Publisher: Walker Children’s Books (imprint of Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Upcoming Release Date: February 28, 2012
Target Audience: Young Adult
Format: ARC received at ALA Mid-Winter
Summary: Jo is one of the youngest, best, and tiniest paparazzo. She can score pictures few others are capable of, and for this reason, she’s given one of her biggest assignments. She has to go undercover to find out the reason a certain teen celebrity is really in rehab. Along the way, she questions whether the money is worth potentially destroying someone’s career… the very same someone she happens to be falling for.
I was immediately attracted to Shooting Stars when I saw the girl on the cover was holding a camera; my two loves were combined – photography and reading. However, I must admit, this can also be a dangerous combination. I read Famous, a book also about a teenage photographer, and very strongly disliked the book because I couldn’t stop thinking about the un-likelihood from a professional standpoint. I hoped that Jo’s story would feel more authentic and real.
My initial thoughts were that the story was definitely fun, but maybe a little bit cheesy. I was impressed by how well Rushby described the job of a photographer. Jo’s character was easily relatable and enjoyable to get to know. It wasn’t until she became a resident at the rehab center and went undercover, though, that I really understood how much more there would be to Jo’s story.
She has big, big dad and family issues. She meets people in the facility who are dealing with some pretty crushing life issues, too. And then there was the huge twist in the storyline that definitely shocked me. When this happened, the whole story changed for me because I wasn’t expecting it at all. The book went from silly to more serious in a split second.
It was a change that was definitely welcomed. As I was reading, I could see the moral dilemma that Jo was going to face. I was going to be really upset if there wasn’t something more to come out of Shooting Stars than Jo scoring a bunch of money for a job well-done. In the end, I also like reading and feeling like I’ve learned something. This will be a great book for teenagers to walk through Jo’s situation and decide how they would follow through with the job.
As a result of the big surprise, there was a lot of character development and growth for Jo. I enjoyed seeing her figure out what her goals were and how much being a paparazzo impacted them. Her attempts to get shots with her hidden cameras were pretty hilarious and I loved seeing her fall in love. For a girl who isn’t close to many people, Jo had a lot to learn about letting her guard down to be in a relationship.
This was a really fun, quick read for me. I am happy to have read a book involving photography that I enjoyed. Shooting Stars comes out on Tuesday, February 28th. Don’t forget to it add it to your to-read list!