What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Monday, May 6, 2013

Starstruck by Rachel Shukert

I found Starstruck while I was just searching the Nook store one night. I wasn't in the mood to read anything on my list, so I was looking for something different. So when I came across this one, I thought the summary sounded fun!

Here's the summary from Goodreads: A golden age of glam . . . Every week they arrive in Los Angeles--beautiful and talented young hopefuls who dream of becoming stars. It's all Margaret Frobisher has ever wanted—and when she's discovered by a powerful agent, she can barely believe her luck. She's more than ready to escape her snobby private school and conservative Pasadena family for a chance to light up the silver screen. The competition is fierce at Olympus Studios and Margaret—now Margo—is chasing her Hollywood dreams alongside girls like Gabby Preston, who at 16 is already a grizzled show-biz veteran caught between the studio and the ravenous ambition of her ruthless mother, and sultry Amanda Farraday, who seems to have it all--ambition, glamour . . . and dirty secrets. Missing from the pack is Diana Chesterfield, the beautiful actress who mysteriously disappeared, and there are whispers that Diana's boyfriend—Margo's new co-star—may have had something to do with it. Margo quickly learns that fame comes with a price, and that nothing is what it seems. Set in Old Hollywood, Starstruck follows the lives of three teen girls as they live, love, and claw their way to the top in a world where being a star is all that matters.

What I Liked: 1) I don't know how I didn't pick up on this from the summary, but I didn't realize it was historical fiction until I started reading. It's actually set in the late 1930s, right in the middle of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Something about this time period fascinates me, and always has. The 20s and 30s always seem kind of glamorous, the hair styles and the clothes. So to discover that this book was going to explore that setting was very exciting. And luckily it was done very well: events, phrases, clothing, even some of the big players in Hollywood at the time were references. I found it all true to period, and loved that aspect. 2) The plot. Starstruck is a very plot-driven story. As we go through the different storylines, each one has it's own action and breath that brings the story to life. 3) The mystery. At first I didn't think the book was going hold as much mystery as it did. It's not mystery in the suspenseful way, it's more like...a mysterious kind of charm. Like the book itself was a clever character.

What I Didn't Like: There was not enough character development among any of the six or seven (six or seven???) main characters. I think that Margo is supposed to be the main Main Character (does that make sense?) But there was so much going on with the other characters that focus was being pulled in several different directions. And with something like that going on, it makes it hard to get to know any of them very well. I would have liked to see a lot more character development in this story.

Overall Thoughts: If old time Hollywood settings and mysteries on the edge of film noir intrigue you, then Starstruck might be right up your alley. It's not dark but instead light and funny with a charming mystery and thoughtful plot that has the potential to pull a reader in for hours. The lack of character development creates a slew of secondary characters but an unclear main character, but if you look past that, the plot can certainly keep a reader engaged long enough to enjoy this quick and easy read.

My Rating: 3 shots

1 comment:

  1. I read this last week, and this is exactly what I liked and didn't like about it. Nice review!


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