Flirting with Fame, Samantha Joyce
Genre: Women’s Fiction.
I love film star/rock star romances…..its fairy-tales/Cinderella brought up to date. We don’t want princes anymore….and in a real treat I’ve had two good ones this week!
This book is classed as Women’s Fiction but it has a very YA/NA vibe to it to me. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way – I’ve enjoyed many in this genre, simply that the language and plots are very easy to read, not hugely deep and dark, but fairly simplistic. Sometimes its better to keep things simple – I’ve read some awful books where authors try to write in-depth and complex plots, and throw so much at their characters it just becomes a muddled disaster, so I’m all for books like this that keep it simple and uncomplicated, and let the story come through and shine. A good story doesn’t need “dressing” IMO. The other way it feels YA/NA is in the way it glosses over such no no’s as realities and practicalities of life such as could a film location really get moved so easily, how Veronica just happens to live near(ish) Elise, a top actor being able to go “incognito” in public, and managing to keep things from the prying eyes of the paparazzi….I only wish that was true, everyone has a right to privacy.
Anyway, a great premise, a best selling Indie author whose books are being made into a film ( and we’ve seen that happen – hooray for self publishing!). Poor Elise though is both excited and terrified by the prospect. She’s been hiding behind an anonymous pic she found on the internet on the cover of her books, not wanting to put her own scarred face on display and all the questions that would result. Its worked for three years, she’s cited school etc as the reason she’s never had time to meet her agent, but now the film people want her on site and her input in the script and sets – a disaster for her. She’s only 19 now, so she’s coped with a lot in the last few years. Then she meets Veronica, the person behind the pic she used, and who’s been posing as her, doing book signings, getting freebies as the author of a top selling series….It seems like a nightmare but for Elise its the answer to a prayer.
Veronica is a real piece of work, greedy, arrogant, and always ready to turn anything and anyone to her advantage. I love a character like her in a book, a real bi tch type, they’re so much fun. Then there’s heart-throb actor Gavin, who’s playing one of the leads. Elise has long had a crush on him, and seeing him in real life makes that stronger. He’s not just drop dead gorgeous, but kind, caring and easy to talk to. She really likes him but he tells her he’s really keen on Veronica though, and feels as the author of such terrific books she must be more than the figure she presents to the world. Poor Elise, she can’t tell him she’s the author and not really Veronica’s assistant.
Alongside these people there’s also Jin, Elise’s long time friend, her new student friends Reggie and Clint, and college tutor and fellow author Duncan. They all play their part in making this a really well rounded and fun story, and all believe the story Elise has told them, that Veronica is the author and Elise simply her lucky assistant. Only Jin knows the truth, and even he doesn’t know everything. Secrets – they always come out though don’t they, and always at the very worst time. When it happens – well, wow, what a bombshell, and poor Elise was so lost, so upset, I really felt for her. I understood too how the others felt, its a tough time all round.
There’s more dramas though than just the real author of the book story, and that’s what made this such a fascinating and entertaining read. Behind the fun and frivolity of the story there;’s a real message about connecting with and appreciating who we are and what we have in life. For a debut book its a real cracker and I’d high recommend it to lovers of YA/NA, and anyone who wants an easy fun read.
Stars: Four and a half, close to a five
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers