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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book Review: HDU

by India Lee

Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Humor, Romance
Publication:  November 30th 2012
Amanda Nathan just lost everything – her first real boyfriend to her lifelong best friend, her half of their shared apartment in St. Louis and her first post-grad job as a receptionist. Forced back under her parents’ roof in Merit, Missouri, the gossipy town she’d spent her life trying to escape, Amanda has but one saving grace – being an anonymous moderator on HDU, the Internet’s largest celebrity gossip community. Unemployed and alone, Amanda relishes in the one thing she has control over – Hollywood gossip. Now, her idea of fun is getting lost in the glamorous lives of others and posting nasty rumors about her former bestie’s favorite actor, Liam Brody, a playboy notorious for dumping his model girlfriends on a monthly basis.

So who would’ve thought that Liam Brody would be Amanda’s answer to escaping Merit? When the controversial womanizer needs an image boost to land a new role, he turns to none other than HDU for some good press. As it turns out, Liam is as eager to shed his playboy image as Amanda is desperate to move out of Merit. The solution to both problems? Fake a romance in which Hollywood’s biggest playboy falls for an unknown, sweet and shockingly plain Jane.

With the help of Ian, a fellow HDU moderator and self-developed expert on stardom, Amanda packs her bags for her new life in New York, where the overnight fame and glamour of being a celebrity girlfriend awaits. But Amanda soon discovers that their little ploy is a lot more emotionally complicated than she imagined. And while she finds that life works a thousand times better in her Hollywood circle, so does manipulation.

I received an advance copy of this book from the author to provide an honest review. 

HDU is the kind of book which I wouldn’t pick up if I were to judge it by its cover or title. I mean, I wouldn’t know what HDU means or what the book is all about, judging from both. But, HDU is also one of the books where I would say, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, because the story is absolutely interesting.

The main character, Amanda Nathan has lost it all when she found out that her boyfriend cheated with her best friend and she had to return home to the small town of Merit, Missouri. She moderates the Internet’s celebrity gossip community called HDU, or ‘How Dare You?!’ for distraction and posted some rumors about her ex-best friend favorite actor, Liam Brody, the famous playboy. So, who would have thought that Liam Brody would contact her for an image boost in HDU? So, they both formed a contract where Amanda used this chance to get out from her hometown and headed to New York together with her new best friend, Ian Marsh, who was also a moderator from HDU.

I really like Amanda. She’s humble, kind, loyal to her friends and the kind of girl who would fight for herself. India Lee’s writing style was fluid and entertaining. It makes me totally absorbed into Amanda’s glamorous world. I found myself rooting for her happiness and success. What I really like about Amanda was she could adjust herself into the glamor world because she’s a moderator for the celebrity gossip community. She knows what she’s doing and how some of her decision could affect her life.

I love Amanda and Liam as a couple (or a fake couple). They are cute and funny together. I even caught myself laughing out loud a few times. My only complaint was that their relationship was a bit fast forward. I wish they spend more times to get to know each other before they start to like each other – that moment when Amanda’s opinion of Liam starts to change. After all, Amanda was never a fan of Liam even before they met.

In the end, I found myself falling in love with the characters and India Lee’s writing style. And HDU simply made it into one of my favorite books. I can’t wait to read the sequel to HDU. I would totally recommend HDU to anyone who prefers chick lit with a bit of glamorous world, friendship, romance and lots of funny moments.

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