AUTHOR: T. Torrest
GENRE: Adult Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHED: 29th December 2012
SOURCE: Free Download from Amazon
REVIEWED BY: Joanne
Ever wonder how often Brad Pitt’s high school girlfriend must ponder jumping off a bridge? Ever think about the girl that had her hooks in George Clooney before he took off for TV stardom? How about Leonardo DiCaprio’s ex, or Johnny Depp’s first groupie, or any number of young women who got left behind when their boyfriends set off for greener pastures and eventually achieved unfathomable Hollywood fame?
My name is Layla Warren and I don’t need to wonder about any of those things. I already know. Because years before Trip Wiley could be seen on movie screens all over the world, he could be seen sitting in the desk behind me in my high school English class.
This was back in 1990, and I cite the year only to avoid dumbfounding you when references to big hair or stretch pants are mentioned. Although, come to think of it, I am from New Jersey, which may serve as explanation enough. We were teenagers then, way back in a time before anyone could even dream he’d turn into the Hollywood commodity that he is today.
In case you live under a rock and don’t know who Trip Wiley is, just know that these days, he’s the actor found at the top of every casting director’s wish list. He’s incredibly talented and insanely gorgeous, the combination of which has made him very rich, very famous and very desirable.
And not just to casting directors, either.
I can’t confirm any of the gossip from his early years out in Tinseltown, but based on what I knew of his life before he was famous, I can tell you that the idea of Girls-Throwing-Themselves-At-Trip is not a new concept.
I should know. I was one of them.
And my life hasn’t been the same since.
This is a book for everyone who grew up in the 80’s and even if you didn’t, you will still enjoy it. Set in New Jersey in 1990/1991 it is told in the POV of Layla who is in her senior year, and has a crush on new boy Trip.
We know from the prologue that Trip is now a famous actor, and Layla narrates at the beginning of the book. Explaining her history with Trip is similar to imagining what would it have been like to have gone to school with a young Brad Pitt or George Clooney and known them before they were famous.
They meet when Trip is assigned to the seat behind Layla in English class on his first day at her school. Layla & Trip soon become work mates out of school and class partners in school. Their relationship develops to a comfortable friendship where Layla is treated as one of the guys by Trip, but she is slowly falling in love with him, and then she has her best friend telling her that she’s setting herself up for heartbreak.
I was the one who was heartbroken at the end of this book. When the group of friends start breaking up at the end of summer to go off to college, it was gut wrenching. Remembering what it’s like to feel your childhood officially come to an end as you move off in to the unknown. With the setting of the book and the references to Bon Jovi, I was singing in my head ‘Never say Goodbye’ from their Slippery When Wet album. It seemed very apt! I loved the nod to New Kids On The Block, and finding out the inspiration behind her brother’s name was funny!
This book will have you laughing out loud and then crying – and those are my kind of books!
Even though I am not American, have never been to America, and yes, my opinions of New Jersey are basically of the stereotypes T. Torrest mentions at the beginning of the book, I still felt a connection to the book because people, I too am a child of the 80’s! I left school in 1991, the year that this is set/when the characters graduate. I remember going to the video store to hire video tapes, the days where we had no mobile phones, MP3 players, Facebook etc, those were happy times!
I loved this book, and the best part for me is that I didn’t even know that it was a trilogy until the end, so I have the next book to look forward to. I downloaded this from Amazon when I saw it was free. It was billed as a flash back to the late 80’s/early 90’s and that sold me so I didn’t notice the title on Amazon stating it was book 1. It was sat on my kindle for a while (so many books, too little time!) and I picked it up a few days ago because I thought it would be a light-hearted stand alone read, which was what I felt like reading at the time. Well now I’m glad it isn’t a stand alone, seeing as when I was about 80% in I started worrying, thinking this isn’t going to have a HEA because there wasn’t enough book left! PHEW! **Wipes brow, panic over now!** Now I get to find out what happens to Layla & Trip in the next part, and I can’t wait!