- File Size: 3112 KB
- Print Length: 561 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Velvet Morning Press (September 3, 2016)
- Publication Date: September 3, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01LJWI3II
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #896,095 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Hollywood Lights: Books 1-3 Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Recent college grads Greta, an awkward nerd, and Daphne, a charismatic glamor girl, couldn't be more different on the surface, but have been close friends since university. After Greta's philandering father kicks her out of the house, she moves across the country to LA to live with Daphne, who helps her navigate the world of 1990s Hollywood. Soon, she finds an unlikely job at a lighting production company and finds herself drawn to her handsome new boss.
Daphne, meanwhile, aspires to be a screenwriter and presently works a day job as the assistant to a producer best known for yesteryear's hits. She soon finds herself losing Greta to a budding romance and resorts to desperate measures to win back her friend. But her actions have dire consequences... ones that could cause her to lose Greta forever.
ENTANGLEMENT, Katie Rose Guest Pryal's novel about friendship, Hollywood, and finding your way in your early twenties, opens with Greta in the hospital in December 1999, having been attacked by someone she knows. The book then goes back to the beginning of 1999 and follows Greta and Daphne as they settle into their new lives as roommates, leaving you to wonder which of the interesting new characters in Greta's life will ultimately try to kill her--and why. But though the book opens with danger and mystery, it's not a thriller. It's a complex, finely wrought, richly human story about two young women.
Can I just say--I love love loved that a female friendship was at the heart of this book. There's a romance too, but the story's really about Greta and Daphne's relationship. The story is told in a nonlinear fashion, with "present day" chapters alternating with flashback chapters that reveal details about how the girls met, how they became such close friends, and their relationships with their families. What I enjoyed most about this book is how well developed the two central characters are. Greta: the physic major who takes things too literally and relates to facts better than to people. Daphne: the fabulous popular girl who you'd never guess came from an abusive and underprivileged childhood.
I really enjoyed the way Pryal used the flashback chapters to add complexity and color bit-by-bit to the characters--to show how they became the way they are, sometimes in unexpected ways. Both Daphne and Greta really came alive on the page, and I quickly became invested in them and their intense friendship.
ENTANGLEMENT is a character-driven story of friendship, dysfunction, Hollywood glitz, and obsession, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's got so many elements--finding your way in the world after college, discovering that people aren't who they seem, what Hollywood in the late '90s was like, how two people who seem so different connect on such visceral levels... I started reading it while getting my hair dyed, and the book made the whole three hour process fly by (in fact, I probably should have been paying more attention when the stylist asked if my hair was the right color, instead of just nodding so I could get back to reading!). And then I went home and kept reading reading reading, staying up till 3AM because I didn't want to stop until I was finished.
In Entanglement: A Hollywood Lights Novel we got a remarkably complete portrait of Daphne and Greta, and discovered why they need each other so much, constructing their own sisterhood family to fill the empty places where family love, trust, and stability should have resided in their hearts.
Pryal brings some surprising concepts right into the heart of her story, to reveal crucial aspects of her characters’ emotional experience. First, there is entropy, the physical law that disorder tends to increase in the universe; in life, it suggests those times when everything seems to reel out of control and go seriously awry! Her prequel Love and Entropy: A Hollywood Lights Novella flashes back to a particularly disturbing incident that happened that first summer in college when Greta and Daphne knew each other and became inseparable. Second, there is chaos, described by the famous example of the butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil, setting up a minute breeze that gathers force and eventually triggers a hurricane thousands of miles away. In these novels, chaos intrudes when small decisions and actions lead to major consequences down the road, big effects that seemingly could have been avoided. In Chasing Chaos: A Hollywood Lights Novel Daphne will be especially haunted by her own actions and her belief that she is responsible for a chain reaction of disaster and tragedy.
The story’s Prologue finds her in a hospital, on the surgical floor, waiting for news.
“It could take hours before she knew whether she’d caused the death of someone close to her.
Whether tonight she’d set in motion the dangerous actions that had put two people in the hospital and one person in an operating room fighting for life.
She couldn’t stand herself. Self-blame nearly suffocated her.”
The rest of the novel flashes back to all that led up to this critical moment.
Greta and Daphne are still living in Los Angeles, where they moved after college, both of them wanting to put lots of geography between them and their families. They had each other, and with their talents and a bit of luck, both found opportunities in L. A. that suited them. Daphne worked in a production company, but was still an aspiring screenwriter, working hard on her scripts every evening. Greta put her knowledge of physics and electronics to use as a lighting designer. No one was more surprised than Greta that this job led to romance with her boss, Timmy. When Greta fell in love, very cautiously at first, the delicate balance of the friends’ mutual support was upset, and Daphne suffered the worst of it. Daphne felt seriously displaced, triggering her deepest wounds, and Greta felt torn between two people who each wanted to rank first in her life. Tempers flared, and one rash action led to another, until a crisis came, endangering Greta’s life. That’s where "Entanglement" left their story.
In "Chasing Chaos," it is five years later, and life is advancing on all fronts. Daphne is now a successful screenwriter, and living more comfortably, it seems, setting her own schedule and choosing her freelance work. She has a boyfriend Dan, with whom she often collaborates, but she is restless and serially unfaithful during their relationship. She decides to break it off with him rather abruptly, and she doubts that she is meant to find real love, or that she even deserves to. Meanwhile, Greta and Timmy have been running their thriving lighting production business and growing closer and stronger in their love. Greta recovered from her brush with death at the home of a friend she met through Daphne, a semi-retired film star of some magnitude, named Sandy. Sandy’s home is a gathering place for his circle of carefully chosen and dependable friends–Greta, Timmy, and Daphne chief among them. So it is natural that, when Timmy proposes marriage (for the umpteenth time?) and Greta startles him by accepting, their wedding should take place at Sandy’s house and Daphne should be in charge of planning it. But she only has five days to do it. Sandy’s handyman, Marlon, who is much more like an adopted son to him, helps Daphne pull off a miracle of last-minute wedding creation. Daphne and Marlon find themselves drawn to each other on all levels–irresistibly fascinated and also caring deeply for each other–and Daphne dares to hope that love and happiness might be available to her too, in spite of everything. But then chaos starts happening all over again… It will take all the resources of friendship to convince her that she is not at the vortex of every storm. But will it be too late?
I read all three installments in the Hollywood Lights series in rapid succession, and when I was away from them, I found myself actually worrying about its two heroines, Daphne and Greta. What would happen to them? Would they be okay? Katie Rose Guest Pryal has worked that subtle magic by which we begin to care very much for the fictional lives unfolding word by word.
If you read Pryal’s very impressive bio, you can see that she has tremendous experience teaching writing, but here in her first full-length series of novels, she really delivers with beautiful pacing and structure, and smart, memorable dialogue. I can highly recommend all these books, in which the lives of these characters are seasoned by more than enough dramatic action. To understand Greta, I warmly recommend "Love and Entropy" and "Entanglement," where Daphne and Greta find each other. "Chasing Chaos" is Daphne’s story; she faces the longest road back from a chaotic childhood, and must work hardest to find herself.
*Note*: I received an advance electronic copy, in exchange for an honest review.
Pryal doesn't write your typical hero's journey; her novels are more like webs that connect and ensnare her characters with just the right amount of romantic tension, intrigue, and betrayal, and Daphne's part of the story offers you plenty to keep you turning pages. Love the way she sets off her female characters, who are just starting out in life with big dreams and a ten-spot in their back pockets, against the flashy, big-money LA setting. These books are a quick, entertaining read, and would be a great gift for the celebrity watcher on your list.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the first book I’ve read by author Kate Rose Guest.Read more
A wonderful compendium of the three stories about life-long friends Daphne and Greta and their personal journeys about their lives in L.A.Read more
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