Dee falls for Milo, a pop singer–turned–movie star, during a summer job working on a movie crew.
Her artistic confidence shaken by a rejection from an honors arts program, Dee’s summer before her senior year looks miserable. But it improves when an Oscar-winning director arrives in her small town to film a movie. Working with on-set props soon reveals another side of Dee’s artistic talent, and her descriptions of movie production from a behind-the-scenes perspective are some of the novel’s most interesting moments. Less successful is the romance, which feels more like a storm of confusion between privileged white teens than a passionate whirlwind. The novel spans just a few weeks, and the teens’ chemistry never really develops, perhaps because working on the film and avoiding the press mean few dating opportunities. Many readers will expect phone and text messages to fill the gap, but both are conspicuously absent, though each character has a cellphone. The spotty communication eventually makes Dee’s quick claim, after a single make-out session, that Milo is her boyfriend surprising; even more surprisingly, he seems to agree. And the storyline involving Dee’s jealousy over Milo’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend co-star nearly ends before it begins. Messages about the pitfalls of social media harassment also feel underdeveloped.
Best for readers hoping that someday Justin Bieber might appear to sweep them off their feet. (Romance. 12-16)