Review: My Fair Brady by Brian D. Kennedy

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My Fair Lady meets the classic teen film She’s All That in this charming and swoony new rom-com from Brian D. Kennedy, author of A Little Bit Country. Perfect for fans of What If It’s Us and She Gets the Girl.

Wade Westmore is used to being in the spotlight. So when he’s passed over for the lead in the spring musical, it comes as a major blow—especially when the role goes to his ex-boyfriend, Reese, who dumped him for being too self-involved.

Shy sophomore Elijah Brady is used to being overlooked. Forget not knowing his name—most of his classmates don’t even know he exists. So when he joins the stage crew for the musical, he seems destined to blend into the scenery.

When the two have a disastrous backstage run-in, Elijah proposes an arrangement that could solve both boys’ problems: If Wade teaches Elijah how to be popular, Wade can prove that he cares about more than just himself. Seeing a chance to win Reese back, Wade dives headfirst into helping Elijah become the new and improved “Brady.”

Soon their plan puts Brady center stage—and he’s a surprising smash hit. So why is Wade suddenly less worried about winning over his ex and more worried about losing Elijah?

Review:

Dear Brian D. Kennedy,

I enjoyed your first book so much that I decided to take a reviewing copy of this one and overall I am very happy that I did.  If the background of the first book was country music, this story is about high school kids who love theater. As the blurb says, Wade loves theater and Elijah joins the stage crew for the musical that was being rehearsed in his school to get more confidence and possibly make some new friends. I am not sure whether this is going to be a big spoiler, or not, since the blurb does not state the name of the musical, however it is a big part of the set up so I feel like I have to share it.

The musical they are going to do is “My fair lady” and at the same time Wade and Elijah are playing out to the readers their own spin on that story.  Elijah feels that he does not have it in him to be cool, to have confidence and he is asking an outgoing and popular Wade to “transform” him, to make him more worthy of people paying attention to him.

I thought this was done well.  I liked that the homage that both boys are paying to the storyline of “My fair lady’ was playing out at the same time as kids were rehearsing an actual musical. I liked that it was not a play by play repeat of the story and both Wade and Elijah were learning their own lessons as they were getting to know each other. It was not done too in your face if that makes sense. I love theater (as a consumer of the art mind you, I have never acted even as a hobby), love love love it and I was grateful to the author for a chance to look behind the scenes at what actors do, even if those actors were high school kids.

Wade and several of his friends want to pursue theater as a profession, they were trying to get into colleges with strong theater programs, I loved how much passion they seemed to have, but man I wish them luck, living in New York and knowing just how very many actors never make it to the stage, despite trying really, really hard.

I really liked Wade, flaws and all, and I had to roll my eyes at characters (and Wade himself doing it often enough) describing him as self centered and conceited.  Um, yes he had those flaws – sometimes they served him well sometimes not so much, but he is a teenager and some of these kids showed selfishness and conceit too. And they are teenagers! They should be allowed too in my opinion :). What I am trying to say is that while none of these kids were perfect, had plenty of life lessons to learn, etc, I felt like I was supposed to think that Wade was the worst in that department and had to change more and I just did not agree.

Of course I liked Elijah too, who had to understand that while it is cool to learn how to get more confidence and change something in himself if one wants to, it is okay to just be himself too.  I thought Wade and Elijah had nice sweet chemistry, but Elijah just felt so young to me, which is no kidding, he is sixteen. It was wonderful to observe how he was getting an experience of falling in love for the first time in his life.

I just had tons of trouble believing that this would be his forever relationship and that is totally okay, he is sixteen, Wade is eighteen, they have their whole life in front of them.  I just want to caution you against buying this book if you want Romance with the capital R.

Grade : B+

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Sirius

Sirius started reading books when she was four and reading and discussing books is still her favorite hobby. One of her very favorite gay romances is Tamara Allen’s Whistling in the Dark. In fact, she loves every book written by Tamara Allen. Amongst her other favorite romance writers are Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling, Josephine Myles, Taylor V. Donovan and many others. Sirius’ other favorite genres are scifi, mystery and Russian classics. Sirius also loves travelling, watching movies and long slow walks.

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