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Likely Story Hardcover – May 13, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (May 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037584676X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375846762
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,629,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Mallory's mother is a big-name soap-opera star. When Mallory comes up with an idea for a daytime soap aimed at teens that would deal with real-life situations, this pedigree helps her get a shot at creating and writing it. In the process, she learns to stand up for herself and to do what is right—even if it means facing tough consequences. A collaboration among three authors—soap-opera writer Chris Van Etten, David Ozanich, and David Levithan, who is known for sensitive portrayals of teens—Likely Story occasionally has an uneven tone, as tender moments are blended with a realistic look at the soap-opera business. Still, Mallory comes across as a likable, regular teen despite growing up on television sets and having a mother as selfish and manipulative as any daytime-drama villain. Her snappy narrative is filled with a believable mix of self-doubt, scathing humor, and real emotion. The book never indulges in the glamour of the television lifestyle, but focuses on the story and characters. The novel ends abruptly with a cliff-hanger climax, leaving an opening for the next book in the series.—Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

David Van Etten is actually three writers: Chris Van Etten is currently a fulltime writer for ABC’s One Life to Live; David Ozanich is a freelance writer and playwright; and David Levithan is the author of Boy Meets Boy, and many other young adult novels for Knopf.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
This is a fun book to read.
Maureen Zupan
I look forward to reading the next in the series, due out this fall.
Enchanting Reviews
It added enough realism to make this book really good.
Rossana Snee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tina on May 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this young adult book because the storyline sounded fun. The idea of a teenager, who grew up with a famous soap opera mother, who has decided to "pitch" her own "teen" soap opera to the newtwork brass. The only hick? her best friend needs to be the lead and oh yeah, she is falling for the lead actor - oopss! did I forget to mention the neat little plot twist (which I will not reveal) at the end of the book?

What I really enjoyed about this book is the lead character Mallory could have been written as a vain, stuck up teenager - but rather the authors decided to make her the exact opposite of her shallow, rude tv-star mother. The interaction between mother and daughter is sometimes painful to read, but you get the distinct impression that both are putting up a front for the benefit of the other.

Mallory's dialogue with her boyfriend, best friend and even the producer of her newly developing soap opera are all believable and enjoyable. I like the idea that this teenager is brainy and can stand up for what she wants and believes in.

There is very little sexual content (and when there is, it is very mild), basically this book is about a young woman who has an idea and gets this idea off the ground.

It is obvious that this book will become a series - bring it on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachael Stein VINE VOICE on June 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Mallory is fed up with her life. Her mother is a soap opera diva, and Mallory can't stand her fake lines and fake attitude. She can't understand why soap operas are so phony, just like her mother. So when she vents one day on her personal blog about this and how if she had her own show, it would be much more realistic, she never expects anyone except maybe her best friend Amelia to see it. But it turns out that her mother's agent Donald saw the blog entry. Soon, Mallory's ideas are being turned into reality, and Mallory gets caught up in making decisions for her show and in her own life.

I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading Likely Story, because I had never read anything quite like it before. The plot was unique, but I didn't really like how Mallory's life seemed to revolve around soap operas, although it was all she knew. I also found it kind of ironic that Mallory always thought that soap operas were so phony when her own life seemed played out like a soap opera. Besides this, I found Likely Story a refreshing break from other over-dramatized and -glamorized tales of Hollywood. The characters were easier to relate to than those in, for example, the A-List series.

Likely Story is not a particularly exciting novel all the time, but it was an enjoyable read. Readers looking for a milder version of the A-List will enjoy this novel too.

[...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Frances J. Rogers on August 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Great, fun read! Can't wait for the SECOND and THIRD books to be published!
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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