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Likely Story    by David Van Etten order for
Likely Story
by David Van Etten
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Mallory is the daughter of a soap opera diva. She grows up on the set of As Good As Gold where she finds a mother figure in Gina, her mother's make-up artist. Gina is one the few constants in Mallory's life as she goes to a different private school every year, usually as a result of a breakup and move that are caused by her mother's erratic love life.

Now a teenager, Mallory stays away from her mother to avoid clashes. After another fight with her mother over the dialogue written for As Good As Gold, Mallory blogs her exasperation about ridiculous soap opera plotlines, and adds that if she had her own show it would be about real people her own age and would be a hundred times more believable than the dinosaurs already on the air.

Her mother's agent, Donald, calls telling her he loves her idea and before she has time to think about it Mallory is creating her own show which will be titled A Likely Story.

Mallory knows a lot about soaps having watched her mother's production for years. For her own show, she wants to have a say in all decisions, especially casting. For the female leading actress, she's chosen her friend Amelia and sets out selling this unknown to the studio. She has to fight off takeovers by the adult characters the studio insists she add, overcome her mother's petty jealousy and criticism, plus find time to make a decision about a relationship that's becoming too painful. All while she is still in high school. Can she handle the pressure?

This story of the creation of a daytime television series is written by a team of male writers under the name of David Van Etten. A Likely Story, an entertaining addition to YA chick lit, leaves a lot of unanswered questions that will leave readers wanting more. Fortunately, Book Two will be released late this year.

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