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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lefty's Lowdown: Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler

Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler
Published: July 19, 2016 by Simon Pulse
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are completely my own.
Summary from Goodreads: 
Harper Anderson always believed she belonged somewhere more glamorous than her sleepy Northern California suburb. After all, how many water polo matches and lame parties in Bobby McKittrick's backyard can one girl take? That's why Harper is beyond ecstatic when she lands her dream internship as a dating blogger at the elite teen magazine Shift. Getting to spend the summer in New York City to live her dream of becoming a writer? Harper's totally in.

There's just one teeny, tiny, infinitesimal problem: Apart from some dance floor make-outs, Harper doesn't have a lot of - or, really, any - dating expertise. In fact, she might have sort of stolen her best friend's experiences as her own on her Shift application. But she can learn on the job...right?

From awkward run-ins with the cute neighborhood dog-walker to terrifying encounters with her crazed editor, from Brooklyn gallery openings to weekends in the Hamptons, Harper finds out what it takes to make it in the Big City--and as the writer of her own destiny.
 The second I read the description for this book, I was so pumped. And then I got approved, and it took all my self control to wait until it was closer to the release date to read this one. It sounded like it was going to be a delightfully fun, chick-flicky book that takes place in NEW YORK CITY *heart eyes* And I was right! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Stampler's debut!

Okay, so it appears that I am a major hypocrite because in one of my recent reviews I talked about how much I hate when conflict is created because a character lies ("So, one of my least favorite plot lines in YA is the whole "Oh, I regret lying about something but it's too late to tell anyone the truth because that will just make things worse." NO NO NO. Maybe it's because I'm an honest-to-a-fault type of person, but I just think this trope is stupid and unnecessary." - Me). However, that is kinda the premise of this novel. Harper applied to the #1 teen magazine using a very personal story from her best friend's life. Not only is she hired under false pretenses, but she doesn't tell her best friend that she's exploiting one of her darkest secrets. But for some reason, it just works in this novel. 

Clumsy, inexperienced, socially awkward Harper is obviously in over her head with this magazine and desperate to prove herself. It's not what I would do, but I get it. And I don't think she's a bad  person for it. In fact, I actually liked her quite a bit. She's pretty relatable, and she's just a little bit misguided. She experiences a lot of growth by the end of the novel, and  I was really satisfied where her character ended up. 

Now let's chat boys, shall we? I don't want to say too much about them, because there is sort of a love triangle in this book. I'm typically not too irritated by love triangles, and I don't think this one was annoying or anything. And it wasn't really the main focus of the story, so that's a plus. Anyway, the boys. So, the whole time, it's clear who the "right" guy is and who is just being a fuckboy. And the "right" guy is adorable. There's a meet-cute that involves dogs, so, like, you KNOW romance is going to occur. Mr. Right is really kind and supportive and I really liked him.

Other things I adored were the NYC adventures (seriously, SO FUN!! And now I just wish I were in New York even more), female friendships, and the super engaging and clever writing. I was really hooked! I know Stampler was/is in the industry she was writing about, but that doesn't detract from the fact that it felt super authentic! It didn't read like someone barely managing to keep up with the times. My only complaints would be that it's pretty predictable (though, I'm still happy with the way things wrapped up. It felt like a shiny ribbon conclusion, but not TOO shiny), and I just wish there was a little bit more depth in the secondary characters. 

Either way, this book was a fantastic quick, light, & feel-good read. It definitely lived up to my expectations and I definitely recommend it if you're in the mood for a fun, rom-comish contemporary! 
4/5 stars!

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