Synopsis: Behind-the-scenes secrets could turn deadly for Desmond and Riley.
Life in the Heights has never been easy for seventeen-year-old Riley Frost, but when she’s publicly dumped and outed at the same time, she becomes an immediate social outcast at her high school. So Riley swears off romance and throws herself into solving the shocking murder of her favorite teacher, Ms. Dunn.
Riley turns to her best friend, budding filmmaker Desmond Brandt, for help. What she doesn’t know is that Dez has been secretly directing her life, blackmailing her friends, and hoping his manipulations will make her love him. When his schemes go too far, Dez’s web of lies threatens to destroy both of their lives.
200words (or less) review: I thought The Cutting Room Floor was a murder mystery but Ms Dunn’s death doesn’t get a lot of time. The majority of the story is about Riley’s public outing, the fallout from this and all the scheming Dez does in the background hoping to win Riley over.
While I do think Riley’s confusion and struggles are dealt with well and I can’t recall any issues concerning Dawn Klehr writing I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I hoped I would. I know Dez isn’t supposed to be likeable (he tells us enough) but I didn’t find him particularly interesting and Riley didn’t inspire all that much emotion either.
The Cutting Room Floor changes the type of book it is depending on where you are. Ms Dunn’s murder is important at the very beginning yet nearly vanishes completely from the story until it reappears at the end. The majority of the book is about Dez trying to make Riley his girlfriend and Riley struggling with her sexuality. All of these ideas make for great reading but instead of working together I felt like they were fighting each other.