Seeking Mansfield by Kate Watson | Book Review

Friday, May 26, 2017
Title: Seeking Mansfield
Author: Kate Watson
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: May, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Sixteen-year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend, the Bertram's son Oliver. If she could just take Oliver's constant encouragement to heart and step out of the shadows, she'd finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater. When teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move next door to the Bertram's, they immediately set their sights on Oliver and his cunning sister, Juliette, shaking up Finley and Oliver's stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Harlan finds his attention shifting from Juliette to the quiet, enigmatic, and thoroughly unimpressed Finley. Out of boredom, Harlan decides to make her fall in love with him. Problem is, the harder he seeks to win her, the harder he falls for her. But Finley doesn't want to be won, and she doesn't want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver's heart—and keep her own—she'll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight.

What I thought

I picked up Seeking Mansfield seeking a cute contemporary. Spring time does that to me. Suddenly all I want of life is some disgustingly cute things happening for lack of disgustingly cute things in my life. So, here I am embarking on this journey. Now, I didn't know that this was a sort of retelling of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen going in. Not that I've read the original, but I figured this was still useful information to know.

So, here I am embarking on this journey and though I admit I had a hard time getting into it. Fin was kind of hard to empathize with at first. However, soon I found myself in the swing of things and actually invested in the character's fates. If you follow me on Goodreads (and if you don't what the hell are you waiting for?) you know that I was living for Harlan Crawford* and his romance with Finley. However, Oliver was also a sweetheart and the real MVP. He just was the whole package and I wish the book had included more of their romance. Just because I was really in the mood for disgustingly cute

*regrettable decision, really. I just love me some asshole turned sweetheart arc.

Now, the writing wasn't anything out of this world, but it was fun and quirky. It certainly made me wish I knew more about movies. The technical knowledge of this and theater made this book fun to read. I like theater, but plenty of my friends love it and I never quite had a good grasp on exactly what putting a production on stage entailed. You can tell the author is also passionate about theater. Or at least I imagine she is.

I liked the book. It wasn't a five star book for me, but it was very enjoyable and it was certainly cute. Harlan Crawford was the best for a while there and then he was the worst. Emma is enjoyable, as well and I wish she had gotten off better. Fin and Oliver are super cute and their story was certainly compelling. Over all, a very nice contemporary to hold you over the spring/summer time.

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