Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Review: Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

Title: Shooting Stars
Author: Allison Rushby
Publisher: Walker & Company
Release date: February 28th 2012
Pages: 272
Genre: Contemporary YA

Source: NetGalley - thank you to NetGalley and Walker & Company for providing a free eGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Find out more: Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads description:
Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.

First sentence:
I crouch behind some thick green shrubbery to do my final check.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I love the idea for this book - it's so unique! The cover is adorable too. I've never read anything about papparazi before, and it's so far away from my own life, but it sounds really interesting to read about. And while I did love the plot, I thought the characters and writing were lacking, and felt somewhat removed from the whole story.

Even though the idea is great, the plot sounds pretty predictable. It's the kind of plot where you think you have it all figured out before you even start the book - Jo is going to want to expose Ned but develops feelings for him, there's a big fall-out when Ned either finds out about Jo or she confesses, but in the end Jo gives up her papparazi gig and they're together and happy in the end. Right? Wrong. The plot is totally different than I'd expected, in a good way. There are some crazy plot twists I never would have seen coming, and there are lots of layers to the story. I love how different the plot is from what I'd expected, and the crazy plot twists are fun to read about. The plot is great - it's what I liked best about Shooting Stars!

I loved reading about all the papparazi-stuff. Cameras hidden in iPods and sun glasses, selling your pictures to magazines, getting into events to take pictures of stars... It's all so far from my own life, but fascinating to read about. It's a world I know nothing about, and it was lots of fun to get to find out what life is like for a papparazo.

Jo is an okay character. Like I said, I liked reading about her papparazo-adventures, but other than that, there's not all that much to her. I liked her and she's easy to relate to, for the most part, but I didn't feel like I really got to know her. Aside from the papparazi- and photography-stuff, she doesn't have much of a personality. I can't explain it - she just felt like a very bland character to me; theres nothing special about her personality, and I don't feel like I really got to know her. There's something we find out about her towards the end of the book that could have made her a more interesting character, but that issue is never really explored.

I did not like the secondary characters at all. They're all very bland and I had trouble even remembering who's who. Ned is sweet but nothing special, and I didn't feel any sparks between him and Jo. I found their relationship kind of boring and couldn't feel their chemistry. Jo's roommate, whose name I can't remember (sorry - this is what happens when I don't feel for the characters), has an interesting story, but the reader never gets to know enough about her struggles. The same goes for the rest of the kids at the resort - I really would have liked to know more about Seth, Hoodie Boy, etc. I think this set-up had a lot of potential, with about ten kids who all have some kind of issue, but the execution is lacking, in my opinion. I never feel like I got to know Jo's dad and her friend back in LA, either. Wendy is the only character who has any real personality, in my opinion.

I did enjoy Shooting Stars, somewhat. The plot is great and keeps you turning the pages. Still, I felt somewhat removed from the story because I found the characters one-dimensional and bland. If you're looking for a quick, fun read with a unique and interesting plot, though, you should give Shooting Stars a try.

If you've read this book, what did you think?


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