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Girl in Development    by Jordan Roter order for
Girl in Development
by Jordan Roter
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2006 (2006)

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* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

Eighteen-year-old Samantha Rose is addicted to classic literature. Her best friends are her parents, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens. Born and bred in Massachusetts, her other love is vintage fashion. But everything is about to change as she boards a plane for a Hollywood summer internship, snagged as a graduation present from her Uncle Norman. From the moment on the runway when Sam vomits on the movie agent next to her, she fears her eight weeks in Hollywood are going to be disastrous.

Jordan Roter's Girl in Development tells Samantha's story, detailing the good, the bad, and the ugly. She and her cousin Kate can't stand each other at first. They warily circle each other, each feeling isolated and lonely. Gradually their frosty relationship warms up though, amidst an office relationship that rapidly heats up. Sam is immediately attracted to Matt Sullivan at work - and the feeling is mutual, or so she thinks. But when Matt stops talking, kissing, or noticing, Sam is left wondering.

She struggles through the ranks of Hollywood's low-paid script readers and downtrodden assistants in a summer seemingly doomed to rearranging Diet Cokes in the refrigerator and handling the prickly diva boss's dry cleaning. But the chips fall when Matt's true character unfolds as he handles a script Sam wrote herself, and she discovers who she can count on. She begins to question the life that she had so neatly planned out and thinks about what she might really want.

Each page in this book is fun to turn. The balance between Sam's common sense and Hollywood nonsense is hilarious and fascinating. The reader alternatively winces for Sam's social butterflies and cheers for her self discoveries and the stands she takes. Girl in Development features all the ingredients of a great book - genuine friendship, romance, and betrayal.

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