Adriana Banovic's 15th birthday sucked! She was fired after eight years of playing Shayanne Montgomery on the #1 soap in the country, found out that her family was on the verge of bankruptcy and worst of all, forced to return to Westwood Academy. Her only saving grace was a chance glance at dreamy mystery boy Haze Lyndon. Armed with only his picture and a determination to find him--even if it means turning Los Angeles over on its ass.
In this young adult novel you'll meet Robin Banovic, Adriana's father; financially challenged, dealing with the death of a family member and his brother's disappearance. You'll meet Savannah DaCosta aka Savi, mother/manager; Savi enjoys the life her rock star daughter Leighann has provided. When Leighann makes a choice to end her career, Savi sees it as a personal attack. You'll meet college boy Haze Lyndon; New to Los Angeles, Haze soon realizes how quickly money changes hands in the City of Angels. Will he return to questionable ways to survive or go back to the safety of his family in Wisconsin?
The past couple of years or so, Young Adult has become an incredibly popular and much-read genre. Maybe it has been for a much longer time and I just somehow never noticed, but since the release of YA novels by authors such as John Green and Rainbow Rowell, it appears to be the genre everyone is talking about. Maybe it's because I'm not a teenager myself anymore, but I never really fell in love with YA. Yes, there are some great YA novels, but it's just not the genre for me. However, I do like to give it a good try every now and again, so today I have a review of a YA novel to share with all of you, namely Gillian Felix's 'Changes', the first part of her 'Family Portrait' book series. I saw a lot of positive reviews of the book online and am always excited about discovering new entertaining book series, so looked forward to giving it a try!
'Changes' mainly focuses on two families: the DaCosta family and the Banovic family. The last one consists of three siblings Kevin, Zax and Adriana, and their parents. Adriana is a 15-year-old actress who has just been fired from her long-term job working on a popular soap opera. She wants to get back in the game straight away, but since her agent is unwilling to help her out, Adriana realises she will have to figure things out for herself. Leighann DaCosta is a world famous teen idol, but secretly longing for a normal life. When it all gets too much for her, she decides to move in with her older sister and go to high school, like any other teenager. And then there's Haze Lyndon, who has moved from Wisconsin to LA to start a new life and kick off his modelling career. All three teenagers at first sight don't seem to have too much in common, but they're all about to face some pretty big changes.
'Changes' is the first part of Gillian Felix's 'Family Portrait' series and quite a promising start. It's more of a novella than an actual novel, because it is quite a short and quick read which I finished in just one sitting. Not too much happens in the story (except for quite an exciting cliff-hanger at the end which surprised me!); I guess it can be seen as an introduction to all of the characters that play a role in the series, with a particular focus on the three main characters: Adriana Banovic, Leighann DaCosta, and Haze Lyndon, and the quite extensive cast of secondary characters, mainly family and friends. I was intrigued by all of the characters and looked forward to discovering more about them, so while not too much happened in the story so far, it was certainly not boring.
I enjoy books that deal with numerous storylines told from the perspectives of different characters and that is an aspect of ‘Changes’ that really spoke to me. Reading the story almost felt like watching a TV show with the various characters and the way the author described everything (the writing style is quite fast-paced and comfortable to fall into), and Gillian Felix herself also said that she initially thought of the ‘Family Portrait’ series as a TV show. Overall, I thought ‘Changes’ was a promising and intriguing start to the ‘Family Portrait’ book series and I have to say I am quite curious to pick up the next part to learn more about the characters and what happens to them, and to get an answer to that cliff-hanger!