A girl with the best of intentions.
A heart set on Hollywood.
An empty pocketbook.
That's all it takes for Ellis Eton to find herself working as a telephone operator for a look-alike friend. For Ellis, this job will provide not only acting practice but the funds to get her a start in the movies. She's tired of always being a disappointment to her traditional Boston family, and though she can't deny the way he makes her head spin, she knows she's not good enough for Griffin Phillips, either. It's simple: avoid Griff's attentions, work, and get paid. But in typical Ellis fashion, her simple plan spirals out of control when she overhears a menacing phone call...with her very own Griff as the target.
My source for book: Review CopyMy Thoughts:
Ellis has a problem of not being able to focus on any one thing for very long, with her thoughts jumping around from one thing to another, often taking hairpin turns. According to the author's note, Ellis was deliberately written with ADHD tendencies. It's quite obvious, and the first person style of writing really showcases the jumpy pattern of her thoughts. In theory, this sounds like the type of character that I would find charming, but unfortunately I never could completely connect with Ellis... I don't know if it's a result of her ADHD or not, but she struck me as being rather immature and a bit wishy-washy. In the process of trying to solve her "mystery", she rehashes many of the same clues and circumstances over and over, making the story bog down a bit in some areas.
There were elements of the story that I truly did like, such as Ellis switching places with Janie, trying to blend in and not be caught. The details of the central telephone switchboard and the girls who worked there were also very intriguing to me. The setting mostly succeeds in bringing the time period alive, with peeks into speakeasies and a look at the rampant corruption inside the police force and political scene.
I generally liked Griff and what he brought to the story. The relationship between him and Ellis was enjoyable, and I especially liked that Griff didn't try to conform Ellis to society's standard of "normal", unlike her parents and siblings. I wish Griff could have been featured a bit more, but sadly Jack the policeman was given close to an equal amount of page time. While Jack's position on the police force offers an interesting inside look, mostly I found myself a bit annoyed every time he came around...though I admit his attempt at redemption towards the end was a nice touch.
I'm a big fan of much of Siri's work, but this one unfortunately isn't at the top of my list. It's "OK", but it's honestly not something that I'll recommend very often. As I said, there are elements that I enjoyed, but overall it just doesn't seem up to the normal standard. If you're a die-hard Siri fan, go ahead and give it a try... but, if you're new to Siri's books, I would recommend first starting with something like "She Walks in Beauty", or even one of her contemporary releases, such as "The Cubicle Next Door" or "Kissing Adrien".
My Rating: 3 stars
Thanks to the publisher (Bethany House) for providing me with a review copy via NetGalley.