Jane Mendle, Author . Avon $12.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-059568-5

Charlotte Frost—film student, yoga teacher, workaholic and single girl—is the gutsy heroine of this chick-lit debut. Charlie is intelligent, independent and ambitious—in short, ready to take the film industry by storm. But she is far from perfect, and when she says, "I love characters who are neurotic and flawed and not always sympathetic," she's talking about herself. In her last year of graduate school at Columbia, Charlie has high hopes for her pet screenplay. But when her esoteric script is rejected by her adviser and fails to land her a prestigious fellowship, she's forced to start over. Distraction comes in the form of Hank Destin, a particularly inept yoga student who also happens to be a well-known soap opera star. Astoundingly, he asks Charlie out. As their romance progresses, Charlie eagerly casts her hottie new boyfriend as the lead in her indie flick against the counsel of her adviser. But when Hank's egotistical "advice" clashes with her own elitist graduate student mentality, things on the set get painfully tense. The situation quickly spirals out of control as Charlie's roles as girlfriend and director become confused, and she must evaluate her own motivations, as well as Hank's. The novel's Hollywood ending is rather dubious, but Mendle humorously and sympathetically captures the outsize ambitions and insecurities of young actors and directors. Agent, Jenny Bent at Trident Media. (Oct. 26)

Reviewed on: 10/04/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
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