Review: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen. Breaking NA stereotypes

Title: The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years #5)
Author: Sarina Bowen
My rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars


Freshman Lianne Challice is known to millions of fans as Princess Vindi. But sometimes a silver screen sorceress just wants to hang up her wand, tell her manager to shove it, and become a normal college student. Too bad that’s harder than it looks.

She’s never lived a normal life. She hasn’t been to school since kindergarten. And getting close to anyone is just too risky — the last boy she kissed sold the story to a British tabloid.

But she can’t resist trying to get close to Daniel “DJ” Trevi, the hot, broody guy who spins tunes for hockey games in the arena. Something’s haunting his dark eyes, and she needs to know more.

DJ’s genius is for expressing the mood of the crowd with a ten second song snippet. With just a click and a fade, he can spread hope, pathos or elation among six thousand screaming fans.

Too bad his college career is about to experience the same quick fade-out as one of his songs. He can’t get close to Lianne, and he can’t tell her why. And the fact that she seems to like him at all? Incredible.


Romance with a celebrity is one of my favorite tropes. I expect certain things when I pick up this kind of book. But The Fifteenth Minute wasn’t at all what I expected. The author used Lianne’s celebrity status to add more layers to her characters rather than to create drama and angst.

World knows Lianne as a gorgeous Hollywood star, but the real Lianne is a shy and nerdy girl, who want to be a normal college student, who want to fit in. It was great to witness her growth and transformation with the help of Bella, Rafe and of course DJ. I loved appearances of my favorite couple Bella and Rafe in this book.

DJ was a wonderful hero. He was a sweet caring guy with big heart. Lately bad-boy heroes somewhat lost their appeal for me, and I swoon over guys like DJ.

Their romance was lovely, full of chemistry and low on angst.

I liked how the author broke the usual NA stereotypes. Little touches here and there: the hero, who is not tall, but actually short; the heroine, who is a computer game player and a hacker.

I don’t want spoil the story, so I just say that the author raised a serious topic in this book and managed to do it in a sensitive way.

Though I didn’t love The Fifteenth Minute as much as the previous book The Shameless Hour (which is my favorite book in this series), it held my attention and entertained me a lot. I recommend this lovely and sexy story to all fans of NA genre.

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5 Comments on “Review: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen. Breaking NA stereotypes

  1. I’m happy to hear Lianne’s celebrity didn’t add drama and angst, because that’s so often the case. Glad to hear you enjoyed the story overall even if it wasn’t your favorite. Great review, Ksenia! :)

  2. I binge read this entire series last month and really loved Sarina Bowen’s writing. I’ve started reading some of her other work and I’m really enjoying her stories and the way that she tries to incorporate characters that are fresh and (sometimes) diverse. The Fifteenth Minute wasn’t my favourite either but I did enjoy the characters a lot. My favourite was probably The Understatement of the Year because I love a good second chance romance!
    Jenna @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Sleeping Giants Review: The Effect of Giant Robots on Mankind

  3. This sounds like a cute read! I’ve read one Sarina Bowen and really should try more!

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