Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review: A Star is Born

Title: A Star is Born (#3 in The Most Popular Guy in the School)
Author: Robbie Michaels
Page Count: 186
My Rating: 3 TURTLES: An enjoyable read, but I suggest check out if you like the topic before adding it to your to-read list.
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Having left New York and their old lives behind them, Mark and Bill are settling into their new home in California, their jobs, and their college courses. At least Mark is, but when Bill's acting career takes off, Bill leaves college - and Mark - behind to film around the world. Learning to live together was hard - being the boyfriend of a budding superstar is almost inconceivable. Though it's a struggle to stay relevant to each other when they live in different worlds, Mark is committed to Bill and their relationship.

When Mark gets an unexpected long weekend, he decides to surprise Bill on location in Maui. After all, it's Mark's birthday, and he wants to spend it with his boyfriend. But when he gets there it is Mark that is surprised when he finds Bill and his costar in bed together. The combination of fame, fortune and infidelity seems to spell the end for Bill and Mark - until a personal tragedy drags them back to New York, where it all began, and reminds them what really matters.

The publisher sent this book to me after ALA Midwinter as a sample of their reads. They sent the third book in the series, so while I understood what was happening for the most part, I was playing a bit of catch up. It did summarize the gist of the previous books, but right off the bat, let me say that I would recommend you read the other books first – it will make a lot more sense.

The story is told through Mark’s perspective as he watches his boyfriend on his rise to stardom. I appreciated how the author addressed some of the challenges faced by gay couples without making the whole book being about how they were a gay couple. Robbie Michaels did a good job portraying the personality of all of the characters, even the minor ones.

One thing that struck as odd about this book is that ninety-nine percent of it is written in a way that would be acceptable for middle grade or the younger end of young adult, except for the few times when it really wasn’t. The flow was choppy at times and the plot, in my opinion, lacked verisimilitude. For example, the amount of time it took Mark to forgive Bill after catching him cheating seemed very short, and when Bill comes to the hotel Mark is staying at on Maui and Mark accuses him of being a stalker, the hotel arranges for Mark to be flown to a private house on Oahu. (If hotels were that accommodating I would definitely hire people to ‘stalk’ me).

I did enjoy the book, and, to be fair, I don’t read a whole lot of contemporary Young Adult.  I think that fans of contemporary with relationship-driven plots will especially like this series. 

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