Under the Spotlight Synopsis:
After an embarrassing stint on a reality-TV music competition years ago, Riley vowed never to sing again. Now she's behind the scenes, working at the prestigious Sound Sync recording studio, and life is looking up. But then Garrett Jamieson, the oldest brother in the famous Jamieson brothers band, crashes into her world.
Garrett has hit rock bottom, and he is desperate to reinvent himself. After calling in a few favors, he ends up working at Sound Sync to learn the ropes of record producing from the industry's best. And he can't believe his luck when he discovers that Riley has been keeping a secret—she is an amazing singer. By producing her album, he's sure to top the record charts again. But Garrett is forced to use every trick in his arsenal to persuade the sassy girl to record.
Riley refuses to sing—or even entertain the thought of it—and sparks fly as Garrett finally meets his match. But in the heat of the moment, one stolen kiss changes everything. Will Riley be the first person to finally rein Garrett in, or will Garrett succeed in getting Riley back under the spotlight?
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
What I say: Under the Spotlight is the third instalment in Angie Stanton's Jamieson series but it works as a standalone. It's a short and sweet YA story set in the world of music production (think along the lines of Nashville for teens).
I enjoyed the back and forth between the two MC's Riley and Garrett, although I did want to smack Garrett at times. I loved the record company setting and it provided an interesting insight into what actually goes into recording albums. I also felt Angie Stanton got the sections set on the reality TV programme just right (I know from experience how these things are produced).
Riley was sweet and likeable. I really wanted her to stand up for herself a bit more as everybody seemed to take advantage of her sunny nature and generosity - I hated her mother. I enjoyed seeing her finding her inner strength and learning to fight for what she wanted.
I have to admit I'm not entirely sure about Garrett. I really didn't like him at the beginning of the story and although he did grow on me, I found it hard to forgive the way he treated Riley at times. But at the same time, I felt he was portrayed quite realistically and his cynicism was actually more believable than if he'd been all 'hearts and flowers' throughout the plot.
I did think the time scale of the story was a little fast and I would have liked a little more time to see things develop but to be honest this often an issue I find with many YA stories. I did however really enjoy the music parts and thought music was woven seamlessly into the story. The book is pretty clean with only a few mentions of sex.
Under the Spotlight is a fun YA story and I'm sure YA readers, plus those with dreams of a rockstar boyfriend or being a singer will enjoy it.
3.5 Stars in my Sky!
Angie Stanton never planned on writing books—she wanted to be a Rockette. However, growing up in rural America with her brothers’ 4-H pigs as pets, she found that dance didn’t quite work out. Instead, she became an avid daydreamer. After years of perfecting stories in her head, she began to write them down, and the rest is history. When not writing, she loves watching natural disaster movies, going to Broadway musicals, and dipping French fries in chocolate shakes.