Likely Story (Likely Story Series #1)

Likely Story (Likely Story Series #1)

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Meet Mallory Hayden, sixteen-year-old producer and creator of her own soap opera. Can she survive life with her backstabbing soap-star mother, keep her friends close and her enemies closer (and tell the difference between them), find true love (supersweet boyfriend-or the show's supercute male lead?), and make her show a hit in this world of high-stakes drama and sudsy sabotage?

Originally published as separate hardcover novels, here are all three Likely Story novels in one sizzling volume!

"A fresh, hip glimpse into the life of daytime soaps and everyday teens. . . . Soapdish meets Sweet Valley High. . . . If you are a soap fan, YA novel fan or simply looking for a good, dishy, well-written read, Likely Story is a must-have." -Daytime Confidential

"More twists, turns, and intrigue than a daytime soap. . . . Sure to be a hit." -School Library Journal

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375896859
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 03/09/2010
Series: Likely Story Series , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 688
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

David Van Etten is actually three writers: Chris Van Etten is a full-time writer for ABC's One Life to Live; David Ozanich is a freelance writer and playwright; and David Levithan is the author of Boy Meets Boy and many other young adult novels for Knopf.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Read an Excerpt


My life has been a soap opera since the day I was born.  

At the time of my arrival, my mother had been an actress (using that term loosely) on Good As Gold for almost ten years. The writers had worked her pregnancy into the story line, and when Mom started going into labor, the director kept the cameras rolling. Mom swears she didn't notice, but if you look at the episode, you can see that she's playing it up, hoping that each contraction will bring her closer to a Daytime Emmy. Luckily, the cameras weren't allowed in the delivery room. But two weeks later, Mom was back at work, on the twelve-by-twelve set that serves as every single hospital room in the fictional town of Shadow Canyon. (If you watch closely, you'll see that only the flowers change.) Immaculately made up, with the whole staff of Shadow Canyon General watching on in admiration, my mother gave birth to me for a second time. And I was there waiting, under the sheet between her legs, for Dr. Lance Singletary to reach in, lift me toward the camera, and utter with complete surprise, "It's a girl, Geneva! It'sa girl!"   This was the first time I ever appeared on TV.  

It was also the last.  

They wanted to keep me. Mom and I were on the cover of Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly. There was a crew from Entertainment Tonight taping the Good As Gold crew as they taped my second birth. Mom's fan clubs sent thousands of daisies, homemade cards (many of them addressed to Geneva), and home-knit pairs of socks. A network press release dubbed me "the Future Queen of Soapland" and said I was a "star of tomorrow." The hype was stupendous, but clearly I didn't believe my own press. On my second day of taping, I refused to stop crying--big, volcanic wails. The noise was unbearable . . . and, even worse, the way I cried made my face scrunch up. If there's one thing a soap opera will never, ever tolerate, it's a scrunched-up, uncute face, even on a sixteen-day-oldbaby.   A supermodel pair of baby twins was brought in, and I was sent home with a nanny. Four months later, Good As Gold viewers would watch as Geneva's infant daughter, Diamond, was abducted by Geneva's escaped-convict ex-lover, a former priest named Rance whohad sixteen personalities (ten of whom were battling sex addiction). When Diamond was found six months later by the lone member of Shadow Canyon's police force, she had miraculously transformed into a breast-budding twelve-year-old starlet--a fact that none of the citizens of Shadow Canyon (not even the clairvoyant ones) ever noticed.  

In the past sixteen years, Diamond has been abducted six times, has died once, has fallen in love twice with people who were later revealed to be her relatives, has had three bouts of amnesia, has been in a coma twice, has eloped once, has broken off twoengagements, has had her debutante debut ruined once by an earthquake and once by a dead best friend, has twice fallen into the hands of a coven of witches, has been locked in the trunk of a car six times, has pulled a gun on someone fourteen times, has hada gun pulled on her twenty-two times, and has had near-death experiences eight times (twice from drowning, twice in a car crash, once in a plane crash, once after being stabbed by her lover-slash-long-lost-stepbrother, once in childbirth, and once--I swea rto god--from slipping on a patch of black ice, which was later revealed to have been put there by her diabolically scheming half sister/stepmother).  

The one thing Diamond and I have in common: Neither of us knows who our father is. Everyone has a theory. Personally, I'd like a name.  

Really, it's only compared to Diamond's life that my own life seems ordinary. By most other standards, it's still pretty messed up.  

In the past sixteen years, my mother has been engaged four times, has been married three times, and has been sued for palimony twice. We have lived in eleven different places--one for each engagement and marriage, one carriage house, one apartment, one extended stay at the Beverly Wilshire hotel, and one extended stay at an "exhaustion clinic" (chosen because it had day care). I have attended six different schools, have faced off against either nineteen or twenty nannies--I've lost count--and have met at least five different men who may or may not be my father.  

It's been a lot to deal with, mostly on my own. Only two things have remained constant. The first is the way I'm treated at school. It doesn't matter which school, whether it's full of stoners or preps or aspiring actresses or nuns. They're pretty much the same once my mom's identity is revealed. I've put up with it all. "Hey, your mom is sleeping with the mayor of Shadow Canyon even though he's married to her sister!" "Hey, how'd your mom like having sex with a guy who ended up being a ghost?" "Hey, isn'tyour mom the one who was abducted by aliens and came back with a pack of dynamite strapped to her bra on a brainwashed mission to blow up the Shadow Canyon Mother-Daughter Fashion Show?"  

Yes, that's my mom.  


You got me.  

Please stop.  

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Likely Story (Likely Story Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
wyostitcher on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Likely Story was an interesting novel written by a writer who also writes for One Life to Live on ABC Daytime television. Mallory wants the story to be a real story not full of the worst things that could happen in life since her mother appears to act the same at home as she does on the set. This would be a good book for a mixed group because it is easy to read and contains some young men who hold important parts in Mallory¿s life. I found the story would relate to many young readers because at times their lives are soap operas. It would encourage some students to make an attempt to write since writing the soap opera is the main theme. Students could view their lives in a different manner as if it was a story ready to be written. There are also many good places to use in literature circles and dramatic interpretation.
bmozanich on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Likely Story is a funny look at the soap opera world on TV and of teenagers' lives. The language is full of humor and sarcasm. Mallory has a clear, well-developed voice. It is a quick read. It includes seemingly real information about the process that shows/soaps go through.
mikitchenlady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun story, about a daughter of a soap opera diva who comes up with her own youth oriented story and sells it to the network. Am never sure if I like stories about women/girls written by men. Van Etten does a decent job here, although I never get how people seem so together when they're raised by a parent as messed up as this one, with an absent father to boot. This is a fun read, and I think it will appeal to girls. The ending was a bit abrupt and left me thinking "huh?".
elizardkwik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A quick read about a girl who, fed up with her mother's soap opera career, accidentally creates her own soap opera about teenagers. An inside look at the soap opera world and a very different life style. Interesting characters. I look forward to the next "episode".
imperfectionist on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mallory has spent all her life trying to stay drama-free in spite of the fact that her overbearing mother is a soap opera drama queen. The last thing she wants to do is follow in her mother's footprints and be a drama princess; she has little to no respect for her mother. Mallory is emotionally distant from her mother and scorns her overacting and poorly rated show. It is ironic then that she becomes a writer for a new soap opera, a show about believable ¿ rather than unrealistic ¿ people in unusual situations. Along with dealing with the challenges of being a scriptwriter, Mallory also has to deal with her personal relationships with others, including her best friend Amelia and her boyfriend Keith. AS she soon finds out, her life is already dramatic and soap opera-like as it is without her writing a soap opera.Having grown up in a soap opera setting, Mallory soon adapts to the mind games of the television production crew; she realizes that it's impossible to please everyone every time. Still, she doesn't let anyone bring her down. Mallory is intelligent, spunky, and rebellious ¿ she refuses to tolerate nonsense from her mother. However, she is flawed, which makes her realistic despite her situation. Perhaps it was because the story was in Mallory's perspective, but I didn't like the other characters; Mallory was the most decent character. Etten uses good choice of words ¿ Mallory sounds like a normal teenager, yet she's witty, a trait that nobody in the story seems to appreciate. I was hooked after reading the first few pages. One particular line that stood out was: "At school I learned addition, subtraction, multiplication, and long division. After school I learned seduction, distraction, manipulation, and long indecision (6-7)." That was a killer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The mom in this story is jus like my stupid donkey mom is like!!!!!!!!!!!XD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
booksrgr8_teen258 More than 1 year ago
I think that Likely story is a very good book with a intresting plotline. I like Mallory's charecter, but I wish that the authors could have given her a name that was more starry, like Rebecca, Jennifer, or Courtney. I also like the fact that the script Mallory is making is kind of like her real life, no matter how much she tries to make it different. Dallas seems like a cool character that will grow and develop through the course of the series. I also think that Keith is a big fat meanie and that he should stick with the softie named Erika. Also, the authors needed to STOP stating the fact that keith is a good, honest guy. w kinda got it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Mallory's life is like a soap opera. She literally knows the set of Good as Gold better than her own home. Her mom has been the reigning queen of soaps for as long as Mallory can remember. Her mom has been married numerous times, engaged just as many, and they've lived in over ten different places in Mallory's sixteen years.

However, Mallory and her mother have a hard time relating. They barely talk in passing. Mallory has more of a relationship with her mom's make-up person, Gina. Mallory has always thought that the script for Good as Gold was a joke. The characters keep going through the same situations: being abducted, being killed off, falling in love with long-lost relatives, being locked in trunks, and other ridiculous themes. So one night, on her blog, she brashly notes that she could create a better soap opera.

Little does she realize that even though only a handful of people read the blog, the right person does. The next morning, she receives a call from Donald, her mother's agent. He asks her the routine Hollywood questions, and Mallory lies, saying she's got everything written out. Of course she can send it over. She spends that night in a writing frenzy, creating a synopsis or "Bible" of her proposed idea. The hardest concept was coming up with a name for the show. After many ideas, Likely Story is what she comes up with. Her rationale is that the story would be about normal people and all the messes they get into. Not the far-fetched stuff that is on TV currently.

Everything moves quickly after she hands over the bible she's written for Donald. Executives are calling her, meetings are arranged, and casting is in full swing. She wrote the part of Sarah with her best friend, Amelia, in mind. The casting people may want to go in a different direction, but they keep Amelia in the running through the different audition rounds. An unknown from Julliard, Dallas Grant, is the exact image of Ryan and is easily agreed upon by all.

LIKELY STORY is the first novel in a new series by a trio of male authors making up the pen name David Van Etten. The three authors write a fun quirky novel of how one girl's big talk turns into a real TV show. This novel gives the background of the show's inception and brings everyone into play. Book two, ALL THAT GLITTERS, is due out in October 2008. I am already eager to see what will happen when the production gears up for the pilot episode.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mallory is fed up with her life. Her mother is a soap opera diva, and Mallory can't stand her fake lines and fake attitude. She can't understand why soap operas are so phony, just like her mother. So when she vents one day on her personal blog about this and how if she had her own show, it would be much more realistic, she never expects anyone except maybe her best friend Amelia to see it. But it turns out that her mother's agent Donald saw the blog entry. Soon, Mallory's ideas are being turned into reality, and Mallory gets caught up in making decisions for her show and in her own life. I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading Likely Story, because I had never read anything quite like it before. The plot was unique, but I didn't really like how Mallory's life seemed to revolve around soap operas, although it was all she knew. I also found it kind of ironic that Mallory always thought that soap operas were so phony when her own life seemed played out like a soap opera. Besides this, I found Likely Story a refreshing break from other over-dramatized and -glamorized tales of Hollywood. The characters were easier to relate to than those in, for example, the A-List series. Likely Story is not a particularly exciting novel all the time, but it was an enjoyable read. Readers looking for a milder version of the A-List will enjoy this novel too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because I really enjoyed David Levithan's other books and the idea for the series sounds like it would be cute and fun. I was really disappointed to find that Mallory wasn't nearly as swoon-worthy as his other characters and the mother who could have been really fun was just horrible to read about. I think I prefer my teen literature to be a lot frothier and without the lame soap opera stuff.