A college reject pursues an acting career in Los Angeles.
After failing to get into college, Becca Harrington gives herself a year to live in Los Angeles and pursue her passion for acting. With little money in the bank and her mother hounding her to form a backup plan, the white 18-year-old tries her best to land an agent and get over her ex-boyfriend, who dumped her before heading off to Stanford. Raj Singh, the cute, Indian-American college-student filmmaker who lives in her building, may be able to help her on both counts. The author perfectly captures the feeling of fledgling independence, with nothing but wits, hopes, and a few hundred dollars in the bank. The narrative is well-built, charting Becca’s ups and downs in the entertainment industry and in her social life. Supporting the episodic narrative are some winning characters, primarily Becca, whose motivations are rooted not in the desire for stardom but in the need for artistic expression. Her ambition and ability to get out of her own way make for an engaging protagonist, and her command over her own sexual wants and needs is refreshing in a sea of demure female protagonists. The novel’s tone strays from the usual “dreams do come true” trappings and maintains an honest, grounded depiction of a young person’s first steps into the real world.
An engaging take on the pursuit of creative fulfillment. (Fiction. 14-18)