Finley Price is in love with her best friend Oliver, but doesn’t have the self confidence to see that he also loves her. A victim of child abuse, Finley has a tough time speaking up or being the center of attention. She lives on the fringes of life, trying to contribute as much as possible to Olivers family who has taken her in after her father dies and her mother is incapable of raising she and her brother. When two famous teenage actors move in next door, Finley watches Oliver fall under the spell of Emma, and is forced to spend more time with Harlan, Emma’s brother, than she’d like. Added to that teenage friction is the fact that Finley’s father was a famous actor, and that industry is in her blood. Seeking Mansfield uses the situation of teenage love and pain as an engine for Finley to grow within herself, face her fears and go after the life she wants, which is an admission to prestigious Mansfield Theater.
I was totally surprised by the depth in what looked at first glance to be a lighthearted romance. Finley has a lot of inner demons she needs to work through so at times this book was pretty dark. The storyline revolved around alcohol, physical abuse and broken hearts, but the story did balance those dark moments with laughter, a loving brother, and solid friendships. Her relationship with Oliver changed very slowly and I’ll admit that I got a little impatient with how the author used misdirection to make us believe that they had moved on from their feelings. Finley had suffered so much up to the start of this book, that once I found out her back story I just wanted to see her happy. Harlan, as her love him/hate him relationship didn’t ring true, so I had trouble buying into it, but he was a fun character to read, and an integral part to how Finley grew in this book. For that reason I’ll forgive this author the time she spent on that plotline. This novel is the first book in the series, so I can only hope the next one follows Finley on her education at Mansfield Theater, because she was a fascinating character and I want to know more about her!
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review, and it was honest!
Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved