I just listened to “The Stand In” audio book and I cannot say enough good things about this book!
I for one, am not usually into what some would call, “chick-lit,” but this book transcends all gender labels. It had me hooked from the first chapter with the protagonist, “Gracie,” feeling so real. Reading between the lines, I could feel the agony and despair that this character feels at first, simply going through the motions in life; entering work ever day, only to feel underappreciated, even harassed at times.
And sometimes life hits us as life hits Gracie in this book by having to deal with a mother whom needs constant care in a nursing home due to her Alzheimer’s. Anybody that works a day job can relate to this protagonist, and even come to root for her from the onset of her struggles presented in The Stand In.
The Stand In scores a 5 out of 5 Coffees
The pacing of The Stand In was prefect, ebbing and flowing up and down with the normal vicissitudes of life – the ups and downs we all experience. Gracie, the protagonist faces an ethical dilemma that torments her very being as certain scenarios get tougher. The only thing keeping her focused on her new job offer, is her mother’s health and well being. Perhaps that’s another reason why I relate to this book, because I too, believe that family is everything, and that making sacrifices for them is just what we do.
What we don’t usually do, though, is get presented with an opportunity to climb up the social ladder based on a fluke, or random chance in life. At least it hasn’t yet happened to me. And here is where we are asked as readers to stretch the fabric of reality just a tad bit. The American Hollywood pipedream where one wakes up in the morning as a famous movie star is what we are being sold. Yet, I bought it, and enjoyed the ride.
Not to mention, the plot twist at the end really wraps up the ending and character’s fates in a healthy culmination of different factors. I’ll admit, it does have a happy Hollywood type ending, but after all, two of the main characters in this fiction are indeed, famous movie stars, so I guess it’s only fitting.
As an audible original, the production quality was very impressive. The performance by Phillipa Soo was excellent, the plot twists were well paced, and the story idea itself was unique to me. Audible does a great job with this production. (No, I am not being paid for this spot, it’s my honest opinion.)
Synopsis of “The Stand In” by Lily Chu
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 you are enjoying this review on The Stand In by Lily Chu, check out some of our other Horror and Supernatural content on our blog thread here.
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.