May 16th 2017
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.
*I was provided a copy by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
The first time I saw this book on NetGalley I was really excited about it. First of all, I love Jane Austen novels. Mansfield Park is far from being my favorite (Persuasion is the winner) but it’s not the worst either (because nothing will ever be as bad as Emma… sorry not sorry). I was still really excited especially after seeing the great reviews this book was getting… Cátia, you really need to learn you can’t trust Goodreads ratings -_-‘. Here’s the thing, I didn’t hate this book, I quite enjoyed part of it, but don’t tell me these characters are amazing because they are not.
The characters were my main problem in this book. I only really liked one of them, Oliver… he was great (at least most of the times). But let’s talk about these characters. First we have Finley, the main girl in Seeking Mansfield. Finley hasn’t had an easy life. She lost her dad, her mom had a lot of problems and she ended up living with her godparents. Finley is a great girl and he really cares about her “family” and puts them first but she’s such a weak character. She spends most of the book not being able to stood for herself. People would always talk for her, she keeps being treated like a punching bag and what does she do?? Nothing! It takes the whole book for her to finally do something for her. Oliver was a great guy. He wouldn’t always do the right thing but I really liked him and I understand why he did some of the things he did because he was thinking about Finley and what would be better for her. These were the only characters I liked because all the other characters were terrible. First we have Harlan and Emma. I hated them, I never trusted them and I can’t understand how Finley and Oliver ended up dating them. I especially can’t understand how Finley dated Harlan and ended up loving him when she knew who he really was… the guy had to be a really good actor. Harlan and Emma were so fake. I hated them and I hated how they used people to get what they wanted. But I especially hated Finley’s relationship with Harlan. First of all, he tried to control her and shape her to be what he wanted her to be. He then proceeded to blame her for his shitty decisions (because it was obviously her fault he cheated on her -_-‘). I just couldn’t understand that relationship and why Finley was dating him.
However, this wasn’t the only thing I didn’t like. I really didn’t like how Finley was treated by some of the characters and how they couldn’t see the way they were treating was wrong. If you want to know what I’m talking you can see Cristina’s review since she talked about that aspect in the story. I have to say that one of my favorite relationships was Finley and Oliver’s friendship. Once I started reading this book I got really excited about that to then get disappointed… want to know why?? Because while I was expecting to see a lot of Finley/Oliver cuteness what I got was them barely interacting since he was too busy “ignoring” her and dating Emma and she was too busy dating Harlan.
What I did love about this book was the writing. I think Kate Watson has a beautiful writing style and because of that I might read her next book. I also really enjoyed that she included both Finley and Oliver’s POV because that’s something that is always missing in young adult books.
Overall, I didn’t like this book as much as I wanted but I still liked a few things about it. To be honest, I think I’m really growing out of young adult because I got disappointed with my past few young adult reads when I was expecting a lot from those. I do know a lot of people who loved this book so if you think this is something you might like go give it a try.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think about it? If you haven’t read it would you read it?