Review: Behind the Scenes by Kathryn White

  • TitleBehind the Scenes
  • AuthorKathryn White
  • SourceReview Copy
  • No. of Pages266
  • PublishedMarch 31, 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Rating2/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Catlin Ryan is determined to escape her dreary life in a beachside caravan park. Abandoned by her alcoholic mother, she dreams of a life on the stage and is prepared to work hard to get it. So when she is offered a starring role on her favourite television series, Catlin does not think twice about taking it.

But fame comes with a set of new challenges, long hours, spoiled and demanding colleagues, the paparazzi, some wild parties and Tom, the bitter director who seems to hate her. Then there is the reunion with her father, a brooding retired police officer, who offers her board and lodgings inside a house that is haunted with dark family secrets. Who is Catlin Ryan, really? Why does she keep remembering things that she knows never really happened? Can Catlin reconcile with her past and keep her family secrets out of the tabloids, or is the world destined to know what goes on behind the scenes?

Behind the Scenes most certainly lives up to its name. Using Australia as its backdrop, this is a story revolving about what actually happens in Hollywood—something that the papaparazzi doesn’t quite know about. With an actress as its protagonist, the reader gets the real scoop of the events behind the scenes.

I have to admit that this is the first time I read a story set in Australia, and I found it refreshing. I’ve been reading a ton of contemporary novels lately, but still this novel was able to stand out with its unique plot. About acting and the television industry, Behind the Scenes is one of those light stories in which all you have to do is to sit back and read.

To be honest, I’m not so sure if I like Catlin Ryan or not. She acts like a rebellious teenager girl. I understand that her father supposedly abandoned her when she was younger, but I don’t think that an she should stick her tongue out and roll her eyes at a picture of her dead sister because she feels unloved. Catlin’s behavior bothered me at times, especially when she immediately jumped to conclusions constantly, which normally ended up being the same thing: No one loves me, my father is a terrible person and I hate my stepmother because she married my father.

So then I question: If you resent him so much, why are you staying with him? There were a lot of things missing for me when it came to the protagonist’s character development. I think that I would have bought it more if there was more

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explanation of why she acts this way through flashbacks or more revelations about her past.

Tom Arbuckle was Catlin’s love interest. The stereotypical broody hot bad boy who in truth cares for the girl on the inside, I found myself being able to predict what he was going to next. In my opinion, if his character was more developed and the author made use of his past drug addiction and integrated it into the events of the novel, he would have been a more interesting character.

Kimmy is actually my favorite character. I glad that she didn’t turn out to be the spiteful sister that she was at the start. She’s actually a really sweet and caring person, and so different from he other famous actors and actresses with horrible personalities. Kimmy really sticks with Catlin until the end, making sure that she would never repeat the same mistake of abandoning her stepsister again.

When I began to read Behind the Scenes, I knew right off the bat it had a lot of potential. Catlin, who was trying to get away from the life that she has been living for over half her life and trying to fulfill her dream as an actress. She was abandoned by both her parents—unwanted by her father and abandoned by her mother— and her fiance died in a accident. It was definitely an interesting start, seeing that Catlin decide on a new start and went to live with her father in Melbourne. The main problem that I had was that the novel had a lot of plot holes. I didn’t mind them at first, but soon they became glaring problems that I couldn’t ignore. There would often be gaps that would leave me wondering what happened in between. To be honest, I really wouldn’t mind reading fifty more pages if it means that it would be able to connect the events and provide explanations which I felt lacking in the novel.

Overall, Behind the Scenes had a lot of potential that disappeared and reappeared as the novel progressed. Had the plot and the characters been more developed, I feel that this would have been a story that I would have enjoyed very much.

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