Narrator: Phillipa Soo
Title: The Stand-In
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance
Published: July 15, 2021
Where I got It: My shelf (Audible)
Gracie Reed is doing just fine. Sure, she was fired by her overly "friendly" boss, and yes she still hasn't gotten her mother into the nursing home of their dreams, but she's healthy, she's (somewhat) happy, and she's (mostly) holding it all together.
But when a mysterious SUV pulls up beside her, revealing Chinese cinema's golden couple Wei Fangli and Sam Yao, Gracie's world is turned on its head. The famous actress has a proposition: due to their uncanny resemblance, Fangli wants Gracie to be her stand-in. The catch? Gracie will have to be escorted by Sam, the most attractive—and infuriating—man Gracie's ever met.
If it means getting the money she needs for her mother, Gracie's in. Soon Gracie moves into a world of luxury she never knew existed. But resisting Sam, and playing the role of an elegant movie star, proves more difficult than she ever imagined—especially when she learns the real reason Fangli so desperately needs her help. In the end all the lists in the world won't be able to help Gracie keep up this elaborate ruse without losing herself...and her heart.
Been meaning to check this out for a bit now. I've heard lots of good things. Finally decided to dive in.
Here we follow Gracie. Things are not going great for her. She was fired by her creep of a boss, is still on the wait list for a nursing home that would be perfect her for mom, and she is running short on money. Things are about to change when a mysterious SUV pulls up beside her and reveals the Chinese cinema's golden couple Wei Fangli and Sam Yao. Wei Fangli has a proposition for her. The two look extremely alike and Wei Fangli wants Gracie to be her stand-in for a couple of months. The catch? Gracie will have to be escorted by Sam to events. However, Sam is too attractive and infuriating. He doesn't like or trust Gracie. Soon Gracie will move into a world of luxury...but soon she will unearth some secrets that could change all of their lives.
That was a fun read. I could hardly stop listening to the audio! I was able to finish in just a couple of days/sittings (dang life getting in my way).
I adored Gracie. She reminded me a lot of me. I could relate to a lot of her inner thoughts and feelings. She is dealing with anxiety and depression which I can fully relate to. I loved how this book really did discuss mental health issues and even medical issues. There are some other issues touched upon like sexual harassment in the workplace, racism, and etc. Even with the unrealistic stand-in part, this book felt realistic in how people react and act and some of the issues we face in society. I loved how the author also showed that even celebrities are people and have their issues too. Too often people glorify and objectify celebrities. We sometimes forget they are people with emotions and feelings.
Now, this wasn't all sadness and gloom. There was a lot of humor. Lots of moments that had me chuckling. It was a perfect blend of reality with unrealistic story plots and some humor. Kuddos to the author for that.
OooOOooooo the ending had a huge twist that I didn't see coming!!!! It came out of the left field, but then everything made sense when the big secret came out. It was a nice twist there. Loved it. With that reveal, I want to read more. I would love a book 2 or even a prequel!
I also appreciated how slowly Gracie and Sam realized their feelings for each other. He didn't trust her and for good reason. He wants to protect his lifelong friend. And how he acted was asshole-ish so I can see why Gracie was meh about him. Lots of talking and learning about each other. It was nice seeing them become friends and then lovers. It was the perfect way for them to fall in loveeee.
There is one scene (no spoilers from me) that didn't sit well with me. I didn't fully accept or like why a character did what they did. I think that resolution could've been dealt with differently...it felt like a typical rom-com reason. It didn't fit the "crime" or that character.
The narrator was flawless. A perfect person to narrate this story and these characters. I simply adore her! I would love to listen to more audios by Phillipa Soo! She is fantastic.
In the end, I really enjoyed this. It was so good. There was one resolution/scene/reveal that I was not a fan of, but the rest of the book? I highly enjoyed it! Great characters...great story...great narration. I would love a sequel or prequel one day! 4 stars from me.
- #2 for Audiobook challenge
- #2 for Audiobook challenge
- #2 Romance Reading challenge - "Audiobook"