Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

Publisher: Walker
Format: ARC
Published: 28th February 2012
Number of Pages: 272
Book: For Review*
Genre: Realistic-Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: Mild References to Suicide and Depression
No Alcohol, Drug References
Author's Blog: Allison Rushby

Behind the flashing lights, the camera reveals all... even love.
Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she's known in the biz.  The best pint-sized paparazzo out there, Jo loves shooting the stars, and she certainly doesn't mind doing whatever it takes to get that one perfect picture.
But then Jo is sent on a major undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett - teen superstar/heartthrob and the only celebrity who's ever been kind to her - at an exxclusive retreat facility in Boston.  Among the cheesy group therapy sessions and embarassing "team building" exercises, Jo finds there's more to the reclusive Ned than meets the eye - and maybe more to herself, too.

Zo Jo, the pint-size photographer, is the best in the biz. She loves her job, and certainly isn't afraid to do whatever it takes to get the perfect photo.
Until she's sent undercover to an exclusive retreat to get shots of teen star Ned Hartnett. Ned, the only star who has ever spoken to her kindly, who kept her in the paparazzo biz. She isn't at all sure about being there, but this job could secure the money she needs to go to school. But as she gets closer to Ned, her morals are tested like never before...
I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up Shooting Stars – I’ve never heard of anything like it!  What I wasn’t expecting was to be totally addicted to ever word.  Exciting, twisty, funny and pure awesome, Shooting Stars just sucked me in from the first page.  I loved every moment, all the characters and the fact it made me laugh out loud.  Amazing, amazing, amazing!
Josephine Foster, AKA Zo Jo, was just brilliant! Crafty, enthusiastic and a little genius, I was equally shocked and impressed at the lengths this 16 year old went to get that one perfect photo. More impressed, actually. She was snarky and funny: a just really loveable character.  As awesome as the tough, snarky Jo was, I really liked seeing the more vulnerable side of her. It was obvious she was hurting really bad, even if she couldn't admit it. And she was, as I mentioned before, a genius! An EVIL genius!
Ned Hartnett, a 16 year old singer-song writer, who was reclusive without being resentful – according to Jo, anyway.  He helped Jo when they were younger and was really sweet to her and he proved that he had sneaky-smarts with his suggestion on how Jo could get the sneaky shots.  I liked his sneaky side.  And his sweet side.  He was just so cute and adorable!  But, he was hiding something… Something I didn’t guess.  And it wasn’t his bacon bits addiction!
I really loved Ned and Jo’s relationship.  I’m glad they didn’t start of loathing one another, like in so many movies – I liked that their backstory was sweet and realistic.  Their past made their current feelings much more plausible.  What I liked even more is that they were kinda awkward in their dating – I mean, real teens aren’t totally at ease with one another right away are they?  Their mix of chemistry and awkwardness was sweet and believable.  Perfect!
All the supporting characters were equally amazing.  Such as Mannie, Jo’s friend and fellow pararazzo, who was cheerful, friendly and funny.  Jo’s dad, also paparazzo, only paparazzo royalty; he was also really supportive and just lovely.  Wendy, Jo’s cousin and next door neighbor, was really nice and funny and totally knew Jo and all her sneaky ways!  But she really loved Jo and would do anything for her.  And I loved Kristina: former ballerina, girly, funny and as tall as Jo was short, she was Jo’s only friend in the retreat facility.  And all of them were just so real, so well-padded-out!
And the writing was amazing!  It was teen, addictive, funny and so Jo.  I adored the witty style, the description, the characters and the humor – everything!   I loved every moment, that I saw everything, and that I fell totally in love with all the characters.  And I loved the way Rushby tackled difficult issues such as depression, suicide and teen phobias.  Although these were just touched upon, I felt Rushby covered and described them really well: lightly, but not so lightly she brushed them off. 
The plot was completely unexpected.  I thought it’d be boy meets girl, fall in love, moral dilemma, get over it, couple.  And, well, I was wrong!  Shooting Stars was full of twists: I actually did not see the big twist coming – at all.  Which, of course, made it even more amazing and awesome.  Sure, some parts were expected after the blurb.  But the main part of the story… not so much.
And I’d just like to say that I really admired Allison’s view of fame and the paparazzi.  She totally got the way our world, the media and stardom work.  I just loved the way she portrayed it all through the slightly cynical Jo, who just nailed how the celeb society works.
A leading paparazzo, a reclusive teen star, a retreat to “find yourself” and one or two problems to untangle, I adored Shooting Stars.  A cute, fun, light hearted and addictive read, it is not one to be missed!

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Diamonds are a Teen's Best Friend by Allison Rushby
The Chocolate Box Girls by Cathy Cassidy
Split By a Kiss by Luisa Plaja

Challenges It's Taking Part In: Happy Reading
* This book was received from author in exchange for an honest review


Luisa at Chicklish said...

Thank you for the great review. I think I'm going to love this one!

Sara said...

I was sent an arc of this, but didn't pay much attention to it... Your review has convinced me to give it a second look though! Thanks! :)

Carmen Shaw said...

I got this book for review through netgalley, and haven't read it yet but this review definitely piqued my interests! Thanks so much!

Shae @ Understanding Shae's Story

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Luisa: I really think you'll love it! I hope you do! :)
Sara: I reccommend it - it's brilliant!
Shae: I hope you like it as much as I did! :)

Raimy from Readaraptor Hatchling said...

This one sounds so good! Glad you enjoyed it!