Emma Pierce has been doing some smallish parts in movies and commercials, but when she gets the lead role in a modern version of “Pride and Prejudice” opposite the biggest male teen star in the country, her life is set to change. For Reid Alexander, said “it” guy, the filming of “School Pride” offers more of the same: fame, fortune, and lots and LOTS of screaming teen girls.
As the story switches back and forth between points of view of these two characters, readers get to know them and their backgrounds and their hopes for the time of shooting this film. Emma is just adjusting to the attention that is coming from her chemistry, on and off screen, with Reid; Reid is appreciating the same chemistry and pretty much biding his time until Emma is willing to have sex with him.
But Emma is confused about the obvious attraction she feels for the golden boy Reid and the interest she has in another actor in the movie, Graham, who is proving to be a good friend and early-morning jogging partner but is obviously involved with another girl in the film. She also is torn about becoming a star; she’d really rather do theater and maybe even go to college. Meanwhile, Reid is generally wishing he could avoid having to deal with his absentee father and alcoholic mother.
Tammara Webber’s writing is good, I’ll give her that. She does a good job making realistic interactions between her characters, and the dialogue can be witty. Unfortunately, Reid is just so focused on sex and avoiding any real relationships in his life that he’s nearly completely unlikeable. It made me wonder why he was one of the narrators. The only reason I can see for Webber’s setting up the book this way is preparing the way for a third book in this series that focuses on Reid, whereas the second book focuses more on Emma, as far as I can tell from synopses. The other real drawback to the book is its constant focus on teen sex and drinking. Sex and drinking aren’t just occasional topics; they’re nearly nonstop topics in the plot and dialogue among the teen actors. Sadly, this may very well be true to life, but I certainly didn’t care to read about it.
Rated: High, for four uses of strong language and other frequent moderate language. There is a LOT of talk and action involving teen drinking (partying and getting drunk) and sex. The sexual situations that are described in the book don’t go “all the way” but are moderately descriptive in how far they do go.