Book Review: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen


The first book I read from Sarina Bowen was her Ivy Years Series and I fell in love with it; she became one of those authors I have on autobuy. The beauty of this series is all the books in the series can be read as a standalone; you won’t really be missing anything, but it would still be great to read from the first book onwards, just to familiarize yourself to the Campus and its wonderful people 😀 In the case of The Fifteenth Minute it is the 5th book in her series and one which I was really looking forward to, especially since I had finished The Shameless Hour not too long and was really interested in Lianne as a character, so I was happy to hear she was going to have her own story 😀 

Summary from Goodreads

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. There’s something 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.


Despite the fact I was looking forward to this book before it was even release where I had even pre-ordered it the minute it was available. Sadly, life happens and it took me this long before I was able to pick it up. Yet, the minute I did, I could not put it down till I was finished (by then it was 2am, lol). I will start with the characters, since they are what really motivates interest in this series.

I really like Lianne as a character even when she was a side character in The Shameless Hour; she was so sweet and feisty at the same time, she definitely had intelligence and her own set of humors. I adore her gamer and techie personality, it made her feel really real and not just part of some high society actress. Her own insecurities and flaws made her relatable, she felt like someone you could really meet on campus. I love this about Sarina Bowen’s work, her characters had always felt so real and colorful, someone you would love to be friends with. And this is how I felt about Lianne, there were times I just wanted to reach out and give her a hug.

DJ is one of those all round nice guys that you cannot help but like. He is intelligent and amusing. Especially in the way he handled his issues in the book, it just confirms what a nice guy he is. Of course, he isn’t perfect, he has does have his limits and he does make mistakes, but the way he makes up for it is thoughtful and adorable. Him and Lianne were the perfect, I loved them from the moment they had their meet cute at the jukebox and was rooting for them!

That’s when I notice the abomination coming from the jukebox. An electro-beat that I’d never choose, and some ridiculously high male voices…

“Interesting pick,” DJ says and the corners of his mouth are twitching […]

The chorus from the the long-forgotten Color Me Badd kicks in, singing “I Wanna Sex You Up”.

I skipped through some portions of their conversation, but this was a scene from their second meet 😀 Poor girl…she just played the song which sang out her intentions towards DJ.

There are the side characters, Bella and Rafe (from The Shameless Hour) were supportive friends with only good intentions towards Lianne, giving her the right amount of push and support. Although, my favorite appearance were definitely Graham and Rikker (from The Understatement of The Year), I was just begging for more glimpse of them! They were definitely my favorite characters from the series and I love seeing them going strong!

I like how Sarina Bowen doesn’t shy away from tough topics, even in this book she puts her characters in difficult position, but she doesn’t drag it out into some angst fest. She pushes them to face problems but helps walk them through the problem without blowing it out of proportion. Without putting in any spoilers, I would just like to say she manages to handle the issue quite well, and I wasn’t too put off by it. She also puts the reader in the know, so we aren’t left hanging over “unknown mysterious problems”, which is something I personally prefer in books.

There are some things I wish we could have more of, I wish we were given more attention to Lianne’s problems. It would be nice to see her step up and face her issues with more depth instead of putting to the end to tie things up neatly for both characters. There were quite a lot of tension and spotlight on DJ’s problem which took up most of the book, not that I mind it, but I would have still liked to have read more about Lianne’s side. Aside from this, the book was a great read, especially after a long difficult month for me.

There were lots of wonderful scenes which I would love to share but don’t want to spoil it for the readers so I would encourage you to pick up a copy and have a go at it. Personally, I would recommend the Ivy Years Series for anyone who enjoys the New Adults genre or is looking to check it out. It really is a good series which really tugs at your hug strings, you just cannot help but root for the characters and hope them to have all the happiness in the world. Of course there is also the wonderful world of hockey. I’m not much of a hockey fan, but I just might end up converting because of Sarina. 😀

As usual a short shoutout to the resources I used in my graphics. The stock photo used in my banner is by Daniel Nanescu from SplitShire. I was looking for a more simple set up of a DJ turntable, instead of the professional one, something with a more personal feel and this shot definitely suited my requirement! If you’re looking for some free stockphotos, you can definitely check out his site, his photographs are wonderful!

If you’ve read the book do share, so we can squeal about it together, otherwise, you could still drop me a comment if you would like more of my insights on the book or the series, if you’ve not picked it up. Looking forward to hearing from y’all! 🙂



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