“It’s always the quiet ones…”
Title: Anya and the Shy Guy
Author: Suze Winegardner
Series: Backstage Pass # 4
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush on July 14, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Anya Anderson doesn’t just need a big break, she needs any break. Living on the streets doesn’t leave a girl many options, so when she scores a gig reporting on the Seconds to Juliet tour, she jumps at the chance to earn enough money to sleep somewhere safe. And the paycheck will get bigger—and keep her off the streets for good—if she can dig up dirt on Will Fray, the irritatingly hot “shy guy” of the band.
Problem is, Will Fray isn’t who everyone thinks he is. In fact, he’s not Will at all. Matt, Will’s identical twin, is actually the guy onstage, reluctantly covering for his brother while he’s in rehab. To make matters worse, Matt’s being shadowed by a cute reporter with troubled eyes determined to get the scoop. On him. And he’s having trouble finding the willpower to keep his distance…
But if the secret gets out, it won’t just be his head on a platter—it’ll be the whole band’s.
This Entangled Teen Crush book contains steamy make out scenes, graphic language, and a love story so hot your copy may spontaneously burst into flames. You’ve been warned.
I have so much to say about this book that I don’t even know where to start! I liked it, I loved it, and I hated it because I loved it so much. How dare a book make me fantasize about boy bands like a twelve-year-old girl again! You have probably guessed by now that because this is the fourth Backstage Pass novel I am reviewing on my blog I am officially a fan of the world, these characters, and the individual stories surrounding each band member. I finished this book in less than twenty-four hours; do I need any more explanation than that?
Anya and the Shy Guy is about a homeless girl, Anya, who works as a freelance reporter. When the story starts, we learn that she is about to start a job that she took on the promise of digging up dirt on Seconds To Juliet’s resident “good guy”, Will Fray. Compared to the other three books, I found this one to be a hell of a lot more interesting for two reasons. One, the female protagonist is homeless. Two, Will Fray is not Will Fray. My father is a twin, so as soon as I heard about Will Fray’s twin brother pretending to be him throughout the novel, I knew I was going to enjoy it. I grew up listening to all of my father’s stories about how he and his twin would switch places for tests in school, job interviews, and even actual work shifts. I needed this book, and boy did it deliver.
As I mentioned above, I really did enjoy the whole “twins switching places” component of the book – it was probably my favorite part of the entire book. I loved reading from Matt’s point of view. Matt is the aforementioned twin of Will Fray, and he definitely met all of my expectations of what it was like to pretend to be someone else. He nailed what the pressure of trying to be his twin all the time, he nailed the hardcore effort to try and match every aspect of his brother’s personality, and he simply blew me away. It reminded me so much of my father and his own stories that I couldn’t help but to love it. Matt, even if it weren’t for the whole twin aspect, was an amazing character. He wasn’t your typical Young Adult love interest, which I loved. He wasn’t this brooding bad boy that wears leather and rides a motorcycle. Matt was what I would like to call adorably precious. Every time he was in a scene when we read from Anya’s point of view or when it was one of his chapters, he never failed to put a smile on my face. I just wanted to hug him forever and never let go of him. He did a few dumb things here and there in the book, but overall, he was perfect – maybe a little too perfect at times, which was only a result of him trying too hard to be his brother.
Anya’s story also blew me out of the water. I really connected to her; she had this fierce loyalty to her friends and the people who helped her that really hit home with me. Her struggle with homelessness was heartbreaking, it was so real and raw that it made me have step back and think about every homeless person I see on the streets on my way to work. Plus, there was this sense of impending doom. We all know that her cover story for her employer is going to tumble down faster than a deconstructed Jenga puzzle.
Now, onto the things I didn’t like as much. While I really enjoyed Anya and Matt’s separate stories, together I felt as if they were a bit lacking in the chemistry department. In this case, instead of opposites attracting it felt as if they were pushing each other so far apart that their relationship turned into the Grand Canyon. This so called rift in their chemistry was only in the beginning of the book, at least that’s the way I see it. Their romance in the beginning felt like a serious case of insta-love, and any of you who have read my reviews before know that I absolutely hate insta-love. Don’t get me wrong, there were some adorable and really sweet moments between Matt and Anya where I actually felt a real connection, and I was totally aboard their ship by the end of the book, it just took me a lot longer to get there than I normally would have liked.
Also, I felt as if the story was disjointed and convoluted at points. It would jump too quickly and then leave things that should have been explored more in the dust. I think that was my biggest issue. There was so much more that could have come out of the story, but its short length and small page count limited it almost to the point of ruining it. There was too much too fast in too little of space. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the book at its core – but sometimes it’s the little things that pull you away from the bigger picture.
Overall, Anya and the Shy Guy is a sweet romance that has just the right amount of drama to keep you interested. The characters were developed well, the story both intriguing and heartwarming, and the overall message is light hearted. If you are looking for a quick and easy read that will leave you with a smile on your face, this is the book for you.