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Likely Story by David Van Etten
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Likely Story

by David Van Etten

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 12, 2009 |
A quick read about a girl who, fed up with her mother's soap opera career, accidentally creates her own soap opera about teenagers. An inside look at the soap opera world and a very different life style. Interesting characters. I look forward to the next "episode". ( )
  elizardkwik | Feb 2, 2009 |
Fun story, about a daughter of a soap opera diva who comes up with her own youth oriented story and sells it to the network. Am never sure if I like stories about women/girls written by men. Van Etten does a decent job here, although I never get how people seem so together when they're raised by a parent as messed up as this one, with an absent father to boot. This is a fun read, and I think it will appeal to girls. The ending was a bit abrupt and left me thinking "huh?". ( )
  mikitchenlady | Jan 2, 2009 |
This a quick fun read! Mallory's been raised on a soap opera set. Her mom's a star! But after Mallory gets fed up with the over-the-top stories and rants on her blog about the unrealistic nature of soap operas, she's challenged by her mom's agent to write one of her own - about real life focusing on teenagers. If you're interested in how the television and movie industry works, you'll probably enjoy this book. ( )
  jbarth | Dec 6, 2008 |
Why did you do that? You did not need to.

Likely Story by David Van Etten
2 out of 5 stars

Likely Story Book One in the Likely Story Series by David Van Etten was unfortunately a disappointment.

Mallory is the daughter of an openly affectionate mother. She is here boyfriend’s only girlfriend. She is surrounded by tons of close friends. And she has absolutely nothing to do with the unrealistic Soap Opera, Good as Gold. Well, only in her dreams. Actually she has selfish, to the core Soap Opera actress for a mother. Her “boyfriend” is in another relationship than just theirs. Mallory is close to being anti-social. And she practically grew up on the Good as Gold set.

To blow steam, Mallory keeps a blog. After one practically nasty fight with her mom, she vents on her blog about how unrealistic Soap Opera’s are. Little did she know that her mother’s agent would read it. Before she knows it she is typing out a bible for a possible soap opera she accidentally created. They like it. They it so much they decide that her show, Likely Story, would be an interesting new addition to their network. But will Mallory be able to handle a stressful job and her even more stressful home life?

I really like the idea of the book, a teen girl turns her experiences and thoughts into a show with real people viewing it. The skeleton or basic plot of the story was good. The fights with her mother, boy problems, and trust issues with friends are all realistic and added a lot of drama and plot buildup.

But I was greatly disappointed with the over all picture. Each chapter had improper matters in it. Sex and homosexuality were brought up way to often. It shouldn’t have been added at all. It didn’t add anything and I don’t believe 14 years olds like me should be reading a book like that. There is no way that I would suggest this book to my siblings or friends.

Just because sex and homosexuality is brought up a lot in these modern times, doesn’t mean its right. Would the book have been bad or worse without these improper matters? Definitely not. Would a Likely Story have been better without the improper matters? Absolutely.

Likely Story’s skeleton or basic plot was good, but was taken over by unneeded additions that overpowered the good.

Date Reviewed: July 21st, 2008 ( )
  teenage_critic | Oct 22, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037584676X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:12 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Sixteen-year-old Mallory, daughter of the star of a long-running but faltering soap opera, writes her own soap opera script and becomes deeply involved in the day-to-day life of a Hollywood player, while trying to hold on to some shaky personal relationships.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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