The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #5
Also in this series: The Year We Hid Away, Blonde Date, The Year We Fell Down, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Rennie Road Books
Publication Date: October 13th 2015
Genres: Fiction, New Adult
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Freshman Lianne Challice is known to millions of fans as Princess Vindi. But sometimes a silver screen sorceress just wants to hang up her wand, tell her manager to shove it, and become a normal college student. Too bad that’s harder than it looks.
She’s never lived a normal life. She hasn’t been to school since kindergarten. And getting close to anyone is just too risky — the last boy she kissed sold the story to a British tabloid.
But she can’t resist trying to get close to Daniel "DJ" Trevi, the hot, broody guy who spins tunes for hockey games in the arena. Something's haunting his dark eyes, and she needs to know more.
DJ's genius is for expressing the mood of the crowd with a ten second song snippet. With just a click and a fade, he can spread hope, pathos or elation among six thousand screaming fans.
Too bad his college career is about to experience the same quick fade-out as one of his songs. He can't get close to Lianne, and he can't tell her why. And the fact that she seems to like him at all? Incredible.
Lianne Challice became famous for her role as a sorceress in a popular movie franchise. She’s under contract for one more movie, but she’s ready to experience life away from Hollywood and enrolls at Harkness college. For all her travels and worldliness, she’s on the young side of 19 in terms of her self-confidence. She hasn’t had many personal relationships – whether platonic or romantic – and she’s rather socially awkward.
She meets DJ through her roommate, Bella, something we saw in The Shameless Hour (book 4). They connect over the jukebox in the previous book, and she becomes smitten with him. She isn’t confident enough to approach him, but when he asks her out she jumps at the chance to get to know him better.
DJ played hockey in high school, but he wasn’t picked up to play in college. He could have played for a Division Three school, but instead he chose to attend Harkness and focus on his education. He snagged a job as the deejay at the hockey games – both men’s and women’s – and he really loves it. Not only is it really fun, but he’s really good at it. All was going well until he was accused of doing something really terrible and the college puts him on probation.With an ax hanging over his head DJ knows he can’t start a relationship, but Lianne is hard to resist.
DJ and Lianne were very cute together. They kind of skirt around their attraction at first, but it isn’t long before they fall into a sweet friendship that’s ripe with chemistry. Lianne is struggling to find herself and her place away from college. She became quite good friends with Bella, her roommate and the former hockey manager, and by extension she’s been accepted by the hockey team, but for the most part she’s still ostracized by the rest of the campus. I was surprised by this, considering she was a movie star, regardless of what she was famous for. I’d have thought more students would want to befriend her, hoping for a bit of the limelight themselves. Instead, they go in the opposite direction, going out of their way to distance themselves from her. Though I can’t deny I was glad to see that wasn’t the main focus of the book, I’m still surprised by it.
The focus of the book was on DJ and his problems. I’m going to discuss it under the spoiler tag.View Spoiler »DJ is falsely accused of raping a girl he had a one-night-stand with. The charge is strange in that it came some months after their night together, and the university isn’t being very forthcoming about their investigation or their plans for DJ as the accused. This served to highlight 1) the bumbling way many colleges handle rape allegations, and 2) what the accused feels, which is a departure from the pain and suffering the accuser usually deal with.
This last, especially, was handled really well, I think. First, the accuser wasn’t some stereotypical cheerleader slut who wanted to get revenge because she felt slighted – or any variation thereof. Nor was she villainized completely. Even DJ – the accused – understands that sexual assault is a real thing and should never be taken lightly. I’ve seen other reviews say this particular line was distasteful and doesn’t deserve to be highlighted anywhere, but most especially not in a genre written by women, for women. I disagree. Though the stats are small, there are men who are falsely accused. I could never have read a novel where it’s taken lightly, but written as it was here I can’t deny it worked.
If this had been handled in any other way, I don’t know that I could have stomached it, but the truth is, Bowen made me think. It wasn’t a clumsy attempt that made all women look bad, and it served to highlight just why the issue is regarded the way it is. « Hide Spoiler
The tone of the book isn’t pissed off so much as worried and angst-filled. The story was nuanced and showed the other side of the coin. It was well done. The story was balanced.
For all of the heavy content, there is quite a bit of lighthearted banter and some true laugh-out-loud moments. Bowen excels at creating an atmosphere that’s easy to fall into, with characters that really come to life.
4.25 out of 5