Seventeen-year-old Holly Hart wants to be a star. She moves to Los Angeles from the small town of Cedar Junction, only to hear she’s too fat and ugly to be a famous singer.
But when Shell Shocked Records looks past Holly’s plus-size and less-than-graceful-personality to offer her a recording contract, Holly cannot believe her good fortune. On closer inspection, however, the the record execs want Holly to do all the singing, and a thinner and more beautiful girl, Lacey, would lip-sync and get all the credit. Holly goes for it because after all, she wanted to sing.
Contractually bound to secrecy, Holly is more than happy to sit backstage while Lacey shimmies in the limelight and basks in the fame. Before she knows it, Holly is friends with Serena, the pop-star daughter of a music-mogul, flirting with an intern, and developing a strange half-friendship with Lacey.
When Grayson Frost, the biggest country star in America, and coincidentally, a former school bully begins dating Lacey, Holly hopes that he won’t recognize or torment her.
Through a series of embarrassing and weird events, Holly gets to know Grayson and learns that he is much nicer and more mature than he was four years ago. Holly is horrified when she starts falling for him. When Grayson admits he fell for Lacey's voice, what is a girl to do when she can’t legally tell the truth at the moment when the truth matters the most?
I'm the author of the upcoming YA series Holly Hearts Hollywood, coming September 2014 by Swoon Romance. I'm a twenty-something cat lady who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. When I'm not working my office day job or writing books, you can find me either singing and dancing or binge-watching TV shows on Netflix.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have mixed feelings for Holly Hearts Hollywood.
What I liked
I liked Holly. From her weight, reactions, insecurities, and humor I found her to be realistic and relateable. This is really one of very few books that I've read that have dealt with bullying in any way, shape, or form and I really felt bad for her.
I really liked how the book was written as Holly's diary. While this style wouldn't work for me with most books, it definitely did with this one - helping us understand her feelings and get inside her head. I found it unique and refreshing. Also, we got to see a lot of growth in Holly from the beginning to the end as she learned to stand up for herself.
Holly's family was also interesting and added to the book.
Then, there's the fact that it deals with how it seems like all celebrities are a certain way and that's not fair, right, or how it should be. They aren't perfect, and you DO NOT need to look or act like them. Also, how you shouldn't be ashamed of your past or who you are.
I'm not sure
I am honestly not sure how I feel about a lot of things concerning this book. Some things I liked. Some things bothered me. Some I just don't know.
Lacey and Grayson bothered me a lot. The way Lacey went back and forth from being nice to mean all the time, Grayson's overall treatment and honesty issues. It just seemed, overall, like he was playing her and needed to get his act together.
Then, there was the ending. If there is another book coming out in this series, then the ending is okay, but if not - I didn't find the ending satisfying at all. Nothing that I thought/was hoping would happen at the end happened! It really leaves the reader hanging with confusion and the reaction of "what?!"
Don't get me wrong, there were things I liked about Holly Hearts Hollywood. I'm just not sure that it's my kind of book, or maybe I just read it at the wrong time. If you want a book with drama, about gaining self confidence, dealing with bullying, picking out liars from true friends, etc., then maybe this book is for you.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.