Monday, March 19, 2012
Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby
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.
The best books are the ones that take you completely by surprise, and Shooting Stars was definitely an unexpected delight for me.
The premise is totally far-fetched, but somehow this books makes almost every bit of the paparazzi fantasy realistic (I still don't get Jo's dad-- who would let their kid do this? I mean, really.) From the very beginning, Jo gives completely legitimate reasons for why she's doing this, so her presence in all sorts of celebrity hang-outs makes complete sense. And, because what she's doing makes sense, I got to just sit back and enjoy all her various adventures. She gets into plenty before heading off to the rehab center, allowing me to get a feel for what her job entails, but even at rehab the fun doesn't stop. She has to be so sneaky and creative that her methods made me laugh more than ever; plus, all the unexpected twists that pop up once she gets closer to Ned make her journey all the more dramatic and exciting.
However, Shooting Stars is definitely not all fun and games, and I think that's what made me enjoy it so much. Clearly Jo and Ned's presence in a rehab center means that there are some deep underlying issues, and this book deals with them in a way that gives them the respect they deserve but doesn't detract from Jo's purpose in being there. I'd hate to give anything away because the surprises are so nice, but the deeper issues are woven so seamlessly into the story line that they never seem like they were just thrown in for added depth. Their inclusion feels even more organic because Ned and Jo have such great chemistry-- because I got to know the two independent of each other first, it was easier for me to see why they got along so well. I wish there was more from some of their peers because both the people from Hollywood and at rehab have such intriguing backgrounds, but all the people they encounter at the very least bring some excitement to the story.
Unbelievability of certain events and one dimensionality of certain characters aside, Shooting Stars is the perfect blend of fun, emotional depth, and pure enjoyment.
Book details: Walker/Paperback/$9.99
Source: sent by publisher for review