Publication Date: July 12th 2014
Part of a Series?- Part #4 in the Someone Else'es Fairy Tale Series
Review Copy: Courtesy of the author via NetGalley
Blurb Description: Everyone needs a safe space.
For Lizzie Warner, that space has always been in front of the camera on her hit show, or on stage to a sold out concert arena. Since before she can remember, she’s been a star, but that may be about to change.
She’s nineteen. Her show has been cancelled and now she’s going to play the lead in a new prime time drama series, but is the world ready to take her seriously, or will she be typecast as the cute tween queen forever?
Her network has decided to be aggressive and has invested millions of dollars in an ad campaign for her show, money she’s not sure she can earn back. Her co-star can’t stand her, and the writing for the show turns out to be poor at best. The only reason Lizzie didn’t walk away from the job offer to begin with is because she’s broke, the victim of a decade of bad money management.
Then there’s Devon, the personal trainer at her gym. Arrogant and abrasive, he’s the last guy she should ever find attractive, but she has a hopeless crush on him anyway, and he doesn’t seem entirely disinterested either. In fact, sometimes he’s downright sweet to her. If only he weren’t an untamable bad boy who uses and dumps women like they’re nothing. Though Lizzie’s friends warn her to stay away, he’s the only person who can create what she needs: a safe space. But is there any way she can break him of his years' long habit of being a user?
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1. The cheesiest line you've ever heard:
Hard to say. People rarely feed me lines, but I was in a play in middle school and we went on tour. The principal of one of the schools we performed at got up on stage afterwards and gave a speech that seemed to last for an hour, but was probably just ten minutes, in which he said things like, "The characters in this play represent YOU. You are like these students experiencing all these things." It was line after line of pure cheese.
2. Your favourite TV show, actor and actress:
I don't have just one. The last series we watched from beginning to end was Breaking Bad. It was filmed here in New Mexico, so it was entertaining to see all the local touches.
3. 3 of the weirdest (or funniest) things about you:
1. I took archery lessons for years and never could hit the broad side of a barn. I was so bad at it.
2. I've got a sleep disorder so I have at several times in my life had waking hallucinations. I don't recommend those!
3. Even though I grew up in New Mexico and am American, I have lived in the UK for a total of eight years, including the last two years of high school (6th form) and college (uni). Because I did part of my education over there, I still have trouble keeping American and British sayings straight. People point to lines in my books and say, "That's British, Emily. No one over here says that."
4. This Or That:-- Pianos or Guitars - Neither - I'm terrible at playing both!-- perfumes or deodorants - Deodorants. I'm actually allergic to perfumes so I can't even wear products with perfume in them.-- Italian or Chinese - Okay, that is too funny because those are my most dominant ethnicities. My dad's family is from China and my mother's father's family is from Italy. I can't choose between these without denying part of myself ;-)
And now, onto your masterpiece:5. What inspired you to write A Safe Space? Especially the cancer aspect?
When I started the book, I got a phone call from Be The Match, which is a bone marrow database, that I'd been matched with a four year old girl. I was so excited for the chance to donate and give her a shot at beating her cancer, but a couple of weeks later I got an email telling me that she "was not eligible". That can mean she recovered, but it often means the patient is too sick, their insurance won't cover a transplant, or they've passed on, so I'll always wonder what happened to her.
The concept of a safe space was explained to me by friends of mine who act. A lot of people assume actors are self confident extroverts, but quite a few aren't. The trick is knowing that the stage is a safe space.
So it was those two ideas coming together that made the backbone of this plot.
6. Tell us a little about your main characters, Lizzie and Devon?
One thing about indie writing is that you write a lot of books back to back, which means a lot of the themes and characters will be similar - not the same, but similar. Lizzie's got a lot of strong similarities to many of my heroines. She's introverted, self sufficient, and a late bloomer when it comes to romance. There are SO many books out there that get into the characters' sex lives in a graphic way. I don't see the need to add to that, so I choose to keep cutting against the grain.
Devon is a guy who had a loving family, but he saw it get torn to shreds, and that haunts him. He's not quite sure who he is or where he belongs. When I came upon this idea for a tough, bad boy who binge watches a Hannah Montana type of show when he's depressed, the idea wouldn't let me go, and the characters wouldn't leave me alone until I wrote their story.
7. Will be be getting any more if Lizzie, or a new standalone after?
I should write one more standalone to make a trilogy, but it'll be after the next several projects are cleared off my plate. Lizzie, as Kyra's roommate, will appear in the Someone Else's Fairytale books.
8. If A Safe Space was turned into a movie, who would your dream cast be?
I have no idea! If that happened, I wouldn't have a say in the casting. I would hope the role would go to a young woman in the process of transitioning from being a child actress. There are plenty of actresses with this real life experience to draw from. Devon could be played by any one of the "it" guys of the moment (if I got lucky with the film). The hardest person to cast, in my opinion, is Kyra because there aren't a lot of roles for young Latina actresses. Hence whoever it was would likely still be pretty unknown.
For the record, this cover will TOTALLY put you off. The book, on the other hand, is EXTREMELY Good!
I didn't know what to expect, going into A Safe Space- with the cover portraying a girl that relied on sex appeal, and the blurb giving me another impression...
The Cover, although pretty, is VERY misleading! Lizzie Warner is your resident good girl- in HOLLYWOOD! With a conscious and heart that even I at sixteen don't possess, she was a whole new character, rather refreshing, to the book-y world! She was sweet when nobody else would be, cared when she didn’t have to and is also a nineteen year old TV show star, that has NEVER been kissed!
I mean, when was the last time you came across someone like her? In the real world, or ones you and I wish were?!
There were so many things about this book that I loved- ESPECIALLY Lizzie and Devon’s relationship- that just made me go “AWWW!” Veronica Mars, with pigtails and a whole pink entourage? Excellent!
On the other hand, I wish that there was more of certain elements of her story- like her roommate and best friend together, and perhaps, even a more sensitive mother. Anyhow, I will try my level best to get my hands on the stand- alone prequels to A Safe Space
Give it a go! Recommended!