“…Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t; but keep on dreamin’ – this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin’.” Happy Guy from Pretty Woman
Lucie Simone’s Hollywood Ending is a Hollywood story of Big Break dreams and the pursuit of Happily Ever After Love. Trina Stewart has spent the last 10 years and hundred thousand dollars worth of education living in L.A. waiting for her tinsel town career to materialize. While stuck in Hollywood’s packed waiting room Trina spends her time trying to pay her bills by teaching ESL and distracting herself with daydreams of hunky Matiu Wulf, her new neighbor, a Maori from New Zealand. Against his better judgment, Matiu finds he is casting Trina in his own daydreams and soon discovers that there might be more to his Hollywood vacation than making big name connections.
Hollywood Ending has all the elements of summer chick lit – a young woman trying to find her way in the world, a dreamy leading man and enough missed connections and misinterpretations to infuriate and titillate the reader. The L.A. setting made me think of sunny warm beaches and glitzy classic Hollywood keeping the mood upbeat and light even in the midst of disappointment or heartbreak. Trina is a relatable woman who takes care of herself and knows what she wants while also possessing flaws rooted in past hurt as so many of us have. Matiu is more than eye candy or Prince Charming with goals and experiences of his own that add depth to this character. However, I found that as the story drove closer to its Hollywood conclusion some of the character’s realism was stripped away.
Simone’s writing style is quick and smart although at times repetitive. I liked her use of risqué language and imagery that treated her reader like a fully aware and experienced adult. I also appreciated Simone’s ability to portray a relationship based on mutual respect for one another. Trina and Matiu seem to have little that was off topic or veiled from each other for very long.
Admittedly, my enjoyment of Hollywood Ending experienced a slow build and some plot points turns so quickly I was left momentarily stunned. However, I was always compelled to continue to the next quirky, often funny moment in Trina’s life. *Spoiler Alert* For example, I laughed out loud when Trina made her ESL class write essays about ‘The One’ to help her make decisions about her romantic life!
Pick up a copy of Hollywood Ending and bring it with you to the beach this summer!
Come back Wednesday for a fascinating guest post by author Lucie Simone!