“A Hollywood native from the wrong side of the Walk of Fame makes a play for star status” (Cosmopolitan) in Shanna Mahin’s acclaimed novel, called “quite a breakout” by The New York Times.
First of all, thank you so much to Dutton for sending me an early copy of the new paperback edition of this book. It has such an amazingly well made cover, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen myself!
I want to jump right into my review but first, the premise:
Jess Dunne is third-generation Hollywood, but her star on the boulevard has yet to materialize. So when she upgrades her nowhere barista job to personal assistant for a film composer, she falls as hard for the nearness to fame as she does his perfectly designed kitchen. Jess kills at cooking, a talent that only serves her intensifying urge to dig in to Los Angeles’s celebrity buffet.
But then Jess’s food garners the attention of Eva Carlton, an actress on the rise, and Jess is all too eager to jump ship to Eva’s entourage, a decision that threatens to explode all her personal relationships. And when Jess’s mother—a failed actress who puts the strange in estrangement—turns up toting a suitcase full of secrets, Jess must confront the truth she’s been running from all her life.
I didn’t know anything at all about this book when I first started reading it. And it was good. I had no problems, it was really fast-paced but then again, it didn’t feel rushed at all. I absolutely loved the setting of the novel even though it was Hollywood and I’m pretty sure that Shanna Mahin could’ve made a lot of mistakes with portraying that world, however she did such a great job at picking the right words and phrases to describe Hollywood, in a very realistic and funny way, actually.
The characters were fantastic. I absolutely loved the protagonist, Jess. She was so quirky and badass (at moments). I loved especially that she was vulnerable and hurt at times, not perfect and polished like most female protagonists nowadays. Shanna Mahin didn’t scare away from talking about the not-so-nice side of Hollywood. Overall, Jess was really relatable and realistic.
I was a bit annoyed with Jess’ mother but I could already predict her ending. Even though the end was really sad, Mahin managed to write a happy (sort of) ending for Jess. I would’ve liked a bit more information about her future love life as we only got bits and pieces of that.
Overall, I really really enjoyed this novel. I’d like to see a sequel written to this because the protagonist was just very well written.
If you like anything easy to read but funny at the same time, this novel would be perfect for you.
Overall Rating: 4.75/5
Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you in my next post!
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