Review: Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren Layne

The rules are clear—until they’re broken. Lauren Layne puts a New Adult spin on Pygmalion, also the inspiration for Pretty Woman, and gives the classic love story its edgiest twist yet.

“Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?”

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she’s pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn’t exactly Ethan Price’s type, either. He’s probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund… or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie’s a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan’s brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan’s privileged world, the “acting” begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating “them.” And Stephanie faces a question she’s too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

5 I found myself a new auto-buy author stars
Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?

That ridiculously happy person in the gif with the permanently goofy smile stuck on her face…that would be me the entire time I was reading this book. You’re probably sitting there thinking, it couldn’t have been that good, right? Well ye of little faith, it was.

Ok, well maybe not quite make me almost pee good. But it was adorable, funny, entertaining, and heart warming.
(See what I did with the gifs there? No?)

This was a fresh new take on Pygmalion, and I adored this book. I was hooked from the first few lines…


In real life? The meet-cute isn’t the least bit cute. It’s more like a meet-awkward. Sometimes even a meet-shoot-me-now.”

In this book you meet Stephanie; a withdrawn, snarky, goth clothes and dark makeup wearing twenty one year old college film student. Stephanie’s main goal right now is to ace her screenwriting class, and she doesn’t need any distractions. But then she literary bumps paths with the ridiculously good looking and preppy rich boy, Ethan. The sparks started flying right away. Nothing I love more than 2 characters that have hate at first sight with an underlying current of sexual tension.


“It’s just that I think you forgot to change out of your country club uniform.”
“Does the surly mood come with the goth outfit? Or do you have to buy it separately?”
“Could you please watch where you’re pointing your teeth? The glare from your caps is hurting my eyes.”


I was in snarky sarcasm heaven with these two.

Stuck working together for a class, can these two really tolerate each other long enough to survive their assignment?

When an opportunity presents itself that can help both Ethan and Stephanie, an ideal screenplay idea forms. Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. Stephanie needs a place to stay. So why not pretend to be together for the sake of a mutually beneficial set up? And the icing on the cake? The fake relationship is the perfect idea for their screenplay.

But what happens when pretend slowly begins to develop into real feelings?

I loved the depth the author managed to give these characters considering the somewhat fluffy story they were in. Stephanie and Ethan both captured my heart and I couldn’t help myself but completely fall for both them.

This book was like all my favorite movies got together. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me swoon. It was, and forgive the cheesiness factor here, lovely.

If you enjoy the NA genre, you really cannot go wrong with this book. It will put a smile on your face and keep it there the entire time you’re reading it. You will fall in love with both of these characters and the story. I know I did.

**ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review**

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