Likely Story (Likely Story Series #1)

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MALLORY IS A teenage girl living in L.A. and her mother is the oftnominated, never-winning star of a daytime soap; she is, in fact, the ultimate drama queen. After yet another blow-out about her mother’s awful plotlines and overacting, Mallory starts blogging about how she wishes soap operas were more like real kids’ lives instead of the ridiculous storylines the shows usually feature.
When her mother’s agent reads the blog, Mallory ends up in her own whirlwind drama, both at ...
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Likely Story (Likely Story Series #1)

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Overview

MALLORY IS A teenage girl living in L.A. and her mother is the oftnominated, never-winning star of a daytime soap; she is, in fact, the ultimate drama queen. After yet another blow-out about her mother’s awful plotlines and overacting, Mallory starts blogging about how she wishes soap operas were more like real kids’ lives instead of the ridiculous storylines the shows usually feature.
When her mother’s agent reads the blog, Mallory ends up in her own whirlwind drama, both at school and on the lot, as she works to protect the integrity of her original idea, cope with her mother’s jealousy, and get her best friend a lead role on the show. Factor in her boyfriend with the girlfriend, the cute but bad brother to said-best-friend, and the super-cute male lead on her show, and Mallory’s got plenty of her own melodrama to cope with.
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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Claire Rosser
The adolescent child of a celebrity is a familiar character these days in YA fiction, and likely to remain so as our culture can't get enough information about celebrities. Van Etten has done a good job with this drama—and we all like his character Mallory, the brilliant daughter of a soap opera drama queen. Mallory hasn't found much motherly love from this person, but she has been loved and nurtured by her mother's long-suffering make-up artist, so Mallory is a fairly well put-together teenager. And talented! She knows all about the TV drama world and puts together a proposal for a new TV show that she will also write. She understands demographics enough to know there would be a place for a daytime soap for a younger audience, not the usual fare. She has her best friend, a struggling actress, in mind for the lead. The idea goes forward, auditions are held, and Mallory's mother goes ballistic, especially since it seems Mallory's show will replace the soap opera the mother has been in for so many years. An ex-husband of Mallory's mother (one of many) is their boss, which only complicates matters. Witty, light, sophisticated—this story is a likely one to appeal. Reviewer: Claire Rosser
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

Mallory's mother is a big-name soap-opera star. When Mallory comes up with an idea for a daytime soap aimed at teens that would deal with real-life situations, this pedigree helps her get a shot at creating and writing it. In the process, she learns to stand up for herself and to do what is right-even if it means facing tough consequences. A collaboration among three authors-soap-opera writer Chris Van Etten, David Ozanich, and David Levithan, who is known for sensitive portrayals of teens-Likely Story occasionally has an uneven tone, as tender moments are blended with a realistic look at the soap-opera business. Still, Mallory comes across as a likable, regular teen despite growing up on television sets and having a mother as selfish and manipulative as any daytime-drama villain. Her snappy narrative is filled with a believable mix of self-doubt, scathing humor, and real emotion. The book never indulges in the glamour of the television lifestyle, but focuses on the story and characters. The novel ends abruptly with a cliff-hanger climax, leaving an opening for the next book in the series.-Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK

Kirkus Reviews
YA novelist David Levithan, playwright David Ozanich and soap-opera writer Chris Van Etten team up to swell the ranks of chick-lit offerings even further. After an argument with her soap-opera-diva mother, 16-year-old everygirl Mallory blogs about the unreality of soap operas and then finds herself creating one. This amusing story, written with a twinkle and a wink, gives readers the fun of seeing the nuts and bolts of soap-opera production. It's also very metaliterary: Mallory was raised on the set of a soap opera, her personal life is like a soap opera and she, in turn, uses that life to create a realistic soap opera for teens. Despite the crackerjack punch-line ending, this novel, book one in a new series, is essentially all setup for the next volumes. Will Mallory enjoy a romance with the show's hot young star? Clash with her mother on the set? Be ostracized by her once best friend? Find love with her high school crush? To find out, fans will have to read the next installment. (Fiction. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375846762
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/13/2008
  • Series: Likely Story Series , #1
  • Pages: 240
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

David Van Etten is actually three writers: Chris Van Etten is currently a fulltime writer for ABC’s One Life to Live; David Ozanich is a freelance writer and playwright; and David Levithan is the author of Boy Meets Boy, and many other young adult novels for Knopf.
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Read an Excerpt

My life has been a soap opera since the day I was born.
At the time of my arrival, my mother had been an actress (using that term loosely) on Good As Gold for almost ten years. The writers had worked her pregnancy into the story line, and when Mom started going into labor, the director kept the cameras rolling. Mom swears she didn’t notice, but if you look at the episode, you can see that she’s playing it up, hoping that each contraction will bring her closer to a Daytime Emmy. Luckily, the cameras weren’t allowed in the delivery room. But two weeks later, Mom was back at work, on the twelve-by-twelve set that serves as every single hospital room in the fictional town of Shadow Canyon. (If you watch closely, you’ll see that only the flowers change.) Immaculately made up, with the whole staff of Shadow Canyon General watching on in admiration, my mother gave birth to me for a second time. And I was there waiting, under the sheet between her legs, for Dr. Lance Singletary to reach in, lift me toward the camera, and utter with complete surprise, “It’s a girl, Geneva! It’s a girl!”
This was the first time I ever appeared on TV.
It was also the last.
They wanted to keep me. Mom and I were on the cover of Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly. There was a crew from Entertainment Tonight taping the Good As Gold crew as they taped my second birth. Mom’s fan clubs sent thousands of daisies, homemade cards (many of them addressed to Geneva), and home-knit pairs of socks. A network press release dubbed me “the Future Queen of Soapland” and said I was a “star of tomorrow.” The hype was stupendous, but clearly I didn’t believe my own press. On my second day of taping, I refused to stop crying—big, volcanic wails. The noise was unbearable . . . and, even worse, the way I cried made my face scrunch up. If there’s one thing a soap opera will never, ever tolerate, it’s a scrunched-up, uncute face, even on a sixteen-day-old baby.
A supermodel pair of baby twins was brought in, and I was sent home with a nanny. Four months later, Good As Gold viewers would watch as Geneva’s infant daughter, Diamond, was abducted by Geneva’s escaped-convict ex-lover, a former priest named Rance who had sixteen personalities (ten of whom were battling sex addiction). When Diamond was found six months later by the lone member of Shadow Canyon’s police force, she had miraculously transformed into a breastbudding twelve-year-old starlet–a fact that none of the citizens of Shadow Canyon (not even the clairvoyant ones) ever noticed.
In the past sixteen years, Diamond has been abducted six times, has died once, has fallen in love twice with people who were later revealed to be her relatives, has had three bouts of amnesia, has been in a coma twice, has eloped once, has broken off two engagements, has had her debutante debut ruined once by an earthquake and once by a dead best friend, has twice fallen into the hands of a coven of witches, has been locked in the trunk of a car six times, has pulled a gun on someone fourteen times, has had a gun pulled on her twentytwo times, and has had near-death experiences eight times (twice from drowning, twice in a car crash, once in a plane crash, once after being stabbed by her lover-slash-long loststepbrother, once in childbirth, and once–I swear to god–from slipping on a patch of black ice, which was later revealed to have been put there by her diabolically scheming half sister/stepmother).
The one thing Diamond and I have in common: Neither of us knows who our father is. Everyone has a theory. Personally, I’d like a name.
Really, it’s only compared to Diamond’s life that my own life seems ordinary. By most other standards, it’s still pretty messed up.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Yepper doos

    The mom in this story is jus like my stupid donkey mom is like!!!!!!!!!!!XD

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Likely story review by booksrgr8_teen258 for nothing!! lol

    I think that Likely story is a very good book with a intresting plotline. I like Mallory's charecter, but I wish that the authors could have given her a name that was more starry, like Rebecca, Jennifer, or Courtney. I also like the fact that the script Mallory is making is kind of like her real life, no matter how much she tries to make it different. Dallas seems like a cool character that will grow and develop through the course of the series. I also think that Keith is a big fat meanie and that he should stick with the softie named Erika. Also, the authors needed to STOP stating the fact that keith is a good, honest guy. w kinda got it!

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  • Posted November 3, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

    Mallory's life is like a soap opera. She literally knows the set of Good as Gold better than her own home. Her mom has been the reigning queen of soaps for as long as Mallory can remember. Her mom has been married numerous times, engaged just as many, and they've lived in over ten different places in Mallory's sixteen years. <BR/><BR/>However, Mallory and her mother have a hard time relating. They barely talk in passing. Mallory has more of a relationship with her mom's make-up person, Gina. Mallory has always thought that the script for Good as Gold was a joke. The characters keep going through the same situations: being abducted, being killed off, falling in love with long-lost relatives, being locked in trunks, and other ridiculous themes. So one night, on her blog, she brashly notes that she could create a better soap opera. <BR/><BR/>Little does she realize that even though only a handful of people read the blog, the right person does. The next morning, she receives a call from Donald, her mother's agent. He asks her the routine Hollywood questions, and Mallory lies, saying she's got everything written out. Of course she can send it over. She spends that night in a writing frenzy, creating a synopsis or "Bible" of her proposed idea. The hardest concept was coming up with a name for the show. After many ideas, Likely Story is what she comes up with. Her rationale is that the story would be about normal people and all the messes they get into. Not the far-fetched stuff that is on TV currently. <BR/><BR/>Everything moves quickly after she hands over the bible she's written for Donald. Executives are calling her, meetings are arranged, and casting is in full swing. She wrote the part of Sarah with her best friend, Amelia, in mind. The casting people may want to go in a different direction, but they keep Amelia in the running through the different audition rounds. An unknown from Julliard, Dallas Grant, is the exact image of Ryan and is easily agreed upon by all. <BR/><BR/>LIKELY STORY is the first novel in a new series by a trio of male authors making up the pen name David Van Etten. The three authors write a fun quirky novel of how one girl's big talk turns into a real TV show. This novel gives the background of the show's inception and brings everyone into play. Book two, ALL THAT GLITTERS, is due out in October 2008. I am already eager to see what will happen when the production gears up for the pilot episode.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2008

    Soap Star vs. Soap Writer

    Mallory is fed up with her life. Her mother is a soap opera diva, and Mallory can't stand her fake lines and fake attitude. She can't understand why soap operas are so phony, just like her mother. So when she vents one day on her personal blog about this and how if she had her own show, it would be much more realistic, she never expects anyone except maybe her best friend Amelia to see it. But it turns out that her mother's agent Donald saw the blog entry. Soon, Mallory's ideas are being turned into reality, and Mallory gets caught up in making decisions for her show and in her own life. I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading Likely Story, because I had never read anything quite like it before. The plot was unique, but I didn't really like how Mallory's life seemed to revolve around soap operas, although it was all she knew. I also found it kind of ironic that Mallory always thought that soap operas were so phony when her own life seemed played out like a soap opera. Besides this, I found Likely Story a refreshing break from other over-dramatized and -glamorized tales of Hollywood. The characters were easier to relate to than those in, for example, the A-List series. Likely Story is not a particularly exciting novel all the time, but it was an enjoyable read. Readers looking for a milder version of the A-List will enjoy this novel too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2008

    A reviewer

    I bought this book because I really enjoyed David Levithan's other books and the idea for the series sounds like it would be cute and fun. I was really disappointed to find that Mallory wasn't nearly as swoon-worthy as his other characters and the mother who could have been really fun was just horrible to read about. I think I prefer my teen literature to be a lot frothier and without the lame soap opera stuff.

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    Posted March 18, 2010

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    Posted April 4, 2010

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    Posted January 14, 2010

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    Posted December 21, 2008

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    Posted February 13, 2011

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    Posted October 26, 2011

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    Posted December 29, 2009

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