Book Review: Changes

Changes (Family Portrait #1) by Gillian Felix: Adriana Banovic’s 15th birthday sucked! She got fired after eight years of playing Shayanne Montgomery on the #1 soap in the country, found out that her family was on the verge of bankruptcy and worst of all, forced to return to Westwood Academy. Her only saving grace was a chance glance at dreamy mystery boy Haze Lyndon. Armed with only his picture and a determination to find him—even if it means turning Los Angeles over on its ass.

In this young adult novel, you’ll meet Robin Banovic, Adriana’s father; financially challenged, dealing with the death of a family member and his brother’s disappearance. You’ll meet Savannah DaCosta aka Savi, mother/manager; Savi enjoys the life her rock star daughter Leighann has provided. When Leighann makes a choice to end her career, Savi sees it as a personal attack. You’ll meet college boy Haze Lyndon; New to Los Angeles, Haze soon realizes how quickly money changes hands in the City of Angels. Will he return to questionable ways to survive or go back to the safety of his family in Wisconsin?

Julie's thoughts: 3.5 stars (I would have given 4 full stars if it were a little longer.)

**I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review**

When I received an offer to review ‘Changes’ and ‘The Banovic Siblings’, I logged onto Goodreads to get an idea of how long the books had been out and how they had been received so far. I didn’t read actual reviews, but noticed that ‘Changes’ was published in July 2013 and has 16 ratings; ‘The Banovic Siblings’ published in December 2013 and has 28 ratings. I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from the books. I figured if they were good, there would be more buzz about them, right? WRONG!

‘Changes’ is aYA book, and the first in the ‘Family Portrait’ series following the lives of the three Banovic siblings: Kevin, Zax and Adriana. There are a couple of interesting secondary characters as well that look to play a bigger part in the rest of the series, at least I hope so. Much of ‘Changes’ takes place within Westwood Academy, a snooty, rich private school with the typical snooty, rich students. Adriana is 15, an actress, but she isn’t your typical YA heroine. She is smart and beautiful, but she isn’t awkward, unaware of her beauty, or stuck on herself. She is blunt and not very friendly, but I really liked her a lot. She knows what she wants and is determined to make it happen.

There are many storylines to follow in this book. The author describes the series as having a similar feel to 90210 and Melrose Place. I can see this comparison. The first book is definitely more 90210, definitely a YA. The next book, ‘The Banovic Siblings’, looks to move into the NA genre and probably closer to Melrose Place. Although there are many different storylines, they are all interesting and easy to follow. There is little drama and angst. I’m not an English teacher, but I found the book to be very well written. It flows well and the dialogue sounds natural and is easy to follow.

I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy YA that is character driven instead of romance/drama driven. This is a story about the lives of different people. As I mentioned, at the end of the first book, there isn’t really any drama or angst that makes you want to smack the main character. It is just an interesting story about different people and the things happening in their lives. There is somewhat of a cliffhanger at the end of this first book, but the second book is already published. And now, I’m on my way to read ‘The Banovic Siblings’.

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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