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Mini Reviews: Change of Scene and Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews

Blurb from Goodreads:
This 100 page prequel novella to Mary Kay Andrews's bestselling novel Beach Town is sure to delight fans and new readers alike.

Greer Hennessy is a movie location scout whose latest project has literally gone up in flames. After an avocado field accidentally catches fire on the set of her new movie, she is out of a job and practically run out of town. With her feisty grandmother Dearie, a Golden Age starlet who still has a lot of vigor left in her, complicating her life, Greer needs a bit of a rest. But Greer's own mother then drops a bombshell on her that will change Greer's life completely, and raise questions about her own father that she can't ignore. In desperate need of a second chance, can Greer find what she's looking for in the one last job she can get: a movie called BEACH TOWN? But first, she needs to find the perfect spot...
My Review:
This was a fun prequel -- despite being released nearly a year after the book it is supposed to precede, I read these in order.  What I want out of a prequel is to be primed for the underlying book and to want to read it, which is definitely what I got here.  In this book, we get the story behind Greer -- what her job a location scout entails, why her last job ended in disaster, and why she needs a change.  My favorite part of the prequel was Greer's grandmother Dearie -- she was so fun and funny.  It was much sadder than I expected and had an incredibly sad ending but it did end in a way that made me want to read the underlying book.
Something isn't enough anymore, Greer darling.  It's this goddamn healthy living you millennials are so nutty about.  No smoking, no drinking, no red meat, no free radicals.  Yippee skippee! We're all super healthy, which means the life expectancy is now longer than God ever meant anybody to live.  Have you looked at the obits in Variety lately?  People are hanging on into their eighties and nineties.  It's ghastly.

Blurb from Goodreads:
Greer Hennessy needs palm trees.

As a movie location scout, picture-perfect is the name of the game. But her last project literally went up in flames, and her career is on the verge of flaming out. Greer has been given one more chance, if she can find the perfect undiscovered beach hideaway for a big-budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town called Cypress Key. There's one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino-which will be perfect for the film's explosive climax.

There's just one problem. Eben Thibadeaux, the town mayor, completely objects to Greer's plan. A lifelong resident of Cypress Key, Eben wants the town to be revitalized, not commercialized. After a toxic paper plant closed, the bay has only recently been reborn, and Eb has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. But Greer has a way of making things happen, regardless of obstacles. And Greer and Eb are way too attracted to each other for either of them to see reason.

Between an ambitious director and his entourage-including a spoiled "It Boy" lead actor-who parachute into town, a conniving local ex-socialite, and a cast of local fangirls and opportunists who catch the movie bug, nothing is going to be the same in Cypress Key. Now Greer is forced to make some hard choices: about the people and the town she's come to care about, and about her own life. True love is only for the movies, right? Can Greer find a way to be the heroine in her own life story? Told with inimitable heart and humor, Mary Kay Andrews' Beach Town is the perfect summer destination.
I kind of wish I had just stopped at the prequel.  Although I was excited for Greer's story to continue and to read about the making of the movie for which she was going to scout the location at the end of the prequel, this one didn't quite work for me.  Despite liking and sympathizing with Greer in the prequel, in this book, I actively began to dislike her.  Her motivations and reactions to every situation just irked me -- she did the opposite of what I thought the character in the prequel would have done.  And the overall book just had this sad tone to it that hung over the entire story -- the highlight was definitely Eb but Greer treated him so badly for most of the book that I didn't even want them to end up together.  I would probably skip this one if you are just looking for a fun beach read; although I liked the idea of the location scouting, this book took some weird tangents that made me want to DNF.  The prequel, Change of Scene, came out earlier this week on April 5, 2016 while Beach Town was released last year.
Eb set his cup of wine down on the nightstand.  He moved over to the bed and sat down, only inches away from her.  She took another sip of wine.  He took the cup from her hand and carefully placed it on the nightstand.  She looked at him, shook her head helplessly.   
He leaned his forehead against hers.  She closed her eyes.  "Tell me you don't want me," he whispered.  "Tell me to go home and forget about you."   
His breath was warm on her cheek.  He stroked her cheek, kissed her ear.  She'd had just enough wine to tell the truth.  She opened her eyes and stared into his pale gray ones.  "I can't," she said, shaking her head nervously.  "God help me, I don't want you to go."


  1. That stinks that the actual book wasn't as good as the prequel novella. I had seen this book around and was interested because I am all about that cover but I might have to skip it. Great review!!

  2. Bummer, Eva! It's really hard to love a story whe you don't care for the main character. Sounded like a promising start. :/

  3. Aww sucks that the book was a let down, Eva. You liked the prequel and then the actual book was blah? Disappointing. I guess I'll be skipping this one. Good review nonetheless :)

  4. Aww, that really sucks that the prequel was better than the full book. I've read this author before, but not her recent stuff.

  5. I feel like I see Andrews' books everywhere although I've never read anything by her. It's too bad that the actual book didn't deliver as well as the prequel. :( That's also a really big gap between the first book and the prequel.

  6. oh i do hate it when this can be so disappointing when a story doesn't work for you, especially when you want it to.

  7. I see these books all of the time, but never had too much of an interest to pick them up! It sucks that Greer became a character you disliked. I know for me whenever I dislike a character, (especially the main) it's really hard to like the overall story. I guess I know why I never bothered to pick these up. Great mini reviews Eva :)


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