Review: “Hollywood Ending” by Tash Skilton

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: August 31st, 2021

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With wit, humor, and a delightfully fresh voice, from the inimitable duo Tash Skilton, author of Ghosting: A Love Story, comes this friends-to-lovers rom-com that explores the hilarious highs and lows of adulting, Hollywood, and what happens when BFFs are forced to take a hard second look at their favorite fandoms–and at each other.

ONE PERFECT FRIENDSHIP–ABRUPTLY CANCELED

All through college, Nina and Sebastian were sentence-finishing, secret-sharing BFFs, and absolute super fans of Castles of Rust and Bone. It was the kind of show–and the kind of friendship–that demands you’re all in, for the plot twists, the unresolved sexual tension, the weekly coup d’etat–and ultimately, the heartbreak.

At least until the big cliffhanger…

But when Castles’ season finale turned into the unceremoniously axed show’s awkward farewell, Nina and Sebastian’s friendship ended just as suddenly–and just as awkwardly. And Sebastian’s longed-for chance to woo Nina into something more than friendship was written out of their story.

In Hollywood, there’s always a comeback.

Five years later, Nina and Sebastian are living their best lives in L.A.–and Castles is being rebooted. Nina’s a social media coordinator for the streaming service that will air the show, and Sebastian is a PA for the production company. What could be more perfect? How about running into each other on set…?

Fingers crossed for a happy ending…

Turns out even the most dedicated fans are due for a wake-up call when they get to peek behind the scenes. And suddenly Nina and Sebastian are remembering when they were super fans of each other instead. Will flipping the script from buddy comedy to real romance ruin everything–or deliver the happily-ever-after they both crave?

 

Calling all nerds and television junkies, this book is a fun adventure for you! Tash Skilton – better known as the writing duo Sarah Skilton and Sarvenaz Tash – have written a friends-to-lovers coming of age story that includes fandoms, nerds and a Hollywood love story. It’s a quirky, fun read with a great group of characters and an interesting journey that everyone goes on in order to find themselves while finding the one they love.

Nina and Sebastian met in college and became the best of friends while bonding over the biggest television show at the time – Castles of Rust and Bone. They finished each other’s sentences, they knew what the other was thinking and the whole time, they harbored intense feelings for one another. But neither of them realised that. Not so surprising that everyone else around them knew about these feelings, but didn’t want to get involved – because isn’t that what friends do? But when one slip-up derails the course of their friendship and any hope for romance, Nina and Sebastian are ripped apart and don’t see each other again. Till five years later.

I really enjoyed this book! There were more than a few laugh out loud moments, lots of cringing because friends are sometimes the worst and a lot of swooning because these characters have so much history! Plus, I’m a big fan of fandoms (even if I never want to be in one again) and I like seeing how deep people get with their fandom love and hate and the wars and fights. It’s a whole other world that none of us can even process fully! I also really enjoyed seeing these two friends reconnect, because it’s always bittersweet to suddenly be facing the person you once loved and have complicated feelings for now.

While the book is about these characters and them falling in love (we’ll get to that in a minute), I liked the look we got into their lives outside of each other. They have their other friends, they have their fancy Hollywood jobs and they also finally have the show that brought them together back in their lives – and it’s so much fun to watch all of that unfold. Whether or not these are things that actually happen in Hollywood wasn’t even a concern for me, because I was captivated by Sebastian getting a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist every day and Nina having to deal with the actors while handling their social media.

Nina and Sebastian’s romance is a slow burn – there’s a lot of pining and staring and waiting for the perfect moment, but I love that the people who help them get there are their siblings. Having so many years and time together from the past, Nina and Sebastian fall into the relationship quickly once they take that step and it’s great to watch them navigate going from friends to being more. I love best friends to lovers for this reason, they know exactly how the other works and they do just what they both need. All of it together made for a really interesting relationship that I enjoyed watching unfold. I also liked how involved their friends and families get when it comes to the relationship, that really makes for an interesting combination of people.

All in all, Hollywood Ending was a fun read. It definitely made me curious about Task Skilton’s other books!

Thanks to Tash Skilton, Kensington Books & NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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