“Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up delivers the perfect one-two punch of coming-of-age tale and Hollywood magic in one hit.” Allison Rushby, author of Being Hartley, the Living Blond Trilogy and Shooting Stars.
Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up?by Sara Hantz
Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? by Sara Hantz
Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she'd rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little/p>
Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? by Sara Hantz
Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she'd rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.
Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly's gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi's completely smitten. In fact, she's so in love with her new life, it isn't long before she doesn't have time for her old one.
But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn't quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?
“Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up delivers the perfect one-two punch of coming-of-age tale and Hollywood magic in one hit.” Allison Rushby, author of Being Hartley, the Living Blond Trilogy and Shooting Stars.
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Will the Real Abi Sanders Please Stand Up?
By Sara Hantz, Tracy Montoya, Shannon Godwin
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Sara Hantz
All rights reserved.
"You're kidding, right?" I stare hard at my trainer, Bill, waiting for the usual smirk to appear on his face. I've been kickboxing here at the dojo for eight years, since I was ten, and his practical jokes are legendary. As if he's really fixed it for me to audition as a stunt double for movie star Tilly Watson. As in Tilly Watson. The Tilly Watson.
I don't think so.
Although it's not like Bill to call someone to his office just to play a joke, especially during one of the evening classes, since that's when he's so busy. There's always a really good reason if he wants a word in private. And often, the private words are the ones you don't want to hear.
I glance around his office at the trophy cabinets bursting with awards for the dojo, going back years. The wall is covered in photos of Bill, when he was younger and had hair, standing with kickboxing champions he'd trained and celebrities who'd come to the gym he used to own in L.A. He's especially proud of his photo with Jackie Chan, from when he consulted on one of Jackie's movies. So, he's got the right connections, that's for sure. But seriously. Me?
"Not kidding this time Abi, I swear." He leans forward in his office chair and makes a little cross over his heart with his forefinger. "My buddy, Danny, is an assistant stunt coordinator, and he told me that Tilly Watson's making an indie movie here in Nebraska, and her regular double has broken her arm. They need to replace her right away. He's trying out some girls for the job, and he asked if I could recommend anyone, since they'd like someone with kickboxing experience. When I told him you took the North American WAKO title at age sixteen, he was hooked." WAKO is the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations. I won the point-fighting women's flyweight youth title in the Pan-America championships last year. "Plus, you'll be perfect. An obvious choice, if you ask me. Identical build and everything."
They must be desperate if they want to audition someone like me. I glance down at the black gym gear I'm wearing, which flattens my chest so much that if you put a bag on my head, you wouldn't know which way I was facing. A far cry from Tilly's enviable size-D cups, which some gossip blogs reported her having surgically enhanced after they saw her coming out of a clinic a few months back.
"S-s-same height, maybe," I argue, my stomach already in knots at the thought of my kickboxing — and my body — being scrutinized by a bunch of Hollywood types. "But that's where the similarity ends. If you haven't noticed, my hair's shoulder-length and blond, and hers is long and dark. Not to mention my nose." My nose has been an issue with me ever since I broke it last year in a bike accident. There's a crooked little bend in it now that mocks me every time I look in the mirror.
"A technicality," Bill says, waving his hand dismissively. "Nothing a wig and make-up can't fix. And, for the record, there's more similarity between you than height. There's shoulder width. The way you stand. After Danny asked me, I watched one of her movies to check her out. There's a definite likeness."
I don't really get what he means, but even if he's right about those things, it doesn't matter, because, more importantly, a wig and make-up can't fix the sheer terror of having to mix with loads of people I've never met before. I might have my stutter mostly under control when I'm with people I know, or when kickboxing, but in a room full of strangers ...that's a whole new ball game, even with the breathing techniques that, although haven't cured me, have helped me a lot for so many years. Just the thought of leaving the comfort of the gym for the unknown is making me break out in hives.
Then again, it would mean meeting Tilly. How ridiculous would that be? She was my favorite child movie star when I was growing up. We're almost the same age, though she's a little older, and I used to pretend to be her, when she was Jo in The Hunter Family, while playing in my bedroom. Even now, I still love her movies. Especially It's My Life, which came out a couple of years ago. She played a girl with a disability. It was based on a true story, and the way she portrayed Dani was so believable, it was like she'd been through something similar in her life. Watching that, I felt a strong connection between us. Felt that she would understand what I had gone through in my struggle to speak like a normal person.
"But why suggest me?" I ask. "Doing stunts involves jumping and swimming and getting blown up and all sorts of other dangerous stuff. They might want someone who can fight, but I'm sure they need more experience than that. Experience that I don't have, being just a kickboxer."
"I wouldn't say just. You're the best I've ever trained," Bill says nodding.
My heart skips a beat, and I can feel my cheeks flush. He's never said that before. Coming from him, it's high praise. He's not known for giving compliments.
"Thanks so much," I say.
"Which is why I want you to do this. I think it could give you an insight into a career where you can use your talents. Have you thought about what you want to do once school's out?"
"Not really." I bite on my bottom lip, feeling really lame. There's nothing I'm good at, except kickboxing. I'm not smart, so I didn't even consider applying to a good college. Mom made me apply to the local school, though, to study health science. I'd love to be more like Rupert, my older brother. He always gets top grades. He's a jock, too. But I don't hold that against him. I love him dearly ... most of the time. He's just a hard act to follow, especially in the classroom. Lucky for me, he never tried kickboxing. He probably would have been better than me at that, too.
"So what do you have to lose? Go and see Danny. It will do you good to shine somewhere other than on the mat. Danny won't take you on if he doesn't think you can do it. He said it's only for basic stunts and some fight scenes, so I'm sure you'll be fine." He nods his head while running his hand along the silver stubble shadowing his pointed chin. I know his eager expression is supposed to encourage, but all he's doing is scaring the crap out of me.
"I don't know," I say.
"Come on. Give it a shot."
I run my tongue along my bottom lip, while playing it over in my mind. "Thanks for thinking of me. But ..." I let that "but" trail off. Part of me wants to run in the opposite direction. But part of me is excited by the prospect. I guess if it's just kickboxing, I could handle it. After all, I climbed up to the advanced ranks here at the dojo pretty quickly.
Except I'd still have to be in a room full of strange people. And what if they make me actually read lines?
I hold back a shiver.
"Don't say no right away. Give it some thought and tell me later. If you get the job, Danny will arrange for someone to train you, and he won't make you do anything that puts you at risk. I promise." Bill gets up from sitting behind his desk and walks around to where I'm standing. "And don't worry about your stammer. You'll be fine. Just remember what you were taught in the speech program," he says softly. "If you can do this, you'll be able to do anything. Trust me."
It's easy for him to say; he's not the one who spent years at school being tormented by the other kids. I used to dread reading out loud in class so much, I'd be physically sick on the days my English teacher had us studying plays.
"I'll think about it," I say, mainly so as not to upset Bill. He's doing this to help me, I get that.
I know he means well, and it's not like he doesn't understand. The reason I came kickboxing here in the first place was because Mom and I met Bill and his son, who also stutters, at the stutterers' support group we used to go to when I was younger. Bill persuaded Mom that the discipline involved in kickboxing would help in other areas of my life. And he was right. Sort of. At the dojo, everything is cool. Outside? It could be better.
I leave his office and head slowly toward the stairs, my mind a whirr of thoughts. From over the balcony, I notice everyone in my class warming up. The dojo might not be the flashiest building. The furniture is old and has seen better days, same with the carpets. And the paint is peeling in places. But it's clean, the equipment is top of the line, and I love it here. It's where I belong. I quickly scan the room for my best friend Matt. He'll tell me what I should do. Like me, he's a black belt and my go-to for all things kickboxing. What I love about sparring with Matt is that he doesn't think he has to make allowances for me being a girl. Plus, he knows I can whip his ass any time I choose. Even if he does deny it. He's such a typical guy.
Matt's nowhere to be seen, but as I get to the bottom of the stairs, the white entrance door swings open and he comes charging through. He's tall, around six feet, and his lean but muscular frame fills whatever space he's in. He sees me, stops in his tracks, and flashes a wide smile that transforms his dark-and-broody movie star face into something almost boyish.
My heart does a little flip, as usual, when I see him. He's like Henry Cavill's much better-looking younger brother. But I ignore it. Deep down, I've always had a thing for Matt. He's never felt the same about me, though. Yeah, he flirts, but he does that with everyone. It's part of his DNA, so it doesn't count.
And we're friends. Good friends, and that is what's most important. I've pretty much put my feelings for him in the back of my mind, where they belong. Nothing can happen between us, because it could ruin our friendship. And no way will I ever let that happen.
"Hey, Abi. Not in trouble are you?" He glances up at Bill's office, which is the only room on the second floor. He knows as well as I do that being up there isn't always a good sign.
I move past him and take a place on the mat. "I'll tell you later. Come on, let's warm up before we do get in trouble."
"What's with you being so secretive?" he asks as he stretches out his calf muscles.
"I'm not," I say, smirking.
I'm hopeless at keeping anything from him, so I walk away before I break down and tell. Anyway, Bill goes crazy if we stand and chat while we're supposed to be working.
We put on our helmets and face each other. Matt signals for us to start.
As soon as we've finished warming up, I throw the first punch. Matt blocks, kicks back. I block. We fall into the rhythm of the fight. Punch, block, kick. Roundhouse, front kick, block, jab, low kick, hook. And so forth. I throw myself into our sparring, trying not to be distracted by the way his muscles bunch and flex as he does his moves, and almost forget the chance of a lifetime Bill dropped into my lap.
"You're gonna spill, Saunders. And I don't just mean in the ring." Matt grins and winks, his hazel eyes — green mixed with gold — sparkling as he dances back out of my reach.
I snort. As if that's gonna break me.
"So not happening," I yell in his direction. Just in case he thinks he's got a chance.
* * *
"Of course you've got to do it. Why wouldn't you?" Matt asks while we're sitting on the patch of grass outside the dojo. Despite my having toweled off numerous times, sweat is still dripping down my neck and back, staining the neckline of my fitted tank in a very unladylike way. Matt still hasn't cooled down, either, judging by the way his chestnut-brown hair curls damply around his face. We went for each other hard.
"Shut up. You know why not. M-m-m-matt." I exaggerate my stutter to make a point and glare at him, but all he does is pick a blade of grass, put it between his fingers and blow, making a loud squeaky noise.
I roll my eyes toward the sky. He knows how hard things have been for me in the past, so why is he acting like this is an easy decision for me?
"This is Tilly Watson we're talking about." He won't admit it, but from the way he looks when he mentions her name, I figure he's got a crush. "I understand you might be nervous, but this is, like, one chance in a million. You've got to do it." He drops the grass and lifts his head so our eyes meet.
But as for me being her stunt double ...
Yes, of course, I'd love to meet Tilly. But I can only imagine what it would be like.
Hi, T-t-t-tilly. N-n-n-n-nice to m-m-meet you.
Yeah, so not happening.
"No, Matt. I can't."
"And what does Liv think?"
Liv's my other best friend, and I've known her since grade school. The biggest mistake I ever made was introducing the two of them. They're always ganging up on me, even if it's usually in a nice way.
"She doesn't know."
"If she agrees with me, then you're going to do it. Okay?" He leans across me and picks up the towel, and the sight of his toned six-pack showing underneath the hem of his tight white tee momentarily distracts me. I swear he lets that thing ride up on purpose to see my reaction — or that of any female standing nearby. I shake my head to bring my thoughts back in line.
Well, at least Liv will be on my side. She understands what I went through as a kid. Unlike Matt, I don't have The Abs to mesmerize people with. "Fine. Text her."
He glances up, looking at something over my shoulder. "Already did."
I swing my head around and see Liv's battered green Civic squeal up to the curb. She gets out and slams the door, charging over toward us. What the ...
"Abi! I can't believe it," she says as she plunks herself and her bag down between Matt and me. "When's the audition?" Her china blue eyes are as wide as her mouth is open.
I can't believe it either. This so isn't what I want to hear. My shoulders sag, and I lean against the big old oak we're sitting under.
"But Liv ..." My voice sounds all pathetic and pleading, even to my ears. But it's how I feel.
"Don't even think of telling me you don't want to go," she says sharply.
"You don't understand. This is way too big for me to get my head around." I throw my hands in the air out of sheer exasperation. "I don't know why Bill couldn't have asked someone else."
"Like who?" Matt says. "No one else is remotely at your level. Plus, you're the right age and the right size. An obvious choice, if you ask me."
"What is it with everyone thinking Tilly and I are similar? We're most definitely not. And I should know — I see myself in the mirror every day."
"Look, Abi," Liv says, locking eyes with me. "You've got to put yourself out there. You can't always hide in the shadows. This is your chance to show everyone what you can do." She busts out into a series of stereotypically girly punches to illustrate. I know she means well, but there's a reason field hockey is her thing. "No way are you turning down such an opportunity. Absolutely no way. Is she, Matt?" Liv turns her head in Matt's direction, obviously confident he'll take up where she left off.
It's like she's got a hotline to Bill, practically repeating his every word. If I didn't know better, I'd say that Bill talked to them both before he even approached me to get them on his side. All we'll need now is Mom to get involved, and we'll have triple the fun. I get that they think they're ganging up on me for my own good, but maybe they should leave me alone to make my own decisions. Which I am quite capable of doing. Most of the time.
"A once-in-a-lifetime chance," Matt says. "That's what I've been telling her."
"Exactly," says Liv, folding her arms and subconsciously assuming her I-am-a-wall-and-nothing's-going-to-get-past-me goalie stance.
"Look, if you're so thrilled, then you go," I say to Liv. "You'd be much better than me." I conveniently ignore the fact that unless she has a hockey stick in her hand, Liv hits about as effectively as Kermit the Frog. "There's bound to be hundreds of people there. You know what these movie crews are like. Even the assistant to the assistant kitchen hand has an assistant. I'd sooner be fed to sharks than have to face all that."
Excerpted from Will the Real Abi Sanders Please Stand Up? by Sara Hantz, Tracy Montoya, Shannon Godwin. Copyright © 2014 Sara Hantz. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Sara Hantz comes from the UK and now lives in Australia (via ten years in New Zealand). She has a PhD in Education and lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family business. She has two grown-up children who have yet to grasp the fact that the bottomless money pit will soon be closing over. When not writing or working, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV—in fact if TV watching were an Olympic sport she'd win gold. She is also the author of In the Blood and The Second Virginity of Suzy Green.
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Okay, I’m not normally into romance novels. However, Sara Hantz has written one that makes even guys like me take notice — her main character is a female kickboxer! I’m not talking Tae-Bo-in-your-living-room-to-firm-and-shape-your-butt. I’m talking Get-in-the-ring-with-a-live-opponent-to-kick-his-butt. Not only that, the plot involved making a movie, complete with devious actors and directors who desperately needed a roundhouse to the pearly whites. For me, that takes romance to a whole new level. Another element that held my interest was Hantz’s fantastic job of making me love characters who were supposed to be loved, and hate characters who were supposed to be hated. For example, I immediately fell in love with Abi Saunders, a sweet girl who is respectful of her parents and loyal to her friends. She is also self-conscious about her stutter, which makes her extremely cool in my book. She has her stutter under control while around close friends, but not so much in public. Her favorite sparring partner, Matt, who is also her best friend, is one of the few opponents who can not only give her a good workout, he can push her to do things she doesn’t believe she’s capable of. So when she is asked to be a stunt double for her absolute favorite teen movie star ever, Matt urges Abi to take the job in spite of her self-doubt about her stutter. At the other end of the character spectrum, I immediately hated Tilly Watson, the star Abi adored and whose stunt double she played. Tilly is a diva… self-centered, bossy… and she made fun of Abi’s stutter, which I found totally despicable. I just love a good, hateful character! Then something unexpected happened — Abi changed, and I totally lost respect for her. She sort of became Tilly. Not only was Abi wigged and made up to look like Tilly so she could play her stunt double, Abi took on some of Tilly’s less than desirable qualities, which led to some very stupid choices on her part. This is a totally character-driven story, with growth in all the right places. Without giving away any spoilers, by the story’s end, Sara Hantz has taken Abi down a nasty path that many teenagers take, and expertly used that journey to help Abi find her true self. I have to say, the ending was absolutely, totally, and in all other ways satisfying. Sara Hantz has written a book that shows what true friendship (and true love) is all about, and I would love to see more of Abi Saunders. The real Abi Saunders.
~ Alpha Midnight
I’m giving this book a two-star rating because it’s not the worst story I’ve ever read, and the cover and title won a lot of points with me. From the book summary, I was expecting a no-nonsense, butt-kicking heroine who performs stunts, gets a taste of the Hollywood A-list high life while still retaining her butt-kicking, no-nonsense attitude, gets carried away by all the attention, learns a hard lesson or two, shrugs it off and moves on. I was also expecting glitz and glamour, and what it must be like for a stunt double on a movie set. Clearly, I set my expectations too high. Maybe I should’ve read the book summary three times or more, and not let myself be misleaded by the awesome cover. What did I get instead? An annoyingly and incredibly insecure, shallow Abi Saunders who always second-guesses herself, needs constant reassurance and praise, and who carries on and on and on about how handsome her best friend Matt is; the same Matt on whom she has a huge crush. Honestly peeps, I had a hard time with this novel. I find it disheartening that a publisher who generally publishes above average books would publish something like this. This sort of YA protagonist has been written to death, and her crush, whom we are told over and over again is so handsome and has incredibly good looks, has similarly been written to death. I found Abi’s character frustratingly tiresome. Apart from her passive, whiny, insecure behavior, I found it even more irritating to be told the entire time how much she adores Matt. I simply couldn’t understand why! Was there anything more to Matt than his good looks? Apparently not. His character was so monotonous, it bored me to tears. Don’t even get me started on Tilly Watson. She was just a plot device to make Abi’s character look like a saint. It didn’t work for me. My problem with this novel is that it doesn’t offer anything exciting or different. It’s just the same old story with a great cover, an interesting title, but the same typical YA characters with different names, and the same typical YA plot with mediocre romance for a backbone. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone, unless they’re new to this genre and haven’t read any such books yet. They’ll find this plot formula new and exciting, but for the rest of us who have been reading YA for quite some time, this book offers nothing new. Insecure protagonist with one flaw? Check. Hot bestie friend on whom she has a crush? Check. Stinted, unrealistic dialogue? Check. Predictable plot with a weak ending? Check, check, and check. I’m still waiting for the real Abi Saunders to please stand up. Give this one a miss. My thanks go to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for this free eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up by Sara Hantz is a YA novel that caught me by surprise. Most YA books I read are usually dystopian, or other strong types of stories. Though I have read Sara Hantz before, I did not expect to love the story as much as I did. This was a simple sweet, entertaining story of Abi Saunders, an 18 year old girl, who is not comfortable around people, as she stutters. Abi is our heroine, who works out in the local gym, being an award winning young female kickboxer. Abi has two great friends, Liv and Matt, whom she is totally comfortable with. The three of them are inseparable, and Abi never stutters with them. Abi also has a crush on Matt, whom she feels only sees her as a friend. We spend time early on with this wonderful friendship, and then Abi is offered a chance to become a stunt double for a well-known actress, Tilly Watson during a movie shoot. It is Liv and Matt who convince Abi to take the job, since it would be good experience for her, and help her become more confident in herself. After the first audition, Abi makes friends with the crew, and each passing day, she becomes more confident, since she truly is one of the best, and stunt work seems to be perfect for her. At first Abi would run home to tell her friends about the work behind the scenes of a movie, and meeting all the actors and director. Slowly, as her hours increase, Abi becomes too comfortable playing Tilly. She meets Jon, an actor and boyfriend of Tilly. Soon Abi becomes hooked, & begins spends more time with her new found friends, ignoring her Liv & Matt. She thinks she is doing nothing wrong, as it’s a job. She also finds herself becoming more and more attracted to Jon, and fancies that he too is beginning to care for her. What follows is an excellent story, allowing us to see Abi’s confidence build, as she garners the respect of the crew and director with her ability. We watch her as she slowly changes, totally caught up in the world of movies and fame; seeing herself giving up her kickboxing, and life at home to become a full time stunt person. Will Abi give up her life at home and her friends? Is Jon really as nice as Abi thinks? Sara Hantz proves herself to be a wonderful writer, as she grabs our attention from the start with this fast paced sweet story, that was a very enjoyable and fun to read. We find ourselves totally in Abi’s corner, rooting for her; worrying about her; as well as shaking our head at times. Hantz has also done a fabulous job creating the wonderful secondary characters, as I loved Liv, Matt, and even enjoyed the different faces of Tilly. This was a nice, quick, and fun storyline to read, and I totally recommend reading this book.
I am the kind of reader who actually goes against the grain and will actually want to read a book that has mixed reviews as opposed to all glowing. I tend to enjoy books that cause opposing views as long as they are well written and not too many grammatical errors so I wasn't sure what to expect when I first picked this one up, but I was pleasantly hooked into the story within that first chapter. I did have a love and hate relationship with the central character as she made some bad choices about who follow, but she came good in the end. She was young and impressible and all teenagers make some error in judgment at some point, it is all part of the learning curve of growing to be a better person and I feel Sara Hantz developed Abi in a believable way to be a more thoughtful individual by the end of the book. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Life has a way of getting sort of messy sometimes but, miraculously, things often work out better than you might expect. Originally, my spot on this tour was scheduled for May 5th but, having managed to become, shall we say, a bit disorganized, I needed to ask for a postponement and the tour organizer graciously worked with me. Then, I was hit with an illness that really screwed up my reading and reviewing schedule and I had to delay several things. I pushed on with this one, though, because I just couldn’t beg off and I’m so glad I did because Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? was precisely what I needed to lift my spirits. Is this the greatest novel ever written? No, but it’s a light, easy read that’s fun and, putting aside the issue of whether many teens would ever find themselves in such a position, it really does show what teens (and, let’s face it, many adults) are like. I’ve seen other reviews that think Abi is shallow and insecure and makes foolish choices. Hell-o-o! Isn’t this the essence of being a teenager? I don’t read young adult fiction because I’m looking for a protagonist who is mature and wise in all things; do you? Think how unrealistic that would be not to mention boring! The most appealing thing to me about Abi was her speech impediment. I love that Ms. Hantz saw fit to show a girl with a disability as a person who doesn’t let it rule her life and friends Liv and Matt help her do that. Abi is also the poster child for anyone who has ever found themselves in a world of instant celebrity and let everything get out of control. It’s not hard to sympathize with her even while wanting to shake some sense into her, especially when she blinds herself to what—and who—is really waiting for her. I enjoyed this tale for what it is, a bit of fantasy in the midst of real life and, once again, Sara Hantz has completely entertained me. When all is said and done, that’s just what a reader needs sometimes and I thank Ms. Hantz for it ;-)
This book rolled around at seemingly the right time for me. I needed something light that lacked all of those feels that seem to overwhelm the fangirl in all of us. Will The Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? had plenty to offer with a light story. But that became my issue with this book. It was too light. Where was the substance? Abi wasn't a character that I found myself liking at all. That made it more of a task to trudge through the pages. She just repeatedly grated on my nerves. I don't feel like she evolved at all from the insecure girl that dominated the story and weighed it down. The other characters didn't hold much of an interest for me, either. I was bored with the entire lot. I'll admit. The very first thing that got my interest about this book was the character's name; Abi. My cat is named Abi, and I have a soft spot for people who spell it that way. Then I saw what I thought was going to be a kick-ass main character. I just don't think that's what I got from this story. **I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Entangled Publishing and Sara Hantz.
I fell in love with Abi Saunders. I fell in love with Tilly Watson as well, it just took a lot longer to get there. The contrast between their two lives is striking, but at heart they are still both teenagers trying to fit in. When Abi gets the chance of her lifetime to be Tilly's stunt double, she almost doesn't take it. She stutters and is not very sure of herself, but her very good friends eventually talk her into going for it. Her best friends which are totally awesome throughout the whole story. On set isn't anything like she expected, and Tilly isn't anything like she expected either. Abi gets a little carried away a few times, and a lot carried away a few times too. I love how this book put both Abi and Tilly's lives side by side. Both girls thinking the other had it so much better than they did. In the end, everything seems to end up right where it should - which is the perfect way to end this type of story. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
Sara Hantz made it impossible for anyone not to fall in love with this book. Abi is a super-awesome-kickboxing-champion, and how could you not love a female kick-but kick-boxer, she has a stutter which makes her very self conscious and shy. I think her stutter makes her that much more awesome because she tries from the help of her friends Matt and Liz to not let it define or control her. When Abi is given the opportunity to be a stunt double for her favorite teen starlet Tilly Watson she is hesitant on entering that new environment and making a fool out of herself, but with a maybe not so gentle shove from her best friends she gives it a shot. Abi finds that the movie life I sent all that it's cracked up to be, Tilly treats her like dirt and makes fun of her stutter every time they meet, she feels like she can't get anything right, and the only thing that still feels right is being with her friends. When the tables turn and Abi starts turning into one of the movie crowd type her new image starts taking over the real Abi and her life turns upside down. Abi starts acting like the one person she didn't want to be like, Tilly, she starts to blow off her classes at the dojo, she ignores her parents, and even ditches her best friends, and the worst part she doesn't even notice what she is doing until it's too late. Hantz shows how teens in the real world are willing to do anything to fit in, to get people to like them, be apart of the "in crowed" but when they finally get there is the nasty path they take really worth the destination. This book was a fun and easy read perfect for summer day on the beach or a few hours to dip into a light but fantastic story. If nothing else the possible sweet innocent romance between Matt and Abi will defiantly keep you turning the page. Hantz made the characters relatable no matter if you are a famous movie star or a regular reader you can relate to what the characters to through and some of the choices they make. Although it was a perfect stand alone I would really like to get to see more of the Real Abi. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.