At First Blush, by Beth Ellyn Summer
Genre: Young Adult
Publish: April 4, 2017
Source: I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Finding the perfect lip gloss? Easy.
Finding your way in the world? A whole lot harder . . .
Who would have thought that a teenager could have a successful career creating makeup tutorial videos on YouTube? For Lacey Robbins, this dream has been her reality. An up-and-coming YouTuber, she has thousands of fans and can’t wait for the day when her subscriber count reaches the one million mark. And when she is offered a high school internship at On Trend Magazine, she figures that this could be the make it or break it moment.
But sometimes your dream job isn’t all that it seems. Her editor is only interested in promoting junk products, and her boss in the Hair and Makeup department introduces her to the larger world of makeup artistry, making her wonder if making tutorials online is all she is meant to do. To top it all off, when the magazine’s feature subject, musician Tyler Lance, turns his broodingly handsome smile her way, falling for him could mean losing her fans, forcing her to make a decision: her YouTube life or her real life?
– See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/at-first-blush-9781681191898/#sthash.BbdHRIKY.dpuf
We talk about everything but music and YouTube and for the first time in years I feel like there’s more to me than everything my subscribers tell me I am. Tonight I’m not LaceyBlushes. I’m just Lacey.
At First Blush is an extremely adorable quick read. Although cliche at times, I was still hooked by the cute, yet meaningful dialogue and the many plot twists.
The main character is Lacey, an ambitious and driven seventeen-year-old YouTuber, with a passion for all things beauty. She lands an internship at On Trend magazine, where she is responsible for recording footage of superstar “bad-boy” Tyler Lance. And because this is the fabulous YA world, she of course, finds herself having trouble choosing between becoming a successful and independent YouTuber or being known to the world as Tyler Lance’s girlfriend.
The setting itself had me interested; I’d want to work at On Trend! The storyline gave me Devil Wears Prada vibes, except Lacey’s editor, although still uptight, was definitely a lot nicer than Miranda Priestly was to Andy. Lacey practically lives in the beauty closet, where she spends her days stressed out and cleans makeup brushes to maintain her sanity. As someone who aspires to be in the magazine industry, I definitely admired how On Trend was portrayed as fast-paced and demanding, but not at all overly cruel or daunting.
I also really enjoyed Lacey’s character. Her motivated personality and drive for YouTube made me wish I had the talent and confidence to be a YouTuber as well. The story showed the highlights of being popular on YouTube, like having sponsorships and real fans. But it also documented the negatives, including a stream of LaceyBlushes’ hate comments and Lacey’s inner feelings of having a lack of creative control. This beauty expert, however, was incredibly naive when it came to boys and the real world. At times, I literally wanted to scream at her for some of the decisions she was making, but I had to remind myself she’s only a seventeen-year-old high school student, despite her very mature, adult job.
There’s a magic in transforming people. Makeup gets such a bad rap. Loving it doesn’t make us shallow. It makes us creative.
Tyler Lance was the only character I had trouble connecting with, mainly because I’m a quite judgmental young adult. He starts the story with a very arrogant and self-centered, rule-breaker persona (picture the media’s portrayal of Justin Bieber). He doesn’t treat the interns at On Trend with any respect and can barely give a simple answer in an interview. Right away, I didn’t like him, which I’m sure was the author’s goal. However, as the story progressed, I did begin to like him more and more, but I couldn’t really trust him. Since the book is fast-paced, his transition from bad to good felt kind of rushed. While reading, it seemed like one day he was a total jerk and the next day he was suddenly the sweetest person on the planet. I also noticed he was really only kind to Lacey, which bothered me throughout the book and contributed to my lack of trust in his actual character.
If Jordan’s right about YouTube mode, I guess we all have a wall we put up. And for whatever reason, Tyler decided to let me see behind his.
Despite these flaws, I did learn to accept his relationship with Lacey. I’ll admit, Lacey and Tyler had amazing chemistry. Their dates were swoon worthy and totally goals. I found myself silently screaming over how Tyler’s bad-boy facade would melt when he was with Lacey. It did resemble fan fiction, so if you’re a fangirl like me, you’ll definitely be obsessed with this YA couple and all of Tyler’s serenading (*heart eyes*)
‘I can’t stop thinking about you. You’re this loop playing in my mind and no matter how many damn songs I write about you, it’s not making this feeling go away.’
Lastly, I have to give a shout-out to Lacey’s mentor, Kendall. Kendall is the boss of the beauty department and she was basically Lacey’s voice of reason. She was knowledgable and mature, and I truly believe that everyone needs their own Kendall in life! She’s my favorite character in the book and also plays a huge role in Lacey’s growth and self-discovery.
Overall, the At First Blush carries some meaningful lessons. It is incredibly relevant to today’s teens who often feel pressured by the rise of young Internet stars to get discovered and become famous. The book heavily focuses on the importance of pursuing what you’re truly passionate in and always remaining true to yourself. If you’re a teen who loves romance, makeup, YouTube and popstars, this is definitely the book for you!