Publisher: Amanda McKelt
Publication Date: April 26, 2015
Source: From Candace's Book Blog Tours and Author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way has altered my opinion or review of the book.
April Collins is freaking out. She completely embarrassed herself in front of the most crushable guy in school. There’s no way she’s returning to school, like, EVER. Why can’t she be pretty, popular and perfect like Layla Hart? Layla is a phony online profile - that is, until April wakes up as her! Will popularity prove as easy as it seems? And what happens when April’s crush finally notices her…as Layla?
The premise for Being Layla Hart is an interesting one - it piqued my interest and I was happy to read it for review. I was curious about how the author would make all this work - April becoming Layla and sadly it was not as wonderful as I though it would be.
Before getting into the strange bits, I would like to note what I liked about this book... the overall message was a good one. April must learn to be herself and be ok with who she is in order to get rid of Layla. Yes, this is a common theme but an enjoyable one in the end. I also got some Freaky Friday vibes but maybe I am just crazy.
I found the characters to be interesting - April/Layla was a normal teen - wanting popularity and the cute boy and being ignored and embarrassed by her own self. Her best friend Sofia seemed to be a stronger female in terms of self-worth and was a good sounding board for April.
This was a pretty quick read but like I mentioned it was strange, I found it to be pretty unbelievable in terms of parenting and explanation as to what is going on.
Be aware this may be a bit SPOILER-Y...You have been warned!
First off, April obviously becomes Layla Hart - I was thinking they would go the route of bumped head/ unconscious/ napping dreaming she is Layla - but no, she actually becomes her and then to make sure her mother doesn't find out they scheme up an exchange program. In said exchange, April just leaves - no money, no bags, no saying bye to mom - just leaves for America and Layla just shows up in her place. That seems fine, but what is just wrong is that the mother JUST LETS IT HAPPEN, no questions asked! Doesn't even call the school!!! I was so weirded out by this, I started to detach from the story a bit in that instance.
Then the plot just kind of fell apart after that - there was no real explanation about what happened to April/ Layla, she just changes back and that is that. It was all a bit weird and I would have liked more closure.
Another random sidenote- The book is set in Australia (I believe) and I would have done better had I known that. Some of the phrases were weird to me as an American. It took me a while to get accustomed to this.