Published by Independent on September 10th 2013
When Hollywood calls, is the price for fame too high?
Miles Stephens is a young actor from London. Out of work, unemployable, and fired from his last job, he gets the chance to star in a break-out role in a big-time Hollywood film.
The film is a great success, propelling him to worldwide Hollywood fame – but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, and the pressure starts to get to Miles.
Throughout, he is supported by his friend, Clare, the girl next door whom he grew up with – and who is secretly in love with him.
Miles finds out that fame and fortune isn’t everything he’d dreamed about
I adored Berrick’s last novel DANGEROUS TO KNOW AND LOVE so was excited when I found out she had written a humorous New Adult story. While I did enjoy this one I wasn’t – pardon the pun – “dazzled” however it was a light hearted comical story with plenty about it to like.
Miles and Clare have been friends since they were in nappies. Now in their late teens Clare is at uni and Miles is a struggling actor. When Miles lands an audition and subsequently the lead role in LA for the dramatisation of a popular “Twilight” style YA novel he heads off seeking fame and fortune while Clare is left behind pining for him. When Miles realises that in order to survive LA he needs his bestie to ensure he keeps his feet out of his mouth he begs Clare to make the trip and support him through his new found fame. While Miles struggles to cope with the attention, ever loyal Clare is watching from the wings. Will she work up the courage to tell him how she really feels and will Miles ever look at her as something over than “just a friend”?
DAZZLED is a sweet and cheeky story about friendship, loyalty and young love played out against a Hollywood backdrop and its obsession with image.
Miles is not your average hero. He may be good looking but boy is he a clumsy idiot at times and utterly adorable. He’s more like a puppy than a leading man. Thrust into the spotlight we get an interesting look at Hollywood’s behind the scenes through his eyes. From press junkets, to costume fittings, red carpets and on set shenanigans, there are bundles of laughs as Miles stumbles and bumbles his way through them all. Plagued by self-doubt and an ambition to always be better than his father was, Miles is a wonderful MC that you can’t help but love (while laughing at).
Clare is sarcasm on speed! Quick witted, funny and fiercely protective of her best friend, she doesn’t hesitate to put her best friend’s needs first. I admit I didn’t warm to Clare as easily as Miles, at times her thinly veiled insults and running commentary on everything she didn’t like grew tiresome but she did grow on me and I was soon rooting for her to step out of the shadows and tell Miles how she really felt about him.
This story is nothing new and it is obvious from the beginning where we’re going to end up but the journey there is comical and light-hearted with plenty of laughs and moments to enjoy. With a host of hilarious secondary characters and plenty of skirmishes and hijinks galore, DAZZLED is a refreshing, absorbing antidote to its darker and more subversive NA companions in the category.