This time’s random pick from my NetGalley collection is Shooting Stars, a story about a young paparazzo that goes undercover to take pictures of a celebrity at a rehab facility. When I say young paparazzo, I mean a sixteen year old girl who goes by Jo. Believe it or not, there has been a growth in teenage paparazzo as of late. I’m pretty sure I saw a segment on the topic on Inside Edition or something. Whatever the case, being a teenage paparazzo is what Jo figures to be her best way to accomplish what she really wants: to attend and pay for college, so she can be a professional portrait photographer. But is she willing to compromise her morals, when she’s sent on a big assignment with a BIG paycheck that will make her career dreams come true?
It’s an interesting question set in the shallow world of celebrity and brings a new dimension to Shooting Stars, which I found to be a cute and enjoyable read. The beginning began a little slow for my tastes. We meet Jo and we’re introduced to her world and life in the paparazzi. Being a paparazzo pretty much consumes her life. She falls asleep in school because of her late night excursions searching for celebrities. But she does turn a pretty penny for the photographs she takes. It also helps that she’s young and has a small stature which allows her to be sneakier and get a leg up on the fellow paparazzi. It all leads to a job assignment that Jo accepts, even though she knows it’s a “dirty job.” But the pay is too sweet for her pass up. What makes it worse is that Jo will be spying on Ned Hartnett, one of the only celebs that she has a soft spot for. When she arrives at the rehab facility, her guilty conscience kicks into full gear.
It’s at this point where I’m thinking that this story is going to be downright predictable. She’s going to fall for the guy, quit the job, tell him the truth, he’ll hate her for it, but he’ll get over it and they live happily ever after. Well, hold up! Because the author totally slams unexpected twist right in the middle of the story. I should’ve seen it coming; I’m glad I didn’t though. The twist gave the story new life. I wasn’t entirely sure what was going to happen next or how they were going to make the situation right. It definitely saved the story from that boring predictable fate I had expected.
Jo is a cool main character, and while I wish some side characters were better developed and a little less cliché, I did enjoy their parts in Jo’s story. Shooting Stars is a fun read. While it isn’t entirely original, its few plot twists and turns make it a standout amongst its contemporaries.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Shooting Stars hits bookstores February 28th. You can pre-order at our TYF Store here.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books (February 28, 2012)
Length: 272 pages, Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Photography, Celebrity
Completed: February 2012