Book DescriptionBUY Being Hartley on Amazon
Allison Rushby is the Australian author of a whole lot of books. She is crazy about Mini Coopers, Devon Rex cats and corn chips. In November 2013, she will release her thirteenth book (she thinks… maths was never her forte) – Being Hartley. You can find her at http://www.allisonrushby.com, procrastinating on Facebook, or on Twitter at @Allison_Rushby. That is, when she’s not on eBay, or Etsy, or any other place she can shop in secret while looking like she's writing…
Thea Wallis comes from a full fledged entertainment dynasty but her mother, Cass, an Oscar winning actress, does her best to keep her out of the eye of the storm. All Thea wants to do is dance like her cousin, Rory who stars on Saturday Morning Dance (SMD), a sort of more mature Mickey Mouse Club. The show teaches everyone the latest dance moves that is super family friendly. Cass is contacted by her brother Eric, when Rory is going off the rails. No one is quite certain why Rory has become so despondent and acting strange. Cass thinks she knows what is behind the sudden change in personality since she experienced the same thing as a child star transitioning into adulthood.
As Thea tries to reconnect with her cousin, she is experiencing her own set of growing pains and just wants to be a "normal teenager" instead of the hidden lifestyle she has had to deal with her whole life. Her mother has her own goals with Thea, not wanting her to experience the problems she had as a child growing up in a famous family. When Thea meets and has a chance to dance with the other star, Noah on SMD, she finds a true connection with a boy for the first time in her life. It isn't until everyone is completely honest and the truth comes out that the air is finally cleared with Rory, which in turn, forces Thea to confront her mother about her own seclusion.
The story is safe for even young teens and has some very important lessons about growing up, being yourself and being truthful to yourself and others. Not that Thea or Rory are deceitful, it is only when they don't speak up about what is really bothering them, that creates problems. The adults are believable as well in this one. When her mother tries to protect her, Thea discovers that by talking to her mother, she can grow. Her stories are just full of fun and have the right blend of imagination, fantasy and reality that should get the most reluctant reader to join in. I so adore the way Rushby writes!