely. Even if she doesn't become my favorite character, being in her head helped me to understand her better, and in the end, I'm glad to have gotten the opportunity to really know her, even if I wasn't always feeling involved in her story unfortunately. I mean, I enjoyed her romance with Brin, but in my opinion we didn't get enough time to really become involved in their relationship. I definitely wanted more of them together, let's say.✘ I know they aren't under the lights here (Haha) but can I say that I was ecstatic to see Liam and Allie again? Well, let's be frank, mostly Liam. Really, I don't know under what spell I fell, but every time he appears I can't help but smile like a complete moron. However, I have to say that to see their relationship's evolution through Vanessa and Josh's eyes worried me something fierce. Of course I understand that life goes in the way and that people, even in love, don't always act perfectly but damn, that was painful for me, and sometimes I felt like Liam acted out of character. And... Oh, fuck that. I'm just gonna say it : I cared more about Liam than I did about Josh or Vanessa, and I'm not sure it's a good thing. Is it because I love his character too much that I wasn't able to completely invest myself in their story? I don't know. Maybe. It's just how it was. ✘ Finally, the other girls - namely Shannah and all - were portrayed as such stereotypical bitches, for real, and as in Behind the Scenes, it did bother me. Really, it made me wonder if I was just too naive about the girls living in that world - anyway, I can't believe that they're all like that, I can't, and if I'm wrong, well, it's on me. ► When I reread what I wrote about the characters, it occurs to me that you may wonder why I liked this book if I wasn't their biggest fan, but THAT'S THE THING! I'll take flawed but realistic characters over perfectly boring ones any day, as long as the author doesn't try to justify their actions. Dahlia Adler never does that. Josh is an asshole? Sure. Nobody is forcing me to love him - yet he is complex and multi-layered, he evolves, so YES, he IS interesting as a character (and he did make me laugh so much, but then, I may have an horrible sense of humor, because you know, I'm French and all)Well, despite the fact that I didn't quite like it as much as Behind the scenes but let's face it, I'm such a fangirI when it comes to Liam, I can't even believe myself, I thought it was a pretty courageous book, for starters, because it comes as a surprise. Indeed this is NOT our regular contemporary romance. And this is so much BETTER as it is.✘ This is not about a guy who's going to fix some girl - or some guy, for that matter. ▪ This is about finding your place in the world.▪ This is about difference and how to live in a world that put people in little boxes.▪ This is about emancipation and how to learn to be true to yourself.▪ This is about friendship and family - and what we're ready to do to protect it. And yes, we get to see Liam again but I have to stop being obsessed now. I swear, I will!Oh, and by the way, this writing? I'm in love with it, and I shall read anything Dahlia Adler writes. "Anyone who doesn't want you to be happy with who you are is an asshole. Fuck pleasing everyone else. You only live once. Who are you gonna do it for?" *ARC provided by Spencer Hill through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*For more of my reviews, please visit:
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    Before picking this book up, I had been following the author, Dahlia, on Twitter for some time. She was always very outspoken about diversity, especially the inclusion of queer girls in YA and New Adult. I knew I needed to pick up something by her, and once I found out that Under the Lights had a protagonist that was a queer girl of color, I decided this would be the first book of hers I'd pick up.Under the Lights is technically the second book in the series, but it's a companion series and you Before picking this book up, I had been following the author, Dahlia, on Twitter for some time. She was always very outspoken about diversity, especially the inclusion of queer girls in YA and New Adult. I knew I needed to pick up something by her, and once I found out that Under the Lights had a protagonist that was a queer girl of color, I decided this would be the first book of hers I'd pick up.Under the Lights is technically the second book in the series, but it's a companion series and you do not need to read the first book to understand this one. You are not missing anything with the first one, if that synopsis doesn't interest you, and anything of importance is filled in at the beginning of this one. I chose to skip the first book as well.Before reading this book, I didn't realize it would be a dual POV. Initially, I was not a fan of that. My main interest was in Vanessa and her story line, and I couldn't care less about Josh. As time went on and characters developed, I did come to like Josh more, which is saying a lot as he starts out very unlikable. But overall, Vanessa is the protagonist I care about.The story line was fun. The majority of the characters are stars in a show that sounds very similar to Dawson's Creek or Gilmore Girls, and it was fun to see "behind the scenes" in a Hollywood environment like that instead of a more glamorous one. It provided just enough of a backdrop for the story, while not ruling the story.I found the relationships to be the strongest element of the story. Vanessa is finding herself, without it being the overly angsty mess that it could have been. Any sexual activity is discussed maturely by the characters, and enthusiastic consent is a HUGE part of that narrative, which I appreciate seeing. It's not something I see often, if at all, in other YA contemporaries.Overall, I enjoyed this story and it was an excellent gateway into Dahlia's other work. She has become an auto-buy author for me, and I look forward to working my way through her backlist, as well as any future releases of hers.This review was originally posted on Thoughts on Tomes
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    “I’ve read the scripts,” says Ally. “Which one of those is a higher form of entertainment, exactly? The one where he’d have to play a prince in a complete crap-fest of a misogynistic Disney-wannabe movie? Or the absurdly pseudo-intellectual one that subtly advocates for eugenics?” Under the Lights surprised me. This is a definite hidden gem in the world of YA romance! It's half character-driven f/f romance and half powerful character arc for a former asshole, all set in Hollywood. Adler is tale “I’ve read the scripts,” says Ally. “Which one of those is a higher form of entertainment, exactly? The one where he’d have to play a prince in a complete crap-fest of a misogynistic Disney-wannabe movie? Or the absurdly pseudo-intellectual one that subtly advocates for eugenics?” Under the Lights surprised me. This is a definite hidden gem in the world of YA romance! It's half character-driven f/f romance and half powerful character arc for a former asshole, all set in Hollywood. Adler is talented at writing characters you can quickly get attached to; I grew attached to Vanessa's character rather quickly, with her sarcastic wit and love for her friends. Her arc around sexuality is a 10/10 effort, and one I'm definitely going to remember. One way this book really succeeded was in writing a believable asshole->good boy character arc. See, most reformed-asshole character arcs in YA occur for guys that are romantic interests, which leads to a lot of their actions being excused or ignored by their girlfriends - and by the narrative. Adler avoids this completely by separating his character arc from any romantic inklings. In fact, there's not even a romance for Josh. I spent around half the book hating Josh, yet I still empathized with his actions and wanted him to develop. And the romance is SO. SWEET. Adler had me shipping Vanessa and Brianna from their first meeting, and their romantic chemistry was written so perfectly. Van's gay crisis is written about with such honesty and empathy on the part of the author; you can definitely tell this is ownvoices. And also, kudos for not having the bi character be the questioning and unsure-about-commitment one in the relationship— that's a trope I see a lot, and while not necessarily bad, I'm glad this book subverted that expectation. What's best about this book is that you'll find it enjoyable whether you like Hollywood or not. It's not a completely romantic take on the life of a Hollywood actress, and it does a far better job acknowledging that everyone's life has problems than many Hollywood-set books I've read. The acknowledgment of racism and homophobia and the importance of representation in acting was so important to me. I also loved the representation of the protagonist's lack of agency within the narrative; it's lovely to see that side of Hollywood life explored, while not being a woe-is-me-i'm-an-actress type book. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube
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  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    ETA 12/30/15: In honor of the book's semianniversary, I shared the first two deleted chapters from back when Liam had his own POV. If you're interested, here's the original Chapter 3 and the original Chapter 6!I wrote this. I love it. Feel free to ask questions! If you're curious to see some excerpts, you can find ones here, here, and here!
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  • Marla Mei
    January 1, 1970
    OH MY GOD THIS AUTHOR NAILED IT. AGAIN.The first book was such a winner for me and this one is no different.Realistic characters? Hellz yeah.Character development? You got it.Awesome friendship? Super awesome like 1000%.Great F/F romance? Almost there. I just felt like the shift into romance happened way too fast but it's still amazing nonetheless. AND HOT. Under the Lights is a story about finding one's self and realizing the things that matter and make you happy. There are a lot of books out t OH MY GOD THIS AUTHOR NAILED IT. AGAIN.The first book was such a winner for me and this one is no different.Realistic characters? Hellz yeah.Character development? You got it.Awesome friendship? Super awesome like 1000%.Great F/F romance? Almost there. I just felt like the shift into romance happened way too fast but it's still amazing nonetheless. AND HOT. Under the Lights is a story about finding one's self and realizing the things that matter and make you happy. There are a lot of books out there with self-discovery as the main concept but this book is probably my favorite of them all. What I liked the most about this is the unlikely friendship formed between the two main characters who couldn't be any more different from each other without entangling any romance in it. Because guys and girls can have platonic friendships, people! On top of that, this book also tackles tough issues like racism and sexuality which, in my opinion, Dahlia Adler has done perfectly. In short: THIS BOOK IS IMPORTANT YOU NEED IT IN YOUR LIVES SO GO READ IT NOW.You're welcome.An ARC was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sue (Hollywood News Source)
    January 1, 1970
    This book is very cute, hilarious, sexy, and heartwarming all rolled in one. Under the Lights is much more than your coming of out story, it is also very vital. It discusses a lot of important topics such as class politics, sexual identity, the lack of diversity in the media, and so much more.The sequel to Daylight Falls returns with a twist. Starring by Hollywood’s bad boy Josh Chester. His life turned upside, down when his mother gave him, an ultimatum to get out of their fancy house or join h This book is very cute, hilarious, sexy, and heartwarming all rolled in one. Under the Lights is much more than your coming of out story, it is also very vital. It discusses a lot of important topics such as class politics, sexual identity, the lack of diversity in the media, and so much more.The sequel to Daylight Falls returns with a twist. Starring by Hollywood’s bad boy Josh Chester. His life turned upside, down when his mother gave him, an ultimatum to get out of their fancy house or join her in her new reality show.Meanwhile the rising Korean American actor, Vanessa Park finds herself BFF- less. When her best friend, Ally moves away for college. Then she meets Brianna, her manager’s daughter who instantly become her friend. Who will make her realize a lot of things, she does not even know worth risking for.Under the Lights straddle the line most Young Adult books shy away from, such as the semi graphic sex scene. While there are a lot of YA books out there that have sex scenes, most of them are lacking and reduced to your standard “this is where he/she and I met.” Which makes this book even more necessary, because of its sex positive message for LGBTQIAP community.This book also discusses erasing sexuality identity, homophobia and naturally the difficulty of coming out. Especially for Vanessa, since she is a minority in Hollywood, the stakes are much higher for her. Speaking of Hollywood and its racist's legacy. Vanessa, the main character of the story lamented this problem a couple of times throughout the book.How many Asian actors did you see on the cover of Vanity Fair’s latest Rising Young Hollywood issue? When’s the last time you saw an Asian actor carry a movie that wasn’t about martial arts? My only shot at being in a rom-com is getting thirty seconds of one of those massive ensemble things like… St. Patrick’s Day. So, yeah, it’s hard for me, and I really don’t need anything making it harder.I can’t stop smiling like an idiot as I watch her intertwine our fingers. “That was… Good Lord. Is it always like that?”She laughs. “Not always.” Her lips press against my shoulder, and my eyelids flutter shut. When she speaks again, her voice is low and breath is warm against my ear. “Sometimes I use my mouth.Things I did not like that much. Cliff notes version. I find some of Josh' chapters dragging and somewhat empty, but I am willing to overlook this since I love Van. I would understand why would someone want to punch Josh for calling Vanessa, K-drama. To sum it up: Under the Lights is a book you don’t want to miss!Listen to Young Adult Hollywood’s Playlist for Under the LightsYou can listen to my Under the Lights playlist in 8tracks. See the full tracklist in tumblr. Review also posted at Young Adult Hollywood
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  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    How many Asian actors did you see on the cover of Vanity Fair’s latest Rising Young Hollywood issue? When’s the last time you saw an Asian actor carry a movie that wasn’t about martial arts? My only shot at being in a rom-com is getting thirty seconds of one of those massive ensemble things like… St. Patrick’s Day. So, yeah, it’s hard for me, and I really don’t need anything making it harder. I requested this arc from the publisher mostly because I'd heard the main f/f romance is really cute an How many Asian actors did you see on the cover of Vanity Fair’s latest Rising Young Hollywood issue? When’s the last time you saw an Asian actor carry a movie that wasn’t about martial arts? My only shot at being in a rom-com is getting thirty seconds of one of those massive ensemble things like… St. Patrick’s Day. So, yeah, it’s hard for me, and I really don’t need anything making it harder. I requested this arc from the publisher mostly because I'd heard the main f/f romance is really cute and fluffy which is definitely is. Under the Lights revolves around a group of young people in Hollywood and is split between chapters about Josh Chester, a bad boy player born into the Hollywood life and Vanessa Park, a Korean-American actress who finds herself falling for another girl. I have to say I was much more invested in Vanessa's storyline than Josh's. Josh is a Hollywood bad boy and his arc is essentially him becoming less of a shit person. His character annoyed me so much and I don't think I ever felt he was redeemed. Calling Vanessa K-Drama was never called out and no one ever commented on it even though Vanessa says she doesn't like it at the beginning. It annoyed me every time I had to read it. He also made so many misogynistic comments. While I did hate him less at the end, I definitely don't think his growth made up for all the beginning. However, I enjoyed Vanessa's storyline so much more. Vanessa is an actress on a teen drama who finds herself falling for a girl called Brianna. I thought the romance between the to girls was so cute and well done. There is instant chemistry and their interactions are sweet and fulfilling. I really liked how their relationship was slow burn and had a big focus on consent. Under the Lights delves into many issues including representation in Hollywood and coming to terms with sexuality. I think these issues were definitely explored well with care and nuance. Vanessa's struggle to make it as a Korean actress, compared to Josh and Liam who are white is explored throughout the book and later what it means to be lgbt+ in Hollywood is also explored, as well as intersectionality. I really enjoyed Vanessa's coming out arc and how her sexuality was dealt with. The exploration of how sexuality can be fluid and you can discover you aren't hetero at any age was really nice. I also think the sex scenes were so well written. They were tender and sweet without being overly vague, and they weren't cringey which was great. Brianna was also really good bi rep and I particularly liked this quote “Like boys all you want, Park. It still won't fix this. I'm bi and I promise you, it's not a fucking light switch. You can't just set it on 'boy' because it's inconvenient that you like a girl right now.” My one real big complaint about this book is that there are WAY too many characters introduced at first and it's soo confusing for a while. But overall, I think this book was really fun. It delves into serious issues while having a fun "Hollywood drama" type plot line. I don't read Hollywood books, pretty much ever, so this was nice. I also liked that it was New Adult as that is a genre that appeals to me a lot as a 19 year old. I definitely recommend for a fluffy f/f romance and a fun Hollywood centric read. (Also, even though this is book 2 in the series you don't need to read book one. I didn't and it made perfect sense)tw: misogynistic comments, racist and lesbophobic comments
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    3.25 stars.So, I have some seriously mixed feelings about this book.I picked this up because I was looking for a cute sapphic romance, and that was……about 50% of what I got??? I have such polarized Thoughts™ about the dual POV here, so this will probably be one of the most scattered reviews I’ve written.Let’s chat about the two main characters in Under the Lights:Vanessa Park is a Korean-American actress on a popular sitcom. She’s struggling to balance her acting career with her family’s expecta 3.25 stars.So, I have some seriously mixed feelings about this book.I picked this up because I was looking for a cute sapphic romance, and that was……about 50% of what I got??? I have such polarized Thoughts™️ about the dual POV here, so this will probably be one of the most scattered reviews I’ve written.Let’s chat about the two main characters in Under the Lights:Vanessa Park is a Korean-American actress on a popular sitcom. She’s struggling to balance her acting career with her family’s expectations, and feeling a little abandoned since her best friend left for NYU. Vanessa is interesting and relatable and sympathetic, with well-developed character arcs centered around her realization that she’s a lesbian and her decision to take charge of her own future.Josh Chester, on the other hand, is a racist and misogynistic entitled fuckboy who does not deserve a single page of the POV chapters he’s given. I don’t even want to waste my own time talking about him in this review. He sucks. That’s it. Thanks for coming to this TED Talk.Unfortunately for me, the chapters are split evenly between Vanessa and Josh’s perspectives. So while Vanessa’s chapters featured an adorable f/f romance, a bisexual love interest, and a well-written storyline, Josh’s featured……an asshole who learns to be slightly less of an asshole. I more or less skimmed his sections, but I’m just……confused as to why he was even a main character in the first place??? Ugghhhh. I don't even know how to rate this. Vanessa’s story deserves 4-5 stars. Josh’s deserves zero. Consider this my formal petition for Josh’s chapters to be cut entirely and for this to be between Vanessa and Bri’s POVs.(I did warn you that this review would be a mess.)CW: homophobia, sex, racismI received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lea
    January 1, 1970
    06/30/15 IT'S RELEASE DAY ! GO BUY THE BOOK ! IT'S AMAZING !(As evidenced by my written-shouting and excessive use of exclamation points)Under the Lights isn't officially released yet, but I had the chance to read it before since the publisher apparently made it available for those who had pre-ordered it. Anyway.If you look at the cover, you'll see pink and lights and girls kissing. And you know how sometimes the cover looks like the artist didn't even know what the book was about ?Well, Under 06/30/15 IT'S RELEASE DAY ! GO BUY THE BOOK ! IT'S AMAZING !(As evidenced by my written-shouting and excessive use of exclamation points)Under the Lights isn't officially released yet, but I had the chance to read it before since the publisher apparently made it available for those who had pre-ordered it. Anyway.If you look at the cover, you'll see pink and lights and girls kissing. And you know how sometimes the cover looks like the artist didn't even know what the book was about ?Well, Under the Lights is everything the cover promises and more. Yes, it's about romance. Yes, it's about girls kissing (and more, insert suggestive wink). But it's also about racism, and being a minority, and living in a world that focuses primarily on appearance, race, gender and sexual preference.It's about living in a judgemental world, and how to be yourself in it.It's about finding yourself and not being afraid to show it.And you know how most of the time this type of books, the ones that want to show something end up being nothing more than imformative ? They might be enjoyable but it's not something you'd rate more than two stars had it not been for the subject matter ? Well, Under the Lights is not like that. There's a real story, and I probably would've enjoyed it even if I had only been looking for something fluffy and light.Some mothers hide vegetables in their kids' plates, just to make them eat at least a little (Carrots in lasagna. Don't do that. Seriously. It's just mean.)This is what UtL is. It's the carrots in the lasagna without the whole "let's-ruin-everything" factor.It's the vegetable that you can't feel, or it's the vegetable you feel that makes everything better.I know my metaphor is quite gross, (we're talking about vegetables, come on. Does anyone really like this stuff ?) but I promise you the book is not. It's like real lasagna. And it's pretty fucking amazing.
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  • emily
    January 1, 1970
    3.7 stars I really enjoyed this!! Semi-fun, semi-serious YA contemporary following 2 teen Hollywood stars. I liked all the drama that came with their jobs and lifestyles because it's not something I had read about before and thought it was fun. I also really liked the f/f in this, especially since it was bi/gay. AND Vanessa, who finds out she's a lesbian (is that a spoiler? eh, I knew before I read this) literally finds out in this book--she didn't have a coming out story that was like "I have 3.7 stars I really enjoyed this!! Semi-fun, semi-serious YA contemporary following 2 teen Hollywood stars. I liked all the drama that came with their jobs and lifestyles because it's not something I had read about before and thought it was fun. I also really liked the f/f in this, especially since it was bi/gay. AND Vanessa, who finds out she's a lesbian (is that a spoiler? eh, I knew before I read this) literally finds out in this book--she didn't have a coming out story that was like "I have known my whole life and just have been hiding it" which is the majority of gay YA that I have read and *just not true*, not everyone knows their whole lives. It takes some people until they're 18 (or even older!!!!) to realize they're sexuality and I really like how that was represented in this. Oh yea, and Van is Korean so there's the intersection of different parts of her identity and I thought that was really nice and important to include in the book because most LGBTQIAP YA lit I have read has been white kids.
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  • ellie
    January 1, 1970
    I've NEVER wanted to punch a book character more Josh Chester. FUCK THIS GUY. I honestly wish this book was written in one POV, specifically only Vanessa's just so I didn't have to put up with the horribly misogynistic comments of Josh's POV. At one point, I started skimming his parts because he completely ruined the book for me. I'll just put some quotes here and let them explain themselves (obviously spoilers)-Vanessa, after having an argument with her parents and feeling sort of torn about he I've NEVER wanted to punch a book character more Josh Chester. FUCK THIS GUY. I honestly wish this book was written in one POV, specifically only Vanessa's just so I didn't have to put up with the horribly misogynistic comments of Josh's POV. At one point, I started skimming his parts because he completely ruined the book for me. I'll just put some quotes here and let them explain themselves (obviously spoilers)-Vanessa, after having an argument with her parents and feeling sort of torn about her life, confesses her vulnerable state of mind:"I know what you mean. I need to get out of my parents' house, but it's so hard to make myself. I'm not sure I'm ready."He laughs. "Christ, K-drama, you still live with your parents? What are you, twelve? Man, you need a new place even worse than I do."When he walks away, he's still laughing, his shoulders shaking. Asshole. (99)and the three chapters later, he's like It's driving me crazy, not knowing what's eating at her, which is dumb; who cares? Anyway, she'll probably bitch and moan about it in the car, whatever it is. Nothing that's my problem. (132)God, he's just the opposite of a decent human being. Like, not only does he manage to make her feel like absolute shit about revealing her feelings, he also manages to be racist and an asshole. Let's just talk about why I hated reading from his POV:"Zoe invited me," she says sweetly, as if I like Zoe any better. She's not even as hot.Especially since his co-star, Zoe Knight, is semi-hot, and I haven't tapped her yet."I will give you a billion dollars to get them the fuck out of here."She [Vanessa] raises an eyebrow. "What makes you think I'd be able to do that.""I have no idea. But Ally would be able to, and you're the closest thing I've got since my asshole bestfriend checked on me. Come on. I'm sure some men find you vaguely attractive, in a boy-chested kind of way. Go charm them." Sparks shoot from her eyes. Whoops. "I mean...""Oh, shut up," she mutters....and Natasha Rivers, who once gave me surprisingly good head in an alley about a mile from here.My eyes shift from Mini-Jade's tits back over K-drama legs before returning to Royce.every female character he describes in relation to how hot they are, or how much he would want to bang them. and i'm sure there are guys like this, i just don't want to read their perspective on life. i would literally do anything else but that. it makes me want to throw up. he makes me want to.like, he's just an absolute dick to Vanessa and she's always like "ugh, whatever" but I'd literally punch him. or never acknowledge his existence again. i don't know why she continues to be around when he acts like this around her??I'm contemplating calling her again, and of course that's exactly when I hear, "You still PMS-ing, K-drama?"On top of everything, the writing style isn't great, and it's almost choppy. There's a part where he suddenly likes Vanessa, and then he sees her kiss Bri and then it suddenly disappears again. And the thing is that he's always constantly putting her down in all the chapters leading up to this that it's so weird to think that he has a thing for her. And it also pushes that narrative that "boys tease/bully girls because they secretly like them" when he's just a dick. God. I'm so tired of him.The one star is for Vanessa and Bri, because I did love them. But I will never read this book again.
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  • Hazel (Stay Bookish)
    January 1, 1970
    As always, Dahlia Adler's stories and dialogue are so addictive- totally finished this in one sitting. Josh was a raging asshole but a charming fun one (that I just can't resist for the life of me) and his growth in the story was great. Even though the book began and ended with chapters from him, I think the heart of the story truly is Vanessa's realisations about her sexuality and her romance with Brianna. Can I just say Dahlia totally nailed sexy F/F? And also, it was so great to see Ally and As always, Dahlia Adler's stories and dialogue are so addictive- totally finished this in one sitting. Josh was a raging asshole but a charming fun one (that I just can't resist for the life of me) and his growth in the story was great. Even though the book began and ended with chapters from him, I think the heart of the story truly is Vanessa's realisations about her sexuality and her romance with Brianna. Can I just say Dahlia totally nailed sexy F/F? And also, it was so great to see Ally and Liam still going strong and #LiamProblems was just so freaking amusing. Is it obvious that I absolutely adored this book yet???? Full review tk.
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  • Kaitlin
    January 1, 1970
    *I received this book in exchange for an honest review.I didn't enjoy reading this one quite as much as Behind the Scenes--I preferred the single POV and the couple of that one--but Under the Lights felt like it was a stronger book overall. There were more things to appreciate, including the following:- Diverse characters- An unlikable male MC that still had great qualities- Character growth in both main characters- A dual POV in which only one had a big romance focus- Sex positivity including a *I received this book in exchange for an honest review.I didn't enjoy reading this one quite as much as Behind the Scenes--I preferred the single POV and the couple of that one--but Under the Lights felt like it was a stronger book overall. There were more things to appreciate, including the following:- Diverse characters- An unlikable male MC that still had great qualities- Character growth in both main characters- A dual POV in which only one had a big romance focus- Sex positivity including a scene that didn't fade to black- Fantastic friendships- Liam and Ally appearances (because who doesn't love seeing a couple they loved return in another book?)The characters in this book were pretty good! I liked how unlikable Josh was. He sure was a jerk, but he was a loyal jerk. He was a good friend--there ws a glimpse of that in the first book. I liked seeing him grow. It was a nice surprise! As for Vanessa, I was so proud of her. She overcame a lot of fears in her story. It was a tough and confusing experience for her, and I liked seeing how she dealt with it. The love interest, Bri, was a great one! I liked how she stood up for her sexuality and wouldn't accept BS from Vanessa. Bri influenced Vanessa to push herself and overcome some of her fears.Overall, Under the Lights was a really good read! As with the first book, I really liked the romance, character growth, character flaws, and the setting. I didn't get into the sequel as much as the first book, but there were so many great elements to Josh and Vanessa's stories. If you're looking for a pair of refreshing contemporaries, you should give the Daylight Falls a shot!
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  • Katherine Locke
    January 1, 1970
    Before I start raving, full disclosure that Dahlia Adler is one of my very good friends and knows some of my darkest secrets ;) That being said, it didn't affect my review at all and I assure you that both of us are relieved that I loved this book. For those who aren't going to read the whole review: buy this for every high school you know. Put this into the hands of every Gay-Straight Alliance in high schools and queer clubs in college. Know a girl struggling to come out, especially a queer gir Before I start raving, full disclosure that Dahlia Adler is one of my very good friends and knows some of my darkest secrets ;) That being said, it didn't affect my review at all and I assure you that both of us are relieved that I loved this book. For those who aren't going to read the whole review: buy this for every high school you know. Put this into the hands of every Gay-Straight Alliance in high schools and queer clubs in college. Know a girl struggling to come out, especially a queer girl of color? Here. Give her this book. You can't give her Bri, but you can give her Vanessa. And that will mean more than you may ever understand. While I do not identify as lesbian, I am queer and the lack of queer girl literature in Young Adult has been something that's directly affected my life. I cannot tell you how differently my high school years would have been if I had had young adult books where girls were allowed to love girls. Like Vanessa, that this could be a reality, one that the world and the people around me accepted, didn't occur to me until I was out of high school. Before then, it seemed like something to hide, be ashamed of, and avoid because it wasn't okay, and it certainly wasn't safe. And when I say I LOVED, I mean LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Like, honestly, this book is everything I ever wanted from it and more than I could have hoped for. This is THE queer girl book Young Adult literature has been waiting for. This is the queer girl version of Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and I don't make that comparison lightly. This book is going to save lives and help girls come out to their friends and family. And it does that without an agenda. There's no, "girls, this is going to go GREAT, everyone is going to LOVE that you're a lesbian!" message here. There's no message. Nothing's didactic here. But that doesn't undermine the importance of it. If anything, it highlights how very much the queer Young Adult canon (or, even, the young adult canon without any qualifiers) needed Under the Lights. There needed to be a happy, flirty, romantic girl loves girl book that existed. The angst here is all normal teenage angst, the same angst you'd see between a heterosexual relationship in a book. Sure, Van has to figure out if and how she wants to come out and that's an important part of the book (and of life as a queer person in America. You are constantly coming out. You come out all the time to all sorts of people. I did at the beginning of this review, for instance.) But Van's relationship angst mirrors that of Ally and Liam in Behind the Scenes: who knows? Am I really doing this? Am I okay with this? How far are we going sexually and when? and that's where I wanted to hug and kiss (haha) Dahlia for writing it like that. That's crucial. There's external societal issues when you're queer, but inside the relationship, it's the same questions, same fears, same anxieties, same excitement.Half of the book is written from Josh's perspective. He's another Hollywood actor and Van's friend (and temporary coworker at some point). While I see not everyone loved him or understood his point in the book, I love Josh Chester. He's so unbelievably unlikeable but he's the frat boy I'd actually like in college. The one who puts on a big show but really just wants to lay on a couch and watch trashy movies and maybe talk about his feelings eventually, when he realizes he's capable of holding more than one at the same time. I really liked his evolution, but also his evolving friendship with Van. That he becomes her first anchor during her relationship and decision of how/when/to whom to come out was really, really important. Even in his internal narration, when he first knows (before Van knows), he's casual and open about it. That might not occur to Josh Chester as a big deal, but to the queer girl reading that? That means the world. Josh is the epitome of Hollywood male culture, right? He's a party animal, he sleeps with LOTS of different women, speaks disparagingly about them, floats in a sea of indecision...he's who we love to hate/love in the tabloids. We talk about his abs and his hair, fantasize about him, but we don't actually want to be NEAR him, right? Except--Josh helps Van in her time of need. We get the inside track to his mind. We understand her through him, and how he sees she's struggling and stressed when no one else does. He's humanized through her, and she's vulnerable (not in a damsel in distress way, though) through him. It's a stellar bit of writing, writer to writer.This is the strongest book from Dahlia Adler yet and if you think I'm not going to just jump up and down on Twitter shouting about this forever, you are WRONG. Congrats, folks, this is all I'm talking about forever and always. <3
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  • mich
    January 1, 1970
    yeah, I gave this 5 stars, but NO, I’m not outright recommending it to any of you. Why? Cuz, people, meet our leading man, Josh Chester:“You stupid dick. I told you--no male assistants. Call me back when you find a hot female friend who needs a job washing my car in a thong.” ---“I thought the whole point of hiring Ally was that you wanted an assistant you weren’t gonna try to nail.”“Yeah, well, I’m trying not to be too picky.” “But no male assistants?”“I don’t want anyone around who’s gonna ste yeah, I gave this 5 stars, but NO, I’m not outright recommending it to any of you. Why? Cuz, people, meet our leading man, Josh Chester:“You stupid dick. I told you--no male assistants. Call me back when you find a hot female friend who needs a job washing my car in a thong.” ---“I thought the whole point of hiring Ally was that you wanted an assistant you weren’t gonna try to nail.”“Yeah, well, I’m trying not to be too picky.” “But no male assistants?”“I don’t want anyone around who’s gonna steal my shit. That means clothing OR chicks.”“Did you seriously just refer to girls as your ‘shit’? Christ, no wonder you’re single.”I know, right? Keep your panties on ladies, if you can manage, cuz I KNOW this guy just sounds so freakin appealing.Anyway. THAT is why I wouldn’t really rec book this to anyone. Josh is a dick and I think he will rub many, many people the wrong way -- you know, the way that womanizing assholes can sometimes rub you the wrong way. Buuuut, I kinda liked him; no scratch that - I kinda LOVED him *ducks and hides*There is an honesty to his character that totally appealed to me -- say what you want about him, but I don’t think you can deny that dude keeps shit real. That was my impression of him in book 1, and it didn’t waver here in this book. And hey, I can respect that.I also really liked his humor, which is another thing I think won’t go over well with others. It’s the type of biting humor that comes at other people’s expense -- I’m the type of asshole who thinks shit like that is funny, but I know there are many who won't.I don’t think Josh’s story alone or Van’s story alone could have ever persuaded me to go all 5 stars on this, but both of them together? It worked for me. I LOVED how unconventional this whole thing was (and FYI, when I say “unconventional,” I’m not talking about the lgbt relationship in here). This book surprised me by not giving me the same ‘ole same ‘ole and I cannot tell you how much I appreciated that. It was refreshing. (view spoiler)[What I meant when I said “unconventional”:-- A contemporary NA romance told in alternating male/female POVs and the two leads DON’T end up together? Holy shit! Does that ever happen? I kinda loved it.-- Josh didn’t fall in love and magically change all his assholey ways because dun dun dunnn - because of her. He doesn’t fall in love with anyone AT ALL. There is no big endgame relationship for him in his story and. . .you guessed it. I kinda loved it. Instead, we see Josh’s character develop and grow as a result of ALL his various (non-romantic) relationships. It kept things real, it made me feel like he stayed true to his character from beginning to end and I LOVED IT. (Now, if only I could find a book where the FEMALE lead ends up alone like this at the end, in a satisfying way. . .yeah, I know - never’ll happen.) (hide spoiler)]P.S. - I loved how Ally and Liam were still pretty relevant in Van’s and Josh’s stories, and I totally loved the friendship between all of them. Good stuff!
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  • Silvana [The Book Voyagers]
    January 1, 1970
    I couldn't put this book DOWN. Also want to mention this is my first f/f romance and I CRIED SEVERAL TIMES. One hundred points to the House of Adler. ****image: You can also find my review here: http://www.hopelessbooklovers.com/rel... + the Vogue covers I did with the Daylight Falls characters!Dahlia Adler has become one of my favorite authors out there. Under the Lights was such a breath of fresh air, with a teaspoon of intense. I loved every moment she wrote and every interaction between the I couldn't put this book DOWN. Also want to mention this is my first f/f romance and I CRIED SEVERAL TIMES. One hundred points to the House of Adler. ****image: You can also find my review here: http://www.hopelessbooklovers.com/rel... + the Vogue covers I did with the Daylight Falls characters!Dahlia Adler has become one of my favorite authors out there. Under the Lights was such a breath of fresh air, with a teaspoon of intense. I loved every moment she wrote and every interaction between the characters. They spoke to me individually and their emotions, their thoughts, reached me in a powerful way. It’s everything you’ve wanted- plus ten times better.Josh and Van were so easy to like and so much easier to love. I completely fell in love with them and couldn’t stop myself from wanting more after being done.- Josh. Maaaan- Josh. He was fun. And he was a cupcake. Beneath all his layers, and all his “Hollywood-bad-boy”, Josh was a cinnamon cupcake- incredibly sweet. I loved his development and I’m so glad I got to see (read) it. He’s a jerkbutt and I love it.- Van: I liked her storyline SO MUCH. Vanessa (beauty queen Van) was spectacular. The journey she goes through from the very beginning of the story to the very end is amazing and she’s one of those characters you just wished you could be friends with and also be like.- Bri: What can I say about her other than “Jesus, please marry me?” She’s so fun! Before you realize it, you crave her scenes really badly and want to keep reading about her and Van. Dahlia Adler writes the best characters in the world.This was the first f/f book I’ve read and I WANT MORE. I WANT MORE OF THESE AWESOME CUTE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN TWO VERY CUTE GIRLS. 1000% of the time I was like, “Hot damn this is so cute, but also really hot ,plus really really amazing.” I never thought it would be this swoony and also very very hot? Dahlia Adler please write twenty thousand books with f/f otp- really all kind of otp’s.My heart belongs to this book and Dahlia Adler and I can’t wait for more books from her.
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  • Rhea Dsouza
    January 1, 1970
    Under The Lights is exactly what I want in a NA/YA Contemporary. And Dahlia Adler is exactly what I want in an author.Under The Lights, a companion novel to Daylight Falls, follows Ally’s best friend, Vanessa Park, and Liam’s best friend, Joshua Chester, in alternate POVs. And if you’ve seen the cover and are a follower of Dahlia Adler on Twitter, then you know that a book is an F/F Romance. Which is OMFG WE NEED MORE OF THESE. And if you’ve read Daylight Falls, you also know that Vanessa Park i Under The Lights is exactly what I want in a NA/YA Contemporary. And Dahlia Adler is exactly what I want in an author.Under The Lights, a companion novel to Daylight Falls, follows Ally’s best friend, Vanessa Park, and Liam’s best friend, Joshua Chester, in alternate POVs. And if you’ve seen the cover and are a follower of Dahlia Adler on Twitter, then you know that a book is an F/F Romance. Which is OMFG WE NEED MORE OF THESE. And if you’ve read Daylight Falls, you also know that Vanessa Park is an Asian-American and Joshua is an asshole.Okay. So we’re on the same page.I’m not going to lie and say that I loved all the characters and all that they said and did. I didn’t. Hell, I hated Josh in the first half of the book. His womanising ways, his absolutely careless attitude towards anyone but himself, his blatant disrespect toward his parents, his shitty ways of dealing with situations. But here’s what I’ve come to realise: Josh doesn’t ask to be loved. He doesn’t ask for a fan base of his own and he doesn’t go around making the reader feel like they just have to love him. He’s not damaged bad boy with a heart of gold…he just is. And with Josh, with Under The Lights, as a reader, I’ve learnt something new. I’ve learnt that in books, as in real life, some people just are the way they are. Nothing or no one can change them and that’s okay. It’s okay to ignore them if they’re nasty and it’s okay to want to be their friend if you’re inclined. In the end, I loved that Josh was an unapologetic bad boy who neither wanted nor need my approval. He was proud to be himself and all the more power to him for it.But really. If I were to make this really simple, readers mine, let me tell you that this story is more about Vanessa Park than Josh Chester. Vanessa struggles with trying to make her parents realise that for her, this is it. Acting is what she wants to do for the rest of her life, she’s not going through a phase and college isn’t really on the cards for her. But acting? Acting makes her happy and that’s what her parents should want, right? To see her happy? Somehow, it’s very difficult for her to make them see this. And then there’s the part where her parents might be right, and that she’s only acting on borrowed time. After all, what Asian-American will be able to stay in the TV world for too long? And then there’s the tiny part of her that has started to like like a particular girl. Needless to say, Vanessa is a mess.I loved that reading Vanessa felt like coming home. It was like, “There. There it is. That’s how I feel. That’s how difficult it is admitting certain things in life and that is exactly how my parents would react.” I can say I’ve never felt like this before, with any other book. No other book (or character, for that matter) has ever made me feel like I’m not alone in my problems quite like UtL did and that makes me so, so grateful. Vanessa made me want to jump into the book and grab her in a hug and never let her go. She wasn’t always right, and she wasn’t always perfect, but what mattered is that she conquered a lot of things I hadn’t anticipated she would, in the way she did and again, that makes me glad.I’ve always felt like I’m not the best person to judge the writing of an author, and that’s never been so clear to me as it is right now. The writing in Under The Lights only makes the characters and their problems and their situations that much more real, and beautiful, and goddamned relatable. Not only is the writing quick and smart and witty, it flows so beautifully…almost making you feel like you might miss something if you blink. Dahlia Adler seemingly had no troubles dealing with issues that are relevant and important—coming out to the world (no matter how big or small your world is), choosing what is right for yourself, and most importantly, realising that just because you’ve been living your life a certain way doesn’t mean that it is the only way to live your life.*I was provided a free ecopy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This did not in any way, however, influence the content of this review.*
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  • Maggie Hall
    January 1, 1970
    UNDER THE LIGHTS is the perfect Hollywood romance. Vanessa Park is the star of a hit teen TV show. Josh Chester is Hollywood—in all its weird, fun, semi-skeezy glory. Both of them have to navigate growing up and figuring out life with the spotlight on them and all that comes with it, while being—dare I say—normal people. You’ve probably heard about the main romance in the book already, and there’s good reason. I admit I haven’t read a lot of F/F romance, but Van and Bri’s love story had me swoon UNDER THE LIGHTS is the perfect Hollywood romance. Vanessa Park is the star of a hit teen TV show. Josh Chester is Hollywood—in all its weird, fun, semi-skeezy glory. Both of them have to navigate growing up and figuring out life with the spotlight on them and all that comes with it, while being—dare I say—normal people. You’ve probably heard about the main romance in the book already, and there’s good reason. I admit I haven’t read a lot of F/F romance, but Van and Bri’s love story had me swooning. This is seriously one of the best romances I’ve read recently in YA, with all the best elements of discovery, of falling for someone you didn’t expect to, of finally feeling like you get what everyone is making such a big deal about. But as great as Van and Bri's romance is, there's so much more to this book. Like Josh! Josh is my favorite. He’s awful, in the best possible way. He’s selfish and arrogant and hilarious, and somewhere along the way, he grows a heart. He’s such a well-written character, and I love his journey to being a real human being in this book.This book is sweet—and it’s steamy. It’s young Hollywood and family drama and two people discovering themselves. It’s characters who are larger-than-life, but so real they could be the girl sitting next to you in class (if the girl sitting next to you was a TV star…). It's an ideal beach read, but it's so much more. So excited for the world to finally read it!(Note: If you’ve read the first book in the Daylight Falls series, BEHIND THE SCENES, you’ll know the characters a little better to start with, but it’s not necessary to have read BtS to enjoy UtL.)
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  • Kelly Hager
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first Dahlia Adler book (I KNOW) and as someone who's a huge fan of contemp YA, that's kind of an embarrassing admission. This one is right on the line between YA and NA (okay, granted, definitely more NA than YA), and is also all kinds of awesome.I was reading this and it's weird how nice it was to see myself (gay) reflected in a love story. And I'm 35. So I can't imagine how nice it is for people who are 19 or 20 to see themselves reflected. And it's weird; it's not something I real This is my first Dahlia Adler book (I KNOW) and as someone who's a huge fan of contemp YA, that's kind of an embarrassing admission. This one is right on the line between YA and NA (okay, granted, definitely more NA than YA), and is also all kinds of awesome.I was reading this and it's weird how nice it was to see myself (gay) reflected in a love story. And I'm 35. So I can't imagine how nice it is for people who are 19 or 20 to see themselves reflected. And it's weird; it's not something I really think about that often. It's something that really only comes up when I DO read f/f love stories. And it's like, oh yeah, this is actually awesome. (When I first came out, I went through a year or two where the vast majority of what I read was gay fiction but it stopped pretty quickly because, as nice as it was to see me in a novel, it was also less than fun because the writing and editing tended to be not great.)Fortunately now even major publishing houses are releasing diverse books, and the writing is definitely much better. (Kids today, man. THEY HAVE IT SO EASY.)I absolutely love Vanessa and her love story with Bri. And I love the way that Dahlia Adler didn't take the obvious story (Vanessa and Josh hate each other. UNTIL THEY DON'T AND NOW THEY ARE IN LOVE).Highly recommended.
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  • Heinerway
    January 1, 1970
    Surprise, surprise. I found this a very good read. If you like young adult, coming out and show business stories (not necessarily in that order), you'll love this book.By the way, I'm still shocked with the 'purity pledge'. WTF? Seriously? As a Spaniard I didn't understand nothing about it. I had to google it. And in case you're interested, I still don't understand it.
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  • Ellis
    January 1, 1970
    I am so happy I don't even care about the sleep deprivation and the fact that I should be studying instead of reading/still grinning over this wonderful-real-amazing-hilarious-important book that doesn't shy away from anything and is on freaking point. MORE PLEASE. RTC
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  • Martina Boone
    January 1, 1970
    Can't wait for this one! I love the way Dahlia tweaks your emotions with depth, humor and smart, fully *human* characters. My only disappointment with Behind the Scenes was that it ended. And that it's still too long until June!
  • Bekka
    January 1, 1970
    So wonderful.
  • Marie
    January 1, 1970
    Find this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.4.5 starsUnder the Lights was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015, and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint! I read the first book in this companion duology, Behind the Scenes, shortly before reading this one, so I was excited to see where things would go with Josh and Vanessa.Under the Lights deals with a lot of issues while still managing to be a fairly light, amusing, and overall positive read. Despite the two main characters bein Find this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.4.5 starsUnder the Lights was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015, and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint! I read the first book in this companion duology, Behind the Scenes, shortly before reading this one, so I was excited to see where things would go with Josh and Vanessa.Under the Lights deals with a lot of issues while still managing to be a fairly light, amusing, and overall positive read. Despite the two main characters being actors in Hollywood, they deal with ‘real life’ things, which I loved. Things like parental issues, falling in love, friendship problems, coming out, racism, sex, and just growing up in general. They experience the fun, glamorous aspects of Hollywood life you’d expect, but they feel like real teens you can relate to. Josh is one of those characters that a lot of people probably hate. He’s not supposed to be likeable - he’s a dick, and he’s the first to admit it. I kind of loved Josh, though. Or at least loved to hate him. In a weird way, I understood him, and I appreciated that he was who he was and he didn’t give a crap what anyone thought. His growth was one of my favourite aspects of the book, because I didn’t necessarily expect it. It could have gone horribly wrong and felt forced or cheesy, but it felt so natural and within character. Adler did a fantastic job of taking a difficult character and making him...slightly less difficult. He was still Josh, just a little more evolved.Vanessa was easy to connect with, too. She loves acting and likes being a part of Hollywood, even if it means having decisions made for her, like pretend-dating certain guys because it looks good for their careers. She goes along with it, because it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort, and she knows it’ll help her image. She wants to be a role model, someone people can look up to, and also a beacon of hope in a way, to show other people of colour that it's possible to get roles in Hollywood and be successful. Like with Josh, I loved Van’s growth. A lot of that came once she befriended Bri and their relationship started to evolve into something more. She started wanting things she never knew she wanted (like hot tattooed redheads), and things she knew she wanted, but didn’t know how to achieve (like independence from her strict, controlling parents). I really enjoyed watching her relationship with Bri progress, and I appreciated that there were realistic complications and obstacles, and things didn’t happen easily. And, not gonna lie, I also appreciated that it didn’t shy away from the hot girl sex!Under the Lights is a highly entertaining, emotional, sexy read about friendship, love in its many forms, and self-discovery. I cried happy tears through the last 10% of the book because everything came together in such a natural, beautiful, perfect way. I was proud of these characters and felt like I was a friend who got to watch their growth and cheer them on from the sidelines. I have now officially read and loved all of Dahlia Adler’s published books, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    For more book reviews check out Britt's Book BlogI have been looking forward to reading this book for months. I built up so many expectations. Sometimes when I get my hopes up for a book I end up being disappointed when I finally get to read it. Under The Lights not only didn’t disappoint me, but it turned out to be so much better than what I had hoped.At first, I wasn’t too sure that I would like the setup. Under The Lights is told in dual POV but Josh isn’t Vanessa’s love interest. I ended up For more book reviews check out Britt's Book BlogI have been looking forward to reading this book for months. I built up so many expectations. Sometimes when I get my hopes up for a book I end up being disappointed when I finally get to read it. Under The Lights not only didn’t disappoint me, but it turned out to be so much better than what I had hoped.At first, I wasn’t too sure that I would like the setup. Under The Lights is told in dual POV but Josh isn’t Vanessa’s love interest. I ended up loving it, though. There were plenty of laugh-out-loud and heartwarming moments. I also felt all warm and fuzzy inside while reading this incredible book.Under The Lights follows Vanessa and Josh, from Behind The Scenes. I wasn't a big fan of Josh and I did skim his chapters a bit. I don't know if I didn't like him much because I didn't read Behind The Scenes or just because he wasn't that likable at all. He did kind of change at the end of the book and I did like him just a little bit. I loved Vanessa from the beginning of the book.Under The Lights is a fluffy book but at the same time it deals with some touchy subjects such as sexuality and racism. Under The Lights is about discovering yourself and just being you. It's about finding your place in the world and being happy. Under The Lights is about a lot of things and I think that every reader will take something different from this story.This book is well-written and has a refreshing, original plot. I really loved this story. There's a lot going on, but it never felt like there was too much. Every single thing meshes together and really flows wonderfully. Under The Lights has amazing dialogue and this book brings the feels. And it brings them hard. This book was addictive and a super fast read. When I finished reading Under The Lights, I immediately reread it. This was my first Dahlia Adler book, and it sure won't be my last.
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  • Kay
    January 1, 1970
    Under the Lights is a pleasant read with strong romantic elements. It is, primarily, a book about finding yourself and being accepted by those closest to you. The strengths of the book include the diverse characters and how well-develops they are, as well as how the growth over the course of the book. However, one of the main drawbacks for me was the main male character. While Adler does a good job of weaving a story, Josh Chester is reprhensible and the type of character which normally dissuade Under the Lights is a pleasant read with strong romantic elements. It is, primarily, a book about finding yourself and being accepted by those closest to you. The strengths of the book include the diverse characters and how well-develops they are, as well as how the growth over the course of the book. However, one of the main drawbacks for me was the main male character. While Adler does a good job of weaving a story, Josh Chester is reprhensible and the type of character which normally dissuades me from reading. At times the story feels more about Josh than about Vanessa which is concerning giving that this is being marketed to the LGBT community. While I applaud the author for writing a story which goes beyond the token POC, LGBT character by giving Josh the opening and ending chapters he is elevated to a more a more central level than Vanessa who this story is meant to be about. I felt like I couldn't get enough of Vanessa and wish the entire book was from her perspective only, in fact, the story would be greatly enhanced if it were all about her. The voices of Josh and Vanessa are clearly delineated; but while Vanessa's journey seems to be one which is holistic there is much of a catharsis for Josh to want to become a better person. His growth, while commendable, is slightly underdeveloped. Readers are not given much insight into the relationship with Josh and his parents (this may have been covered in the first book). In fact, parental figures are painted in a very bad light until the final few chapters of the story. Overall, a commendable effort with some flaws, primarily in character development. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for approving my request for a free digital copy in exchange for a honest review.
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  • Tanja Voosen
    January 1, 1970
    Ich habe UNDER THE LIGHTS wirklich heiß herbeigesehnt - Band 1 der Reihe hat mir unglaublich gut gefallen und ich konnte kaum abwarten, wie es weitergeht. Mit Josh und Vanessa. Es war von vornherein klar, dass die Autorin keine Romanze zwischen den beiden schreiben würde und deshalb gibt es im Buch auch nur eine Liebesgeschichte und zwar die zwischen Vanessa und Bri. Ich habe noch nie eine Lovestory zwischen zwei Mädels gelesen und fand es wirklich gut umgesetzt, wie die Autorin immer wieder bet Ich habe UNDER THE LIGHTS wirklich heiß herbeigesehnt - Band 1 der Reihe hat mir unglaublich gut gefallen und ich konnte kaum abwarten, wie es weitergeht. Mit Josh und Vanessa. Es war von vornherein klar, dass die Autorin keine Romanze zwischen den beiden schreiben würde und deshalb gibt es im Buch auch nur eine Liebesgeschichte und zwar die zwischen Vanessa und Bri. Ich habe noch nie eine Lovestory zwischen zwei Mädels gelesen und fand es wirklich gut umgesetzt, wie die Autorin immer wieder betont hat: Love Fearless! Das ist eine wirklich gute Botschaft im Buch und auch eine Einstellung, die ich teile.Vanessa und Josh waren auch wirklich tolle Figuren. Besonders Josh fand ich in Band 1 schon sehr cool und wollte mehr über ihn wissen und dadurch, dass das Buch aus 2 POV geschrieben ist, bekommt man das auch geboten. Allerdings ist der Roman wirklich NA kein YA mehr und es gibt einfach unglaublich viel Gefluche, vulgäre Sprüche und etwas herablassende Einstellungen, die ich nicht so wirklich mochte. Was den Plot angeht ist leider auch nicht viel passiert. Zwar gab es schon gute Themen wie Selbstfindung, Outing, Liebe und Freundschaft, aber insgesamt hat mir doch besonders der Humor und Charme vom ersten Band gefehlt. Und dann immer diese Andeutungen zwischen Josh und Vanessa - Das fand ich so mega unnötig, zumal es nie ganz geklärt wurde.Ich hätte das Buch echt gerne mehr gemocht, aber der schnelllebige und nicht ganz so abwechslungsreiche Plot hat nicht wirklich irgendwo hingeführt und der "erwachsene" Ton im Buch war einfach nicht mein Ding. Trotzdem kein schlechtes Buch. Ich war ganz gut unterhalten.
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  • Alex
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't read the first Daylight Falls book (though now I might), but upon seeing the description for this book, I knew I had to get my hands on an ARC.To be honest, I'm not a fan of Josh Chester -- his bad boy witticisms are frowned upon, but tolerated, and he's not exactly punished for his behavior. Maybe I needed to have read the first book to really get that. I did like (view spoiler)[his slow turnaround on Vanessa though, and their friendship was super lovely and sweet towards the end. (hid I didn't read the first Daylight Falls book (though now I might), but upon seeing the description for this book, I knew I had to get my hands on an ARC.To be honest, I'm not a fan of Josh Chester -- his bad boy witticisms are frowned upon, but tolerated, and he's not exactly punished for his behavior. Maybe I needed to have read the first book to really get that. I did like (view spoiler)[his slow turnaround on Vanessa though, and their friendship was super lovely and sweet towards the end. (hide spoiler)] Though I cared very, very little about his personal drama and what was happening outside of Vanessa-world.BECAUSE OH MY GOD VANESSA PARK. My heart's going to bang out of my chest. What a perfectly wonderful romance! With so many makeouts! fjielajfe;waijfe;wjfa;ea; everything was so perfect about her and Bri. Adler does this rather impressive job of nailing exactly how hard it is to be a WOC in Hollywood, expanding on Vanessa's fears, and also on her fraught relationship with her parents. The cultural gap is hard. I also looooved Bri. She was great -- confidently queer. My favorite thing about her was probably (view spoiler)[the scene when she goes over to Vanessa's apartment for the first time, and they're talking, and Bri lays out exactly why she can't hide who she is. It's this wonderfully-written, startling articulate moment that rings so deeply true for any queer person who's been with anyone confused. (hide spoiler)] As a queer Asian woman, I really thought this was an authentic representation, and that felt great.Now I'm going to re-read the kissing like 500 more times.
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  • Jacoline Maes
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this book but I also had some problems with it.This book started of as a four star book for me. The writing is nice and fast-paced and I liked both perspectives. Josh is sort of an asshole, but he knows he is and doesn't pretend to be someone he isn't which I can really appreciate. In that sense he's no-nonsense and that made me like his narrating voice quite a lot. It took a bit longer for me to like Vanessa and I found her to have a less distinctive voice, but I did never feel like ski I liked this book but I also had some problems with it.This book started of as a four star book for me. The writing is nice and fast-paced and I liked both perspectives. Josh is sort of an asshole, but he knows he is and doesn't pretend to be someone he isn't which I can really appreciate. In that sense he's no-nonsense and that made me like his narrating voice quite a lot. It took a bit longer for me to like Vanessa and I found her to have a less distinctive voice, but I did never feel like skipping her chapters.I also really liked the start of Vanessa's relationship with Bri, it was cute and I totally felt the attraction (loved the yoga scene). However, about halfway through the book I thought the pacing got a bit of. It still read fast and I wanted to read on, but the story seemed to go nowhere. The characters started feeling more distant and I thought the relationship developped too quickly. Also some changes in the character's attitudes were a bit abrupt.So yes, this was a fun read, but I don't think I will pick up the book about Ally and Liam. I'd recommend this if you're looking for a fast-paced read. To me it was a bit similar to LA Candy because of the reality show aspect so if you liked that you might like Under the lights.Also I want more books with a lesbian or bisexual main character. So please leave a comment if you have a recommendation :)
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    I've become a full-blown Dahlia Adler fangirl. And I'm okay with that. Under the Lights shines as a YA f/f romance. It's swoony and steamy, as well as sweet while also packing a punch. Watching Van and Bri's relationship unfold made my heart unbelievably happy. Also: Josh freakin' Chester. I adore that guy, in all his unapologetic glory.
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