Monday, February 29, 2016

Flirting With Fame ~ Samantha Joyce (earc) review [@SamJoyceBooks @simonschuster @Pocket_Books]

Flirting With Fame
Pocket Star/Simon & Schuster
February 29, 2016
352 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from B&N/or Amazon

Elise Jameson is the secret author behind the bestselling, cult hit Viking Moon series. But when a stranger poses as Elise, the painfully shy, deaf nineteen-year-old starts to see how much she’s missing. Can she really hide in the shadows forever? This clever, coming-of-age debut is for anyone who has ever felt unsure in their own skin.

After a freak childhood accident leaves her deaf and physically scarred, nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson retreats into a world of vibrant characters she creates on her laptop. She is shocked when her coping mechanism turns into a career as a phenomenal bestselling novelist. Fans are obsessed with Elise’s Viking Moon series and its author—a striking girl with zero resemblance to Elise who appears on the back covers. Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor following a minor panic attack. Now, horrified to learn she is expected on set of the television pilot based on her novels, Elise tracks down her anonymous stand-in. To Elise’s surprise, Veronica Wilde has been taking credit for Viking Moon for years. She eagerly agrees to keep up the charade if Elise will pose as her assistant.

It’s hard for Elise to watch a stranger take credit for her work and get all the perks she desires, including admiration from the show’s heartthrob star. Edged onto the sidelines of her own life, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay anonymous. Is she ready to come to terms with her true identity—and with the long-buried secrets that could cost her her career, her fans, and the few precious friendships she’s made?

What other authors are saying:

"A charming story of learning to embrace and love those things about ourselves that set us apart from others. I don’t think I stopped smiling once throughout Elise's journey except during the moments that squeezed painfully at my chest."
- Molly McAdams, New York Times bestselling author of To the Stars

"With a sprinkle of book fandom and dash of yummy romance, Flirting with Fame is the perfect story for every book lover."
- USA Today bestselling author, Tiffany King

"A sweet and poignant story about finding yourself and falling in love along the way, Flirting with Fame will steal your heart."
-Chanel Cleeton, author of Flirting with Scandal

Flirting With Fame is a pretty cute blend of Young Adult and New Adult. Some of the content does bump up into NA but most of the book, the characters and the relationships felt more YA. The idea of a bestselling author, a teen one at that, who is, by choice, still very unknown to the public was very intriguing. Add in the parts about the television show and its filming and I really couldn't pass this one up.

It was not, however, a great read for me. Mostly - if not entirely - my problem was with Elise. I do think that the author had a compelling setup for her character: a character left deaf and scarred by an accident years before who is now the author of a bestselling teen series. Unable to bear the idea of everyone seeing what she looks like, Elise took a picture off of Google for her book's author photo.

The general plausibility of Elise picking a random person's picture off of Google. using hit on her book jacket and nothing ever coming of it until several years later was questionable to me from the beginning. The idea - of Elise's decision, Veronica, the choices Elise would have to make how she's have to grapple with who she is - was absolutely something I wanted to read.

There were just too many bad decisions on Elise's part (Like Veronica's condition for doing what Elise wants and how quickly she agreed to it. That she agreed to it at all) and too much of the other characters saying how wonderful she was, how she deserved so much, so much better.

I'm not sure if there wasn't enough character development, for me, early on or if Elise's character was just not a good fit for me. It might have worked if there had been more (or, really, any) repercussions for all of her lies, charades. For a coming-of-age story I was expecting more personal growth (and consequences) for Elise.

I did think that the romance was cute and, especially once we learned more about them, the characters were a good fit and brought out good things in each other. Elise's best friend, Jin, was a great character and I really liked their friendship.

Elise was really just not my kind of character but the premise of Flirting with Fame, the plot and the side characters are enough that I look forward to what Samantha Joyce publishes next.

review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

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