Kayla Olson. The Reunion. Atria, 2023. 320 pp. ISBN 978-1668001943 $17.00
This reminded me of so much of Christina Lauren’s Twice in a Lifetime in the best of ways: teenage crush, first love (unconsummated, in this case), entertainment industry setting, mature love and relationship, plus great writing and all the feels.
Liv Latimer, teen star of the fictional hit television series, Girl on the Verge, took a hiatus from acting then made some excellent independent film choices. It’s been fifteen years since the six year run of the coming of age series concluded, and the producers are getting the band back together for a reunion special that just might lead to a series reboot, which Liv has mixed feelings about. She also has mixed–but strong–feelings about Ransom Joel, the romantic lead and her former BFF. They haven’t spoken beyond a few exchanges since he told her that he was never going to keep a girlfriend if they didn’t tone down her friendship, and she graciously backed off, secretly in love with him, never considering it might have been his subtle plea for a declaration of feelings from her.
Seeing one another again as adults is both comforting and exhilarating. The friendship doesn’t skip a beat, while the romance has a slower but still perfectly paced rhythm. There is plenty of drama, humor and angst around the relationship and the other actors, and the Hollywood setting is fleshed out pretty well with behind the scenes details of managing a very public life. Liv’s relationship with her slightly star-struck assistant is a nice bonus (and might have the bones for a strong star-falls-for-civilian sequel).
I received a free advance reader’s review copy of #TheReunion from #NetGalley.