Book Review: Flirting with Fame

flirting with fame

Elise Jameson is the secret author behind the bestselling, cult hit Viking Moon series. But when a stranger poses as Elise, the painfully shy, deaf nineteen-year-old starts to see how much she’s missing. Can she really hide in the shadows forever? This clever, coming-of-age debut is for anyone who has ever felt unsure in their own skin.

After a freak childhood accident leaves her deaf and physically scarred, nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson retreats into a world of vibrant characters she creates on her laptop. She is shocked when her coping mechanism turns into a career as a phenomenal bestselling novelist. Fans are obsessed with Elise’s Viking Moon series and its author—a striking girl with zero resemblance to Elise who appears on the back covers. Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor following a minor panic attack. Now, horrified to learn she is expected on set of the television pilot based on her novels, Elise tracks down her anonymous stand-in. To Elise’s surprise, Veronica Wilde has been taking credit for Viking Moon for years. She eagerly agrees to keep up the charade if Elise will pose as her assistant.

It’s hard for Elise to watch a stranger take credit for her work and get all the perks she desires, including admiration from the show’s heartthrob star. Edged onto the sidelines of her own life, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay anonymous. Is she ready to come to terms with her true identity—and with the long-buried secrets that could cost her her career, her fans, and the few precious friendships she’s made?

Pros – Elise, Reggie, Gavin being a geeky fanboy bookworm

Cons – Typical romance “obstacles”, heavy-handed deus ex machina to resolve some internal problems, MISCOMMUNICATION ABOUND

As a sidenote I won’t be talking about Elise’s deafness or how its used in the book–in all honesty I have no experience with that facet of life, so I don’t want to comment on it as part of my opinion on the book.

Review – So I knew the moment I opened the publicist email I wanted to read this. Long time friends know I avoid “New Adult” except for some paranormal/fantasy authors and I avoid contemporary romance by in large almost as much (why read about this world when I can about something magical?). But shit this had so much I love in the summary,

Shy, awkward writer?
Hidden identity?
Coping with anxiety?

I’m also horribly superficial and if I was picturing a young James Marsden as Gavin, well suck a lemon that’s my fantasy.

To be honest this sucked me in. There are so many ways this could have gone badly–gay best friend (Jin), enthusiastic/energetic new room mate (Reggie), hokey “cowboy” who hits on her (Clint), bitchy attractive bitch (Veronica), hunky male actor (Gavin), all the back story tragedy you can shake a stick at (literally, so much tragedy), but in the end none of that really describes this book or its characters. Except maybe Veronica. Though even that’s misleading as I think there was depths to her that just weren’t made known because really this was about Elise’s journey, not Veronica’s.

Some of this felt a little far fetched; I found it difficult that someone pretending to be someone who had basically Cassandra Clare level success (or so it sounded), could fake not knowing shit basically for 4 years while taking advantage of that celebrity. Gavin was just a little bit too good to be true at times and no but seriously the resolution to Reggie and Elise’s (very understandable) fight was much too pat.

But then so much of what Elise went through resonated with me. While I wasn’t scarred in an accident I understand the fear that comes from putting yourself out there after having so many moments of being torn down. What if you don’t measure up to expectations? Or don’t understand their expectations? Or misunderstand them and get it so badly screw up you can’t regain your footing? Joyce’s writing was at its best when she had Elise fighting through those feelings and reacting to them.

Dumb shit happens. You make bad decisions, try to clean up your mess and it gets worse. People will call you out on them (as they did here to her) and how you react is what’s important. Something Elise learns almost too late.

I do wish there was more Jin and Elise interaction; he disappears off to his own school in New York at the top of the book, which yes it means that we got Reggie (which I loved Reggie), but Jin was fantastic. He also had an entire semester of adventures that Elise really only teases us about from random text messages and facebook updates.

In conclusion LOVE. Though I wonder about Veronica. I felt bad for her in the end honestly and kind of hope Joyce writes us a story about her after the ending.

Want to Know More?

Published by: Pocket Star
Release: February 29, 2016
Series: Love in Disguise Book 1
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Lexie Words

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