Catherine is a fantastic character. She's straight forward and no nonsense. She is adventurous and willing to take chances. This book is all about her growth as a person from sheltered teen to adult. She escapes her awful family and moves to Portland, Maine on a whim. She sees a program on PBS about Portland and just jumps ship. I really loved this about her. It may not make sense to make such a huge decision based on so little, but there are times where I wish I could just pack up and go somewhere like she did. It takes guts to start over somewhere new and it's at this moment I realized Catherine would be a strong character. In Portland, she makes a life for herself, but runs into trouble through some questionable decisions. I don't agree with what she did at all, but its early on in the book and at this point she is still very young and immature. She then moves to San Diego and continues to come into her own. I really respect this aspect of the story. It was very realistic and the author didn't shy away from letting her character fail at times. I really appreciated this because if there is no obstacles, whether internal or external, its very hard to believe that someone will evolve despite it. I felt at the end, Catherine still had some growing to do, but I kind of liked that she ended it that way because she's still young and has more growing to do. She eventually becomes an actress and gets married to a rich dude. She still has trouble fitting in with her husbands family, but still makes an effort. She also has a bit of a dual personality with her actress persona and the "real" Catherine. I would have liked to see them gel a little better.
The pacing was fast which I appreciated because when it comes to character development, if its slow, readers like myself tend to lose interest pretty quickly. The main problem I had with this book was the formatting and arrangement of scenes. I got frequently lost and it pulled me out of the story several times. Often times there was no indication of who was speaking during some of the dialogue and it took me a minute to catch on. The story also switched back and forth between time periods in the characters life. This part I liked, but if there was an indication of a time period switch instead of doing it mid chapter with no warning I would have liked it better. All of this influenced the rating of the book because I hate being taken out of a story when I'm enjoying it. It messes with the flow.
This is also the second book in the series so I was a little lost. I would recommend this book, depending on what you're looking for, but I would suggest reading the first book before this one.