Starstruck by Rachel Shukert
Summary: Every week they arrive in Los Angeles--beautiful and talented young hopefuls who dream of becoming stars. It's all Margaret Frobisher has ever wanted—and when she's discovered by a powerful agent, she can barely believe her luck. She's more than ready to escape her snobby private school and conservative Pasadena family for a chance to light up the silver screen.
The competition is fierce at Olympus Studios and Margaret—now Margo—is chasing her Hollywood dreams alongside girls like Gabby Preston, who at 16 is already a grizzled show-biz veteran caught between the studio and the ravenous ambition of her ruthless mother, and sultry Amanda Farraday, who seems to have it all--ambition, glamour . . . and dirty secrets. Missing from the pack is Diana Chesterfield, the beautiful actress who mysteriously disappeared, and there are whispers that Diana's boyfriend—Margo's new co-star—may have had something to do with it. Margo quickly learns that fame comes with a price, and that nothing is what it seems.
Set in Old Hollywood, Starstruck follows the lives of three teen girls as they live, love, and claw their way to the top in a world where being a star is all that matters.
The Good: The setting is fabulous-Old Hollywood. How fun is that? I've heard many people worried that this book would be about modern day Hollywood, and they were glad it wasn't. Me, too. Old Hollywood is a time and place that fascinates me. Margo, Gabby, and Amanda were diverse characters, each one with a unique personality and story to tell.
The Bad: First of all, too many elements felt too much like adult content for a young adult novel. A lot of Amanda's situation made me uncomfortable (y'all have to remember I'm a Christian who prefers good and pure books, even if they're not Christian fiction). There's a minor storyline with a minor character that didn't sit right with me (more in The Ugly section). And then... SPOILER there's all these moments where Margo's looks are compared to Diana Chesterfield and Margo even has a pin like Diana's, and I think Margo is going to end up being Diana's daughter or something, but no. Nothing ever happened there. It was all just because Margo is Diana's replacement. END OF SPOILER.
The Ugly: There was a fair bit of language. I don't believe I saw the f-word, but I know I caught the s-word at least once. Romance got a bit passionate at times. One guy turns out to be gay, and while I don't hate gays, but the whole situation felt weird to me, especially in Old Hollywood. Obviously, that would happen back then, but I just didn't like it.
I went into this book, hoping I'd love it, and I finished it with disappointment. It didn't live up to any of my expectations, and a good deal of it left a bitter taste in my mouth. So, unfortunately, Starstruck will not go on my To Buy list.