Monday, June 26, 2023

REVIEW: Will They or Won't They by Ava Wilder


I really enjoyed How to Fake it in Hollywood so when I saw the newest Ava Wilder novel, I requested to review it immediately. Like her debut novel, Will They or Won't They also focuses on the love (hate?) story of two actors: Lilah and Shane. These two have a tumultuous relationship that we follow in flashbacks woven in with their current situation, which is less than warm and fuzzy--it's so NOT warm and fuzzy that their show ends up putting them in couples therapy (even though they aren't a couple) just so they can get along/get past their issues for the sake of a final season of work. As the novel progresses we come to understand the source of their continuing friction--a really yucky break up after the close of their first (and very successful) season--and both of them are holding some serious grudges and hurt feelings. Without going into it, I'll just say that Wilder did a good job of spreading the blame between these two, though I definitely had more frustration with Lilah than I did with Shane but maybe that was because of how passive (or passive aggressive? manipulative?) Shane was--he came off as less of the aggressor, even though he did some really crappy things too. To be fair to Lilah, the more you get to know her, the more you understand her motivations and mistakes and some of the sources of her issues. And as this is a romance, obviously they get past all of their hurts and manipulations to make a tentative peace that becomes even more than the first time they were together--the years apart did them some good, in that respect.

Other similar traits that this novel has to the previous one are things like a great ensemble cast of characters--they all enhance the plot between Lilah and Shane and make things entertaining and interesting, making our main characters seem even more real and well rounded because of the conversations and events undertaken with their friends. And Wilder doesn't shy away from digging in the things like anxiety and panic attacks, as well as the natural fear of career transitions and the unknowns that come with that.

Overall this friends to lovers to enemies to lovers really worked and leaves me just as interested and curious about what Ava Wilder will write next as I did after her debut. 



Onscreen, they’re in love. Offscreen, they can’t stand each other. Two costars with a complex history reunite in this tension-filled romance novel from the author of How to Fake It in Hollywood.

“Readers will be on the edge of their seats waiting for Lilah and Shane to just kiss already. Ava Wilder is a master of anticipation and satisfaction.”—Elissa Sussman, nationally bestselling author of Funny You Should Ask

Lilah Hunter and Shane McCarthy are madly in love—at least, their characters are. As the stars of the hit paranormal TV show 
Intangible, Lilah and Shane spent years pining for each other onscreen . . . until Lilah ditched the show at the end of season five in hopes of becoming a movie star. With no such luck, she’s back to film the much-hyped ninth and final season, in which Lilah and Shane’s characters will get together at last.

But coming back means facing one of the biggest reasons she left: Shane. Ever since their secret behind-the-scenes fling imploded at the end of season one, the two of them have despised each other.

Now reunited on set for the first time in years—with the world’s eyes on them and their post-show careers on the line—they’ll have to grit their teeth and play nice. But under pressure to give 
Intangible’s fans the happy ending they’ve been waiting for, Lilah and Shane are forced to get closer than ever. And if they’re not careful, they might just get blindsided by one final twist: a real-life happy ending of their own.

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