Read The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr Online


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. DunBehind-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....

Title : The Cutting Room Floor
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780738738048
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 305 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Cutting Room Floor Reviews

  • Faye, la Patata
    2019-04-22 04:16

    If this book could be summed up in one sentence, it would be this: it's all over the place. I swear, it is. What could have been an interesting and intriguing novel turned out to be a mess of many dilemmas and problems, and throughout reading it, I wasn't 100% sure what kind of book it was supposed to be. Mystery? Romance? Psychological? About finding and accepting your sexuality? A bit of this and a bit of that? Truthfully, I don't mind reading a book about various themes, but it just bothered me how none of them was ever developed enough. The characters, the web of stories and intrigue, the dilemmas of the individuals... it tried so hard to incorporate them all that they all turned into one messy slop. So, there are three main "stories" or points of interests in this book:1.) Dez's manipulating and blackmailing of Riley's life in an attempt to make her love him.2.) Riley trying to find her own sexuality. She got dumped by a boy, turned to girls, got turned down again, and is now in an identity crisis.3.) A local teacher has been murdered, and Riley wants to find out who did it.Pretty heavy stuff, if you ask me. They're not even substories. It would have been possible, yes — I've seen books that juggled a lot of stuff before and they worked, believe it or not, but this one simply lacked the execution to make it deliver.POI #1 - The Controlling MadmanI really couldn't appreciate Dez as a character. He's demanding and wants everything to go according to how he wants it to go, making him controlling as heck, to the point of trying to manipulate the events of Riley's life to steer her towards him. I didn't like him... at all. It's a bit weird because the book made him turn out to be nicer than what he really is, as if making us like him despite his flaws, but it was just hard to do... no way am I going to empathize with someone who'd go through so much trouble just to control the life of the girl he supposedly loves.And seriously, every time he tried to convince her she is straight, that she must be straight, and she couldn't be any other way, my blood boiled. If you truly love her, why are you forcing her like this? It just weirded me out. I know it's part of the story, and he does find the error of his ways later on, but still... he's just unlikeable. It was kind of painful for me to go through his narration how he would do anything to make sure she goes according to his plans... I mean, it would be okay if he was kind of like the anti-hero and he gets serious repercussions for it later on, but no... we're supposed to like him, to feel sorry for him, to cheer him, etc. etc. and IMO he got away easy.POI #2 - The Identity CrisisNow this is another part of the story that I think took up a lot of the scenes. Not only is Riley supposedly really pretty and really talented in acting, she's also gay, but after the school finding out about it, she becomes the school's outcast. Her scenes are a bit of her investigating the murder of her teacher, but a lot of it are also her insecurities and conflicted feelings regarding her sexuality. I think this aspect was unique, and not something you see in YA everyday, and while I don't think it was executed excellently, it still did its job of portraying how it is when a person's undergoing an identity crisis. It's just sad that it had to be mixed up with a murder mystery that's not only badly delivered but is also full of plotholes that stitches would prove to be impossible...POI #3- The Murder CaseThis one didn't really make sense to me and why it was there. As other reviewers have stated, it felt like it was really important at the beginning because of how everyone seemed to be suspicious — from the students, to the best friends, to the side characters, to the mayor, etc. etc., making us feel there's a more sinister theme working behind the scenes — and then, it simply vanished when we get to the middle part, only to randomly appear at the end with a "I'm back!" sign. It felt like a filler, to be honest, and the book wouldn't really have turned any differently if this part of the story were gone. And the plotholes! What happened to the stickers and stuff that were full of numbers for attorneys and the supposedly scandalous things about the mayor that were inside her picture frame? Why was her beloved book in the Devlin's home? And when we do get to the part where we find out who was the killer, it left me feeling... nothing. Very empty. Not even a "Oooh, I didn't see that coming" or a "Ooohh, I totally called that." NO. I just didn't care. Some of them may have been answered, but I was too tired to even be concerned about it...All in all, it's just a sad thing that this book struggled so many problems altogether, for it totally did that at the expense of execution and delivery. I couldn't really pinpoint what kind of book it was, because it was all over the place. It was a decent read, but it definitely could have been better. Much better.Final verdict: 2.5 starsAn ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my thoughts in any way.

  • Melodie
    2019-04-25 01:11

    I received this ARC courtesy of NetGalley. The blurb - and double POV - intrigued me bc it features a very different kind of triangle, and one person whose obsession becomes toxic.There are two protags - Riley and Desmond - who've been friends for a long time. Riley thinks she's gay and Desmond is sure he's not. He's in love with Riley and will do anything to make her feel the same way. Including sabotaging her relationships. Riley comes across as a pretty boiler-plate MC (except for her attraction to girls, which, being a straight person myself, did not interest me. I tended to skim over her obsessing over her ex-girlfriend) but Desmond is entirely different.Desmond is intriguing. He's a nice guy doing underhanded things. And I was rooting for him despite those things. I liked Desmond, even while I cringed at some of his choices. I felt badly for both him AND Riley. Which is an amazing thing for an author to accomplish. I also enjoyed both protags' artistic side, their devotion to their craft and dreams they have for their lives after high school. And the ending was great - realistic, optimistic while still having consequences. I also really liked the plot device of presenting the narrative as a script. Des is an aspiring filmmaking, and that technique added a lot to the story.A recommended read for anyone who loves conflicted characters.

  • Karen
    2019-05-22 22:07

    I would like to thank Flux and Netgalley for the chance to read this book for my honest reviewThis book was great. I loved the writing style of this book how the scenes were written by a film director. I think it gave you a better feeling for the surrounding. I also liked the characters. Riley finds herself confused and unsure of what she wants, that is what you should feel when your seventeen. I could feel her pain and understand where she was coming from. Desmond (Dez), welllll ok I liked him in the beginning and I thought Riley was crazy at first for not seeing him as a boyfriend. I remember having crushes, as I read on I was shocked and surprised at how far he took it and I felt sorry for him.The mystery in the book was well thought out as Riley tries to discover what happened to Ms. Dunn she came up with some good theories. I suspected everyone. I thought I did it at one point. I was surprised by the ending and I was pleased with what happened to the characters. I want to read more from this author, and I look forward to her next book.

  • Bobbie
    2019-04-29 02:00

    This book was awesome! I read it in a couple days because I could not put this book down. The writing was brilliant, with just enough suspense and intrigue to keep you guessing and wanting more. There's a couple different story lines happening which made for an interesting read and the author does a fantastic job of tying it all together. Riley and Desmond are lifelong friends but she's dealing with her own confusing love life while he has his sights set on manipulating her right into his arms. It was interesting how the story played out with these two main characters in finding out how strong their bond is and why but the surprising end makes you second guess Desmond's motives and leaves Riley more confused then ever. Then we've got this murder plot which Riley's trying to solve and the details and clues continue to unfold. I loved all the twists and turns and the surprising ending; it was almost like the story was wrapped up into one perfect, unpredictable package. This book was witty yet also suspenseful and exciting. You will love it!

  • Lanniereads
    2019-05-22 04:10

    Cool movie theme, creepy story, flawed but sympathetic characters make this one a fun, scary, and unique thriller.

  • Sara
    2019-05-17 20:08

    The debut YA novel from my critique partner Dawn Klehr - a compelling and satisfying story of secrets and manipulation. Well done!

  • Kathy Martin
    2019-04-28 03:05

    This story was a combination of thriller and romance taking place in a high school outside the Twin Cities. It is told in the first person by two narrators. Desmond Brandt wants to be a film director and sees everything as though it were a movie. Riley Frost is an actress who is going through some issues with her sexuality. She has just had a very public break-up with her girlfriend which has made her a pariah in her high school. She is also still reeling from the death of her favorite teacher who was murdered at the school.Desmond and Riley grew up next door to each other and have been best friends since they were pre-schoolers. Desmond wants to change the relationship because he has fallen in love with her. Riley doesn't see this because of the other relationship turmoil in her life. Between working on their final film project, Riley trying to find out who killed her favorite teacher, and problems with the mayor's daughter who is harassing her in the name of Christianity, this story is filled with action and tension. THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR was a compelling page turner. Because of the writing style, I was watching the story unfold as the characters did which really built the tension and kept me reading late into the evening. It was filled with all sorts of drama, even beyond the film that was being made. I recommend this one to thriller lovers and those who like relationship stories.

  • KM
    2019-05-22 22:49

    Great book by a debut author that kept me guessing until the last pages!The change these characters went through felt so authentic. I connected with Riley and Dez through the transformation they experienced, and I thought the author did a great job tying it all together.

  • Lexxie (un)Conventional Bookviews
    2019-05-22 22:10

    *I received a free ARC of The Cutting Room Floor from Flux via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*Full review to come soon.This and all my other reviews are originally posted on my blog(un)Conventional Bookviews

  • Dixiehanspark
    2019-05-16 03:57

    Could not put the book down. So many turn of events that keeps you on your toes when reading. Love how the author incorporates today's life issues with teens and all kinds of results. (Not cheesy or predictable!).

  • Kate
    2019-04-23 19:56

    Seriously effed up book, but in a good way. ;) Then ending was not a happily ever after, but isn't that real life?

  • Naoms
    2019-05-10 19:55

    Confessions of an Opinionated Book GeekI love movies. I have wanted to write & direct movies since I was five years old. When other kids were talking about being doctors, teachers and fireman I wanted to be Cecil B Demille and Alfred Hitchcock. So, when I read about a character like Dez, I am always pulled in. Someone who thinks in terms of plot points and speaks in terms of dialogue, AMAZING. Unfortunately, Dez is without a doubt one of the scariest characters I have ever had the experience of being in their heads.Desmond wants to direct and Riley, the girl next door, wants to be an actress. It’s a match made in heaven or on the pages of a hollywood script, except that Riley just does not see Dez that way. And to make matters worse for the aspiring filmmaker, Riley thinks she might be gay. Other people would hang their head down in defeat and say “oh well,” but not Dez. Desmond never says die and he understands stories. He understands what it means to win the girl and he knows that he just has to direct life like a summer blockbuster.This is a very interesting concept. I have always believed that, like doctors, storytellers have a God complex. We give life and we take it away. Usually, just on paper or on the screen, but Dez takes it a step further. He decides that he is going to write and direct the people around him until he gets the conclusion that he desires.It’s interesting reading about Dez, because he is really sick. Not in a “I’m really misunderstood,” but in a stalker, abusive, controlling psycho kind of a way. One of the problems I have with this book is a confusion on how no one saw Dez for what he really was. The kind of obsession and focus Dez has on Riley seems impossible to miss. I can understand people not realizing he was obsessed with her, but how could no one see that he was in love with her? Just seemed really unrealistic that his feelings could be so completely under the radar.Honestly, I don’t understand how any of the male characters in this novel could be so under the radar. They are monsters! There’s the abusive religious politician, the coach who is as big a bully as his students, Marcus the guy who takes advantage of heartbroken teenage girls and Desmond. Desmond is the most horrible of them all, because his victim believes him to be her best friend.It’s really awful, everything about Desmond. We are in his head, see his motivations and his “tough” life, but I don’t care. He’s sick, deluded, controlling and just a really really bad person. I am not sure if the badness comes from insanity or if he is just a sociopath who doesn’t feel emotions like the average person. I would have given this novel a higher rating if I understood the authors motivation. There’s a great scene at the end where Desmond takes a good look at himself and doesn’t like what he sees, but beyond that I don’t know how the author wants us to feel. Should we pity him? Should we hope he gets locked into a mental institution? Should we hope Riley punches him hard in the face? I don’t know.I was on team Riley, aka Desmond’s obsession, until she became one of those girls who is suspicious of other girls. Her best friend Libby suggests that Desmond is more than he seems and Riley’s reaction? “She just doesn’t like to see me succeed!” What the hell girl! Everytime a girl tells you to watch out its cuz their jealous? Get over yourself!Also, someone needed to tell this girl that telling people that this person is a murderer and that person is a murderer is you know…WRONG! Riley is the worst detective of all time. She sees clues in nothing. I’m in her head and I just didn’t believe her clues and could not understand her motivations or suspicions. The murder mystery is really ridiculous and besides giving Desmond a look at himself, it has no real baring on the original story. I was more interested in seeing if Desmond got caught in his web over finding out who killed a teacher we never meet.My last thought is about Riley’s sexuality. I felt that certain aspects of her journey were very authentic, but I think Dawn Klehr needed to make a decision. Riley is unsure if she is a lesbian, if she is straight or if she is bisexual. Which is fine, I think many young people are confused as they discover who the are. But, at the end I wasn’t sure about her discovery. Was she only confused about her sexuality, because people around her kept telling her being gay is wrong or was she honestly, confused? It seemed like the author wanted her to be confused, but it seemed to me that Riley was just afraid and in denial. I would have liked a firm “I’m going to explore my sexuality,” “I like boys and girls” or a “I’m a lesbian.” Her sexual journey is such a huge part of the book and I just don’t get why everything else gets a firm close, but that got an ambiguous choice.Dez’s film knowledge was entertaining, if a bit cliche. It would have been interesting if he dropped in some Taxi Driver, a bit of The Third Man or any other sort of male driven crime drama. He kept quoting Fight Club and Reservoir Dogs, which is fairly obvious in my opinion. (even though I have broken many Fight Club cherries” But he also quoted Godfather III. Any self respecting film geek pretends that godfather III doesn’t exist.It’s unique. I recommend you check it out, but don’t hope for a amazing experience. Just for fun.

  • Tonyalee
    2019-05-20 23:00

    See this review and more on my blog Lilybloombooks2.5 starsYa know, when I requested this book I could have sworn it was a murder mystery. That's not to say that it isn't a murder mystery, because it is (kinda) but there is more to it than that. I have this small nagging thought that the blurb was changed; since I actually got this book months ago. I doubt it though.  I couldn't tell what was up and what was down and what the heck was going on. It was a jumbled mess. So, plot one/two. We have Riley. Who is confused about her sexuality, was outed in public and is now taking a hit from her classmates. She decided to concentrate on her film studies and prepare for upcoming auditions at a few colleges. As well as investigating the murder of her teacher. Enter Dez; Riley's over obsessive stalker  best friend. He too, is a film nut but has taken his "directing skills" and uses said skills or direct and to orchestrate Riley's love life. Now, for plot three. The "murder mystery". The stabbing of Ms. Dunn, Riley's favorite teacher. In a small community, the murder has shaken everyone. With no leads on who the killer is and a sudden "clue" to what MIGHT have happened, Riley takes the investigation into her own hands.*sigh* First off; there are these flash back scenes, usually from Dez POV, that are in written like a screen play. At first, this was really irritating and I almost DNF after about the third one. But as that became more and more apparent, I enjoyed them. It became my favorite aspect of the book. It was different and quite fascinating how she was able to articulate that into the story. Sadly that, and only one other small detail, is what I could appreciate.Had this been just a book about a confused girl, trying to find her way and with her crazy ass best friend interfering and "directing" her life; I would have really enjoyed it. Riley is confused about her sexuality. I think they may be a common thing in teens and Dawn handled that well. She is teased about it at school and even has a holier than thou snobby girl trying to correct her "sins". Dez and his love obsession was slightly off-putting yet entertaining. I felt like this was more a notion of "you want what you can't have" and he went far beyond what i thought a teenage boy was capable of. There's something about getting into the head of someone with.. issues.As far as the murder; after the first part of the book, it wasn't really mentioned again. THEN came back into play towards the end. I didn't figure out the killer, because for 1.) I didn't care and 2.) Looking back, the clues were obvious and I should have figured it out but there was just thrown in there. Honestly, the whole thing was anticlimactic and I could have done without the whole thing.My Peeve- Can I just say the whole thing? No? OK. There are a lot. The anticlimactic murder mystery. The jumbled mess of the writing. Also, the chapter are labeled by POV and while I don't usually care about typos and such, it really screws things up when you mislabel the POV. Just sayin. The snide comments on "praying away the gay" got to me too. Overall- This just didn't work for me. There was just too much going, yet, nothing happening at the same time. It had potential to be good. Sadly, lack of execution and too many subplots made this book a hot mess. Not for me, but give it a try! You might like it.*A copy was provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

  • Diayll
    2019-05-19 20:04

    Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/WriterRating: 4 out of 5 ControllersReview Source: Blog TourReviewer: MeThe Cutting Room Floor is absolutely insane. I’m still not sure if this novel is good or bad, however I couldn’t put the book down and found myself glued to the pages until I devoured every last sentence. From the very beginning when we are introduced to the CRAZY Dez, I became hooked on his words and his twisted love affair with his best friend Riley. Told from alternating point-of-view’s, readers are given the chance to glimpse into the lives of two very different characters. One with messed up, almost psycho, control issues and the other is in the middle of an identity crisis. But both are trying to find love, connections, and themselves.Enter Stage Left – Desmond: The borderline psychotic best friend who has been crushing on his best friend since they first met and always acts like his life is one big movie. A guy who is always in control, and when he’s not, he manipulates everyone around him to make sure all the pawns on the chess board are perfectly positioned so he can win the game. Whatever his goals are, whatever thing he currently wants, he will find a way to get. No matter how devious his actions may be. I found myself liking him. A lot. And it wasn’t because I empathized with his character nor because I understood his reasoning for doing what he did, I was simply drawn to him by his thought process. His almost criminal like behavior, and ability to get people to do his bidding. He thinks like the possessive person from the Lifetime Movie. The one who will do anything to get the girl, even if it means killing her sanity, making her doubt herself, and chasing away all the people she cares about. I loved him because he was crazy. Enter Stage Right – Riley: The girl with the major identity crisis. Poor Riley. I enjoyed reading her character and watching her confusion play out throughout the novel. She longed to find herself in the small community and high school that was on the brink of an identity crisis itself. Riley is one character who I really just wanted to give a million hugs. Klehr did a wonderful job of showing the cruelty of high school. There were several times where I had flashbacks to those days when I would get picked on because of my race. And when teachers and the community does nothing about the ongoing humiliating situations, it makes it worse. I truly felt for Riley. Because I understand that you can’t be who you are when you are constantly being judged and told that your differences, the things that make you who you are, are wrong. Even though she went back and forth with her “am I truly gay” stance, I thought her reactions and thought process were pretty accurate. But most of all, heart breaking. And the constant manipulation by her supposedly “best friend” make it all the more cringe worthy.Overall, I think The Cutting Room Floor is unique and very different from a lot of the stories already on your bookshelf. The overall plot is not a shabby one. The mystery surrounding the teachers death is pretty well hidden and not an easy one to decipher. I can appreciate the author adding this bit of a “whodunit” to a story that already had so much obsession and betrayal. I recommend it to any fan of mystery/thrillers who loves a good obsessive character with stalker and borderline psychotic tenancies. Oh and did I mention, Dez’s POV reads like a movie script? Truly genius!

  • Stephanie Ward
    2019-05-04 04:19

    'The Cutting Room Floor' is a gripping young adult mystery/thriller that tells the story of two main characters - Riley Frost and Desmond "Dez" Brandt - as they both embark on journeys that could ruin their lives. Riley's life has been turned upside down at school after being dumped and publicly outed, so she turns to the mystery behind the murder of her teacher, Ms. Dunn, to keep herself busy. Riley turns to Dez, her best friend, for help when things start to get serious. What Riley doesn't know is that Dez is secretly in love with her and has been "directing" her life in various ways - blackmailing people, manipulating situations, and other stunts - in the hopes of protecting Riley and having her fall in love with him. Now his lies and manipulations have gone too far, and now they threaten the lives of Dez and Riley both.I found this to be a refreshing and original contemporary YA mystery/thriller. The plot had several layers to it, all involving mini-plots with the characters, and all intertwining together to form the big picture of the book. I loved reading all the smaller story lines in the book and then piecing things together until I knew what was really going on. The characters were well written and realistic, especially the main characters of Dez and Riley. Both have flaws and definite obstacles they need to overcome, but I was fascinated by their separate stories and histories along with their relationship and how things would evolve between them. The plot was exciting with lots of twists that you don't see coming - it kept me on my toes and eagerly turning the pages to see what would happen next. I always like to solve the mystery before the characters do, but I wasn't really able to do that with this novel. It took almost to the very end of the book for everything to fall into place - like a puzzle finally coming together. The story is told in varying points of view - with chapters going between Riley and Dez. I think this was a fantastic way to write the novel because the reader gets to see into the minds of both main characters and see how they think and feel about certain events and situations throughout the book. I liked having an inside peek into their minds and lives - I think it brings a new depth to the book that wouldn't have been there if told in a first or third person narrative. Since Dez is a film buff, there are parts of the book that are written in script - almost like the characters are acting out parts in a play or movie. That aspect of the writing definitely kept things interesting and original. Overall, this was an edgy and fast-paced thriller that fans of the genre will definitely want to pick up!Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  • AdriAnne
    2019-04-24 22:18

    Read the full review and enter a giveaway for a signed copy of THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR here: off, alternating points-of-view give the reader a separate looks at two very unique characters: Riley and Desmond (Dez). Riley is an aspiring actress in high school questioning her sexuality. It’s so rare to come across bi/lesbian characters in YA books, especially when their struggles to define themselves are so authentically painful and engaging. Riley’s situation is just that: she’s totally relatable, and the reader roots for her no matter where they’re coming from.And then there’s Dez, the other POV the book shares and an aspiring director… talk about a captivating character. He was an incredibly unique protagonist to follow, not only because he occasionally “directs” the scene, narrating as if he’s reading a movie script, but because he’s practically an antagonist for Riley. And yet Dawn Klehr masterfully makes us sympathize with him, even when he’s creepy and controlling, and sometimes downright scary, as he tries to direct Riley’s life: attempting to convince her she’s not into girls and to persuade her to fall in love with him.I won’t say much more than that about the main characters for fear of spoilers, but another aspect of the book I found totally refreshing is one I’ve already mentioned: there’s full-on screenplay writing throughout the novel. Not only when Dez is directing the scene for us, but sometimes whole flashbacks and current scenes are written as a screenplay. Screenplay writing is a completely different style of writing; not all novelists can write screenplays and vice-versa, but Dawn Klehr really succeeds.Meanwhile, there’s the frightening mystery of who killed Ms. Dunn, a teacher at Riley’s and Dez’s high school, and it’s completely unpredictable how it turns out. I loved the ending—it came to the only conclusion that it really could while being true to the story, and yet it was a breath of fresh air.One other refreshing bit: often in YA literature, parents are the bane of teens’ lives. Not always so in real life, nor in THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR. Both characters have positive relationships with their parents, and even step-parents!So if you want something unique, boundary-pushing and oftentimes scary—or even if you’re just into film and/or awesome movie references in your books—pick up a copy of Dawn Klehr’s THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR.

  • Brittany
    2019-05-20 04:02

    Reviewed for Book Soulmates“If I knew then what I know now, I never would’ve sent that text. I wouldn’t have done a lot of things. Yeah, if my life were a movie, I’d go back and edit out all the bad stuff. Leave it all on the cutting room floor. But I can’t. And now I will have to pay. Big time.” ~Dez, p. 7 of The Cutting Room FloorDez and Riley grew up as next door neighbors in the Heights, and they’ve always been close friends. But Dez secretly loves Riley. In fact, it’s more like an obsession. Dez goes to great lengths to interfere with Riley’s love life behind the scenes in the hopes that they end up together. But the problem is that Riley only sees him as a friend. She still has feelings for her ex, Emma, even though Emma outed her to the school and sent her to “social death row”. Tori, mean girl and mayor’s daughter, makes Riley’s life miserable as much as possible and teachers ingore the verbal abuse she endures. The only teacher that Riley has ever trusted and truly connected with, Mrs. Dunn, was brutally murdered inside the school. Riley starts investigating the circumstances surrounding Mrs. Dunn’s death and makes some shocking discoveries that make her start questioning who she can really trust. She also discovers how Mrs. Dunn was connected to the mayor, which causes her to dig even further for clues and attempt to be friendly with Tori in order to gather more evidence. The Cutting Room Floor was an intriguing, suspenseful read that kept me entertained as the clues unraveled and multiple characters became suspects. I really enjoyed the interesting use of the filmmaking theme--many scenes were written as if you’re seeing through the eyes of a film director. Flashback sequences were included frequently to reveal characters’ backstories. Also, the point of view switched back and forth between Dez and Riley, which kept things interesting and moved the plot along. There were a lot of secondary characters to keep track of, but Stella really stood out as someone who was a great friend to Riley and who accepted her for who she was. While some of the characters seemed a bit over the top, Stella seemed pretty normal and believable. As a librarian, I think it has high teen appeal with its themes of bullying, self-discovery, and pursuing your passion. But older readers looking for a suspenseful thriller will also find something to enjoy.

  • Michael Albro
    2019-05-20 01:49

    I thought this book was excellent and extremely well written. I loved the movie theme throughout and writing some of the scenes like a script was really cool. It tied in nicely with the “Dez directing Riley’s life” thing.There are two different stories in Cutting Room Floor: the murder of Ms. Dunn and Dez’s manipulation of Riley’s life. Of the two, the plot between Dez and Riley is by far my favorite. The idea of interfering in a person’s life to such an extent of course does not sit well with me and I’d be royally ticked if someone tried to do that to me, but despite everything Dez does to Riley, I just can’t see him as a malicious or cruel person. Yes, he hurt a lot of people, but he regretted it every step of the way. That’s not a pardon, but in the end he realizes his mistake and that redeems him partially in my eyes.Riley is a character I can’t help but be sorry for. Not only for everything Dez puts her through, but also for her internal struggle as she comes to grips with her sexuality. Although, there is a part of me that just wants her to make up her mind as to what she wants, but I know that’s not nearly as easy as it sounds. I also wished she’d punched Tori’s lights out and I couldn’t stand to see her try to be nice to that witch. I love a good mystery and that is part of what drew me to this book, but it wasn’t a traditional mystery like I’m used to. It started out that way: there were suspects and Riley found clues and did some investigating, but then it was like the author decided midway through the book that wasn’t going to work. Hereafter, the murder became just another source of stress for Riley and the story focused more on how she was dealing with it. That part was still interesting, but the murder itself got pushed to the background so much that I think the final climax between Riley, Dez and the killer was unnecessary and just interfered with the fallout of Dez and Riley’s relationship. Maybe if there had been more investigation into the murder and Dez had been a larger part of that, the climax wouldn’t have seemed so out of place.The ending, while not altogether happy, was very satisfying. Riley got her peace of mind and Dez learned the consequences of his actions. I did hate to see such a strong friendship break apart, but it makes sense. All in all, a fantastic book that I would highly recommend.

  • Alanna (The Flashlight Reader)
    2019-05-14 02:56

    I am not a huge fan of contemporary books so I was not expecting much from The Cutting Room Floor. I was expecting a weird murder mystery, but that wasn’t entirely what I got. There was some aspect of a murder mystery, but it was mostly about a deranged teenage boy’s obsession with the ultimate unattainable girl. Dez has been in love with Riley for as long as he can remember. Unfortunately for him, Riley doesn’t prefer boys romantically. Of course, this isn’t a problem for Dez because he is so amazing that he is going to change Riley’s heart. You can guess where this is going, and it isn’t pretty. Dez was a super creepy character. His obsession with Riley was well into the freak zone. He is supposed to be her best friend, but everything he does is undermined by some selfish and twisted motive. He had a potentially redeeming moment towards the end of the book, but it still fell flat. That left Dez being stuck in the psycho section. Riley didn’t make much of an impression on me either. She was okay, but she seemed to float around in the book more than anything. Towards the end she became more grounded, but that was more of a result from other characters than anything else. I think what has bugged me the most was the ending. It didn’t seem very fulfilling. I understand that life doesn’t always end up in a box with a neat little bow, so it was fitting for this ending to be a mess. Had everyone walked off into a sunset holding hands and singing songs, I probably would have thrown the book across the room. I’m just not sure how I wanted the ending to go, but I was hoping for a little redemption and forgiveness. Instead, I got something that just hangs and lingers. The Cutting Room Floor will appeal to some readers, I’m sure. For me, it wasn’t all that. I read through it very quickly, so it was certainly a page turner. It just lacked that certain something that makes it unforgettable.

  • Elissa Hoole
    2019-04-27 03:01

    I really liked this book--the many layers, the multi-faceted characters, the suspense, and the film references throughout give the book depth and complexity that I find super interesting. Plus Dez. He's just so fascinating, and I love the psychology of his need to be the director.

  • Liz
    2019-04-25 21:09

    Holy wow! I really loved this book! What a page turner. More soon.

  • Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
    2019-05-22 01:58

    There is a lot going on in The Cutting Room Floor! The Cutting Room Floor seemed like it would be super-creepy and mysterious, but it wasn't as creepy as I thought.The Cutting Room Floor turned out to be an okay read for me, and a big part of it is how much is going on. You have Dez's obsession with Riley, who is dealing with being outed and trying to figure out her sexuality and solving the murder of her favorite teacher. Things just didn't come together as well as I was expecting. Ms. Dunn's murder is brought up at the beginning, only to disappear for most of the book, and then reappeared at the end of the book. Also, certain details brought up in regards to her murder were never resolved, and didn't have anything to do with who actually killed her, so I'm not sure why they were introduced to begin with.As for who killed Ms. Dunn, it felt really random- even though I figured out who it was pretty early. The clues became obvious to the characters at the end, and I was left wondering what these clues were, and why it was so obvious to the characters, even though I managed to correctly figure out what her killer was. In all honesty, I was kind of hoping for more of a connection between Dez's obsession with Riley and the murder of Ms. Dunn. It would have made a lot more sense instead of the person who actually did it.Also: Dez's obsession with Riley. Totally creepy, and he's really manipulative. He does his best to ruin her audition into a performing arts college because he wants them to go to school in the same area., and he does everything he can to break up her relationships. I just couldn't like Dez, and there were times when it seemed like we were supposed to like him and feel bad for him because Riley wasn't interested in him. I was also REALLY irritated that Dez kept trying to convince her that she was straight, even though she was still in the process of figuring out her sexuality. I actually really liked seeing her struggle to figure it out, because that's not a perspective I've come across in YA before, and it was refreshing to see it. But I also felt like it wasn't addressed as well as it could have been, especially since the possibility of Riley being bi seemed to be hinted at, but was never acknowledged or brought up. I actually thought this story line was the most interesting one of the book, and while it was a pretty good chunk of the book, it wasn't as interesting as it could have been. Still, I thought Klehr did a really good job at showing what Riley was going through and some of the things she had to deal with. I also liked that Dez and Riley are really into movies, and that film was really important to them. It was really cool to see parts of the book written as a screenplay, and how Dez remembered things as scenes from a movie. Dez and Riley takes turns narrating the book, and while I usually have strong thoughts on multiple narrators, I don't have strong thoughts either way. It wasn't done horribly, but it wasn't amazing either. It was nice seeing both of their stories, but overall, it was okay. Final Thoughts: The Cutting Room Floor was just okay, and I wasn't sure what kind of story Klehr was going for. The different elements of the story didn't come together for me. The different elements just didn't seem to be developed as well as they could have been. While there were a couple really interesting and refreshing things about this book, it wasn't enough to grab my attention. The Cutting Room Floor gets 2 stars. The Cutting Room Floor is a digital ARC from

  • Heather
    2019-04-21 20:07

    (This review can be found on my blog The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl).When I read the synopsis of this book, I was definitely intrigued. When the opportunity arrived to review this book, I decided I'd take a chance on it. While I wasn't overly impressed with the book, it was still an alright read.The title suits the book well. The chapters titles are written like a script and sometimes include blocking directions. (If you're not familiar with drama terms, you may want to look that up). The main characters are drama geeks as well.I do like the cover! It's definitely eye catching, and it made me want to pick this book up.I didn't really have a problem with the world building. I felt like the world building was done rather well except I didn't like how Riley seemed to find every girl she came across as hot. That just doesn't happen in real life, yet it happened to Riley in this book.I felt like the pacing was a bit slow in this book. At times I was debating with whether or not I should carry on. However, there are some parts of this book where the pacing does pick up, especially towards the end., so not all hope is lost.I found the plot line to be interesting enough. I was a drama geek in school, so the plot suited me. There was the whole muder mystery thing with Riley's favorite teacher, Riley's confusion about her sexuality, and Dez's stalker crush on Riley going on. I definitely wanted to know how things would play out.I thought the characters were written fairly well. As I've said before, I didn't like how the author made it seem like Riley was hot for every girl she came across. Saying that, I did like Riley though. Everything about her (minus liking every girl) felt real, and her confusion was very realistic. I didn't like Dez. I felt he was way too controlling when it came for Riley and that he was super selfish. In fact, I'd even go as far as calling him scary. He was always there for Riley but only because he was a stalker. There's not one thing I liked about Dez.The dialogue flowed smoothly, and all interactions between characters felt realistic. There is some swearing in this book, but it's not over the top.Overall, The Cutting Room Floor is a decent read. The pacing could do with some work as it does come across as a bit dull some of the time. However, the plot itself is interesting.I'd recommend this book to those aged 14+ who want a book to read to help them pass the time.I'd give The Cutting Room Floor by Dawn Klehr a 3.5 out of 5.(I was provided with a free paperback of this title from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review).

  • Angie
    2019-05-13 03:15

    I received an ARC through NetGalley.The blurb for The Cutting Room Floor makes it sound super creepy! I mean, having someone essentially be so obsessed with you that they manipulate various aspects of your life to make you love them is just crazy! There's also a murder mystery, but that was less interesting than super stalker extreme! However, that blurb makes Dez's meddling seem a bit more prominent than it really it is, which was disappointing. He's not so much directing Riley's life as much as sabotaging anything that causes her attention to drift away from him. Dez also can't seem to grasp the fact that Riley is most likely a lesbian and will never want him the way he wants her! Boy is straight up delusional!My favorite part of The Cutting Room Floor was how the author handled Riley's sexuality. Riley has dated boys before, but those relationships never went very far (only in part thanks to Dez). Then she meets Emma and things change. Riley sees how relationships should be and she realizes that she's attracted to girls in a way that boys never interested her. Unfortunately, Emma publicly dumps her and outs her before she's ready, causing much heartache and ridicule for Riley. Afterward Riley struggles with her feelings towards guys, girls, and relationships in general. Is she gay? Is she bi? Should she try again with boys? She's very conflicted, and it was interesting to see her try to come to terms with who she is and who she wants to be with.As for the murder mystery, I was less impressed. I figured out who killed Ms. Dunn almost from the beginning, since the murderer in question is quite a creep to start with. However, I didn't consider a motive. It's a pretty cliched motive, but I had a hard time believing it. It seemed too drastic and out of nowhere, but this character is revealed to have a record at the end, so I guess that was suppose to make it make more sense. Either way, the mystery wasn't very mysterious or interesting, and I feel like some other plot could have taken its place. Or there could have been more focus on Dez's meddling with Riley's life, since that's what I was most looking forward to.The end of The Cutting Room Floor was great. I think the author made the right choice there, because anything more...happy would not have fit. It also would have made me think Riley has now lost her mind. Overall though, I did enjoy the story even if I wish some of the focus had been shifted a bit and that it was less predictable. I definitely appreciate the author tackling sexuality in the way she did. Not everyone has it totally figured out, especially as a teenager, and Riley certainly represents that.Read more of my reviews at Pinkindle Reads & Reviews.

  • Nicole Wang
    2019-05-05 23:04

    Cutting Room Floor sounding amazing and thrilling, but I ended up having a lot of rather conflicted feelings about it.I loved that Riley seemed confused about herself and her wants, something that teens go through, and in the process also making her a rather relatable character. She was still trying to find herself and know who she was and that made her feel real, but beyond her confusion, Riley really wasn't an...ideal character.She decided to accuse and avoid her supposed best friend (besides Dez) based on a random video and, despite all her friend's evidence against Dez, always ridiculed and laughed against any accusations against him. She never tried to ask why someone broke up with her either, something I found a) unrealistic or b) stupid. It irritated me that she was so susceptible to Dez's lies and never really thought that hey, maybe there was something Dez was hiding.Dez was an interesting character. His mind was complex and twisted--definitely a well written character! I could never really trust his POV because of his obsession with Rye and how he viewed anyone even remotely close to her. While I didn't understand his actions (actually, some of them disgusted me) he honestly seemed to think it was for Rye. I guess he really did love her, but the fact that he basically isolated her annoyed me. He did at least know it was wrong, but I felt like that took away from his twisted mind which would've honestly made things a lot more interesting. Instead it made him seem like a sort of pathetic stalker, but I did sympathize with him.The way Klehr wrote the book was also amazing. At the beginning of every other chapter (i.e. Dez's POV) we would be introduced to the chapter like a script and it fit the book so well! It made the reading experience so much better and how it didn't overdo the details too much.The mystery was definitely interesting, but it was overshadowed by the blackmailing Dez had going on. A few of our questions are still left unanswered by the end, but I can't deny that it was a thrilling read! While the mystery wasn't that quick paced, the drama made everything the more enthralling and I loved it. I didn't really expect the ending, though, so points for twists!Fast paced and a quick read, Cutting Room Floor was a great read although I did have a few issues with it! If you like mystery thrillers, you may like this one, but I think it's more for the psychological thriller fans out there!

  • Mandy
    2019-05-11 04:13

    INT. READING ROOM--NIGHTOur READER settles down with a copy of The Cutting Room Floor and a cup of java. She flips to the first pages and the camera closes in as a smile spreads across her face. She finds the story inside is framed loosely like a director's script; even better, it employs lots of showbiz lingo and even pulls out countless classic movies references. Our READER appears instantly enthralled, especially when the two well-imagined main characters, RILEY and DEZ, start to come alive on the page. RILEY is an aspiring actress openly struggling to come to terms with her sexual orientation; DEZ is an aspiring director conspiring to make RILEY his real life leading lady, at any cost--including blackmailing Riley's love-interests into breaking up with her. Fascination plays across our READER's face as she follows RILEY and DEZ into their budding but shady romance, and intrigue takes over as RILEY starts investigating the month-old unsolved murder of her young and beautiful humanities teacher...the one she was crushing on. Could it be possible that DEZ is the killer?--after all, he did confess to our READER that he did a bad, bad thing. Or could it be RILEY'S weirdly estranged BFF LIBBY who was in the classroom that fateful afternoon? Or how about the militantly religious Mayor and his mean girl daughter who openly despised the humanities teacher and her liberal curriculum? TIME LAPSE MONTAGE: four days pass in a blur as our READER settles in night after night, paging deeper and deeper into the mystery of the cutting room floor. But with each passing chapter, our READER's smile begins to weaken and flatten out. DEZ's final deceit to win RILEY proves to be anti-climatic and fruitless. And as far as the murder goes, there aren't as many clues here as our READER anticipated. The story is starting to feel incomplete. As our READER reaches the final pages and the vital missing clue which DEZ has been withholding, the camera closes in on her face to reveal a look of...befuddlement followed by mild disappointment. FADE TO BLACK

  • The Twins Read
    2019-05-21 02:06

    This review can originally be found atThe Twins Read.With a concept like that, how were we supposed to resist? A controlling, manipulative boy who has secretly directed our leading lady's whole life in the hopes that she'll fall in love with him through blackmail and subterfuge. While it's not exactly something a normal high school boy would do, we think it's been established that Desmond's not exactly normal. Add to that the murder of a teacher and we've got a murder-mystery slash psychotic-stalker-problem in our hands.Desmond's been pining after Riley for a while now and makes it a point to sabotage every intimate relationship she's had. Riley is his and Desmond's going to everything in his power to make sure it happens. Riley is totally clueless. To her Desmond is her pretty boy best friend who's a great filmmaker, and a totally upstanding guy. And when Riley is bent on solving a murder involving her favorite teacher, Dez will have to show how far he's willing to go with his unhealthy obsession.What's confusing about this book is the many themes that were thrown into it. Murder, mystery, a bit of gay fiction, romance - so much so that we're not exactly sure what to think. It has a definite murder mystery vibe going on but the lack of focus on that particular aspect was a bummer. Dez's machinations should play a bigger role in the story, given how warped his displays of affection are. He's actually a total creep, but somehow, readers are forced to tolerate him, because hey, he's the protagonist and he's somehow refreshing (if you're the type who wants to read about unconventional leads, that is.)If you're not into protagonists you want to rally 100% with, you might not find yourself enjoying this one. Dez was downright creeptastic towards Riley, even when she seemed to be batting for her own team. But if you do find yourself interested in a different kind of protagonist, why not try this one out for size?

  • Jen
    2019-05-10 22:55

    Thanks to Netgalley for sending me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.The Cutting Room Floor's premise intrigued me-- a dead teacher (well, as a teacher myself, that part just creeped me out), many suspects, and an unreliable narrator obsessed with film and his best friend who may or may not be gay. It's a lot to take on in one novel, and for me, it never really took off. For one you have this mystery of the dead beloved teacher, which was important for part of the book and then not so much and then it became important again. It was something Riley wanted to find answers to and led her to seek out certain suspects, but then I felt like it got dropped along the way and then picked back up. Then there is also the fact that Riley is questioning her sexuality and has been publicly outed by her girlfriend, which in my mind is a pretty huge thing, but that too becomes overshadowed by Dez, her best friend who is in love with Riley and begins manipulating situations and people in order to facilitate Riley deciding that she is, in fact, straight. This part bothered me a lot... Dez is constantly telling us that he's an awful guy who shouldn't be forgiven while he continues doing awful things TO HIS BEST FRIEND. I get loving someone you can never have, but oh wow, this went way beyond into creepy, stalker territory and I did not enjoy him or his antics. I got the impression that I was supposed to like him, and by the end, I was just happy to get out of his head. Plus I find anyone who decides to make their gay friend straight insulting. Is that really a thing?I felt like the book couldn't decide what it wanted to be-- is it a murder mystery or a book about sexuality or a book about creepy stalker obsession? While I don't mind a book with multiple themes at all, I just didn't feel any of those were developed satisfactorily enough. While it was an entertaining read, it didn't leave me feeling enough about anything to be especially memorable.

  • Once Upon a Twilight
    2019-05-01 19:55

    Not sure how to describe this book. I know it is categorized into the mystery genre, but in reality this is more drama than anything. We get very little of the mystery, I mean until the very end of the book. So I am not sure why this novel is listed in that genre.Honestly, this was an easy read. Dez and Riley are next door neighbors. They are also best friends, they tell each other everything – so that is what Riley thinks. Dez is obsessed with Riley and manipulates her relationship to try to get with her. The only issue is that Riley is not into him; truthfully she is not into guys. She dated very few before but then she realized she likes girls.The story begins when Riley is humiliated by her current girlfriend, well ex, in front of many people. The entire school finds out that she’s into girls and they start making her life impossible. While helping Dez with a school project for a film competition, Riley discovers a clip of minutes before her favorite teacher is murder. She tries to discover the truth but then she somewhat forgets to do so. She’s pretty much busy trying to find out her true identity. This book reminded me of Easy A. You know how the Christian girl, played by Amanda, is trying to covert Olive into a better person? Well this book has that feeling going. Only that in this book, Tori is trying to change Riley into being totally straight. She begins to make her more feminine – a total makeover. In the end, Riley becomes aware of who she is and starts accepting herself. Then she finds out Dez’ scheme. In the process of this, they are captured by the killer but are rescued. However, Dez never learns. He is still obsessed. He still hopes for Riley to become his…

  • Rachelia (Bookish Comforts)
    2019-05-12 23:00

    DNF ReviewI ended up choosing not to finish this book at about the 30% mark (a little over 100 pages in). It's not necessarily a bad book, but some things just didn't work for me. For some reason, I thought this was going to be entirely from Riley's POV, which would have made it a bit creepier, perhaps. When it started out with Desmond's POV I was surprised and it was a bit jarring. Not the author's fault at all, but once I got adjusted to the dual POVs, I had another problem: I just wasn't interested in the characters. I just didn't have a connection to them. Dez was so obsessed with Riley and controlling in his friendship, I couldn't stand him (although, it's not like you are SUPPOSED to like him). But I wasn't drawn in by Riley's character either: sure, her trying to determine her sexuality would have been an interesting plot line to read (and I hope it was done well --- what I saw of this plot was pretty good). My problem was that there were just too many different storylines: Dez's obsession with Riley, the murder mystery, Riley's sexuality, and working on the film/getting into film school. I was a bit interested in the murder mystery, but looking at other reviews, this was going to take the back burner until near the end of the book, so I decided there wasn't enough pulling me in to continue on reading. I did flip to the end, and was surprised about who had murdered the teacher, and some of the events that took place. Overall though, while the book wasn't bad, it just didn't captivate my interest. It does have a unique film format though, and I think that will attract some readers. It just wasn't for me though, sadly.Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.