Rather Be Reading » A Young Adult Book Blog by Two Busy Girls Who Always Find Time For a Book

Masthead header

Estelle: 16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler

16 things i thought were true by janet gurtler16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 283
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: kids + parents, road trip, romance, new friends
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley. (Thanks!)

Summary: Morgan has never known who her dad is, and when her sick mom finally relents and gives in, she doesn’t waste anytime planning a road trip to go see him. Along with her new (highly enthusiastic) friend, Amy, and her boss from the amusement park, Adam, she is off to meet her father and uncovers more secrets then she expected.

There are some books that handle multiple plotlines with grace, and there are some that buckle under the pressure.

Unfortunately, 16 Things I Thought Were True falls in the second category. In addition to the summary I wrote above, Morgan is also reeling from a viral YouTube video that ostracized her from all of her friends and her peers and she has (get ready get set) a Twitter addiction. See? It’s a lot.

It’s a shame too because I was very intrigued about Morgan’s Twitter life and her quest to find out who her dad was. But when you add in the melodramatics from her mom (very uncharacteristic but health problems inspired her to share her love for Morgan more freely), the road trip, the romance, new friend Amy’s own challenges, and the fallout from all of these events? Not only was the rapid fire succession of storylines overwhelming, but because  it was impossible to give each and every storyline enough attention (especially in 283 pages) I had trouble investing fully.

I don’t think I would have felt as let down if there weren’t bright spots like the remarkable chemistry between Morgan and Adam, the loyal and chatty Amy, who has her own baggage but brought a lot of vibrancy to these pages, and a road trip to Canada (that was my first time reading about one). I wanted 16 Things to live up to its full potential but as complicated moments only grew even more complicated and heartbreaking, the reality factor drifted further and further away.

As a self-admitted Twitter addict, I loved the inclusion of the tweets at the start of the chapters (I wish it was all consistent though) and even the idea of Morgan escaping to the Twitter world because she was feeling lonely and insecure. Totally relatable yet while I understand the importance of real social interaction vs. the (sometimes) false intimacy of social media platforms, I was unhappy with how quickly some of the characters in the book glossed over (what could be) important bonds for Morgan. I know it’s “just the internet” but so many of us know it can be a place rooted in true friendships.

Despite some positives in 16 Things I Thought Were True, I would have much preferred a story that streamlined its multiple arcs and had a sharper focus on one (or two or three) of its many themes. On the upside, I’m definitely up for trying another Gurtler book and finding out that works for me.

Rather Be Reading Skip It Icon

Add to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Buy on B&N

March 21, 2014 - 11:09 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - Ah, the dreaded negative review! Or, constructive :)
That’s a shame. I actually don’t even think I ever got approved for this one on EW so maybe that’s a good thing. It sounded cute but sounds like it was a bunch of good ideas that 1) didn’t shape up and 2) were too much for one book. Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one as much as you hoped!

March 17, 2014 - 4:25 pm

Lauren @ Love is not a triangle - I”m sorry this one didn’t work for you :(. Road trip stories are great, but i totally know what you mean about feeling like a book has packed too much into it. But a strong romance, good friend and using current technology in the text (having them on twitter) are all pluses for me. Not sure I’ll read this, but thanks for the review!

March 17, 2014 - 7:16 am

Amy @ bookgoonie - Thanks for the warning. I’ve only read 1 Gurtler & it was focused, but created a sense of unease. I’ll pick a different one to give a 2nd chance.

March 16, 2014 - 6:33 pm

Alexa S. - It sounds like the author tried to tackle a few too many things in this novel! Still, there’s something about the elements in this story that make it seem appealing in its way. I don’t think I’ll be reading it, but it will make me curious if any other authors will tackle somewhat similar things in another novel in the future.

March 16, 2014 - 1:36 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - Was this the one we talked about where you were struggling the write the review? I think it came out really well. I had been interested in reading this, I was never dying to read it, but you’ve definitely tampered down my interest. It’s so hard when there are bright spots among what’s otherwise a not so great book because you think about what could have been!

March 16, 2014 - 4:45 am

The Bookish Manicurist - It’s shame that this book had too many things going on, especially with the page limit. It does sound quite unique and fun, though!

March 15, 2014 - 4:52 pm

Danielle @ Love at First Page - I want to read and like this book, but I’m reading more negative reviews than positive. :/ Maybe I’ll have to skip it. I hate missing out on a potential road trip + romance book though.

Thanks for your thoughts!

March 13, 2014 - 9:49 pm

Lisa is Busy Nerding - Bummer. But you highlight the good parts of this while explaining the downfall! Authors, you do not HAVE to put ALL OF THE THOUGHTS IN YOUR HEAD into a book.

March 13, 2014 - 6:08 pm

Molly @ wrapped up in books - That’s too bad — I was interested in the social media aspect of this, but sounds like there is way too much going on.

March 13, 2014 - 12:42 pm

Rachel - This is so sad. I really wanted to read this one! I’ve only read one other book by her and didn’t like it, but I was going to give her a second chance. I strongly dislike it when a book has many plot points but doesn’t go into any sort of depth with them, so I think I’m better off not taking a risk and reading this one. :/

A Rare Mid-Week Shelve It (Plus Giveaway!)

weekly feature to share the books magan and estelle are adding to their bookshelves each week

I’m sorry to tell you that it’s not Sunday. But yesterday I was all dressed up and not post-gym gross for once so I decided to clean off my “kitchen” table (it’s in the living room, if I’m honest) and share with you what I’ve been buying lately: the results of my book buying ban, some great mail thanks to some awesome people, and a few stragglers I picked up today!

Plus I talk about my problems with reading hardcovers over eBooks during the week. I’ll be curious to hear you guys handle this VERYSERIOUS problem.:)

Hope you enjoy this week’s Shelve It! (I just read this is our 60th video on YouTube… how is that possible?!)

Bought:

Sex and Violence by Carrie Mesrobian (B&N coupon)
All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry (B&N coupon)
Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt (gift card)
Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler (gift card)
The Winner’s Curse
by Marie Rutkoski (pre-ordered)
You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith (used copy)
Out of Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky

I also bought a copy of Love Me at the Rachel Shukert book signing. How did I forget to mention this?!

In the mail:

Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez (Thanks Jessica!) — out October 7th!
Nantucket Red by Leila Howland (Thanks Jamie!) — out May 13th!

Don’t forget we still have copies of Starstuck and Love Me available for you to win rolled over from our Hollywood Week! I’ll be picking a winner on Sunday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You don’t want to miss these great stories!

Let me know what you are reading + buying lately! (Did any of you give up shopping for Lent?)

Thanks so so much for stopping in today! <3

March 16, 2014 - 5:47 pm

Alexa S. - Yay for a new vlog from you, E! It’s just nice hearing you talk about your book purchases again :) Also — You Are Here! Out of the Easy! Anatomy of a Single Girl! Great, great, great titles that I’ve also read and loved <3 I actually don't mind having a hardback/paperback with me on the morning commute; it's less likely that I'll damage it when I drop it, as opposed to my iPad where I read all my e-books!

March 16, 2014 - 4:39 pm

The Bookish Manicurist - All the Truth That’s In Me is wonderful, I hope you love it! Fixing Delilah sounds good, I’ve seen such good reviews – I promise I’ll read it!
The Winner’s Curse is getting a lot of hype, I have plans to read it too.

Yes, I worry I will ruin books when I carry them in my bag and you don’t have to worry with ebooks, but I do prefer reading actual books!

March 16, 2014 - 1:33 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - Don’t mind me, just catching up with blogs…Sex and Violence, All the Truth That’s In Me, and Out of the Easy were three of my favorite books from last year so I am super excited for you to read them!

March 13, 2014 - 10:03 pm

Lisa is Busy Nerding - It’s so different from everything on my tbr PLUS you loved it so basically yes. The idea of the movie stars meets YA sounds fun!

March 13, 2014 - 10:01 pm

Liz - Carrie Mesrobian is seriously one of the coolest people. I went to the launch for SEX AND VIOLENCE and she’s super witty and nice in person. I still need to read her book. I have not read THE VOW or ANATOMY OF A SINGLE GIRL but they are both on my pile so I’ll have to bump them up now.

I can’t wait to hear how you like THE WINNER’S CURSE! I hope you read it soon.

March 13, 2014 - 8:44 pm

Amy B - I am still hearing great things on these books. Even if I don’t win, I am going to find myself a copy.

March 12, 2014 - 9:19 pm

alicia marie - I loved Starstruck and it was definitely one of my favorite books last year!! I’m super excited to read Love Me :)

March 12, 2014 - 6:32 pm

Amy - I don’t think I have read anything like these two books before, they sound really interesting!

March 12, 2014 - 3:03 pm

Lucy - You picked up some good books! Seriously some of my favorites of last year- like S&V, Out of the Easy, and Tell the Wolves. Can’t wait to hear what you think of them.

I read Anatomy of a Boyfriend last year and really liked it! Very Judy Blume Forever-esque. I need to circle back with the companion book soon.

Don’t know how I’ve missed out on Fixing Delilah but you make it sound like a must-read.

Have a good week!

March 12, 2014 - 1:25 pm

Ashley @ Ok, Let's Read - You’re the second person I’ve seen mentioning Sex and Violence. I don’t know if it’s just me, but with a name like that.. I just really want to read that! I’ve also wanted to read Anatomy of a Single Girl for a while now.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about the Starstruck series, to be honest. And, that’s what makes me want to read it! I love when books have mixed reviews because then I can read them, form my own opinions and join in the conversation.

March 12, 2014 - 11:28 am

Shelby Brown - I have heard so many great things about the starstruck series, and I have been meaning to read them for a while. I get excited by a book that people are extremely passionate about!

Estelle: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Better Off Friends by Elizabeth EulbergBetter Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg ( tweet | web )
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic/Point
Pages: 288
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: friendships, middle school/high school, family, romance
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley (Thanks!)

Summary: When Levi and Macallan first meet in seventh grade, they never imagined they would end up best friends, sharing family dinners, and, most of all, having people assume right and left they are in a relationship. But as they move through middle school and high school, the friendship gets hot and cold because of significant others, inability to manage time, and the chemistry between them. Can guys and girls really be friends? Or is it totally impossible?

I am immediately into books that tackle the big question: can guys and girls really be friends? Because, seriously, at 29, I still have no idea if it’s true. Do I have a clearer answer now that I read Eulberg’s adorable book? Okay, maybe not. But I do agree that having a friend of the opposite sex can be wonderful and complicated at the same time.

Better Off Friends is a light, sweet read and I fell completely in love with both Macallan and Levi. I mean, how cute could they get? Paired in seventh grade when Levi first moves to Wisconsin, they form an unexpected friendship when they start having family dinners together, hanging out at the park, and sharing friends. But things get difficult especially in middle school when boys worry about fitting in with boys and don’t want to necessarily be known for being friends with girls. (Ugh.) But Levi still stands his own, and really cares about nurturing his friendship with Macallan. He’s genuinely a good guy.

And for Macallan, it seems like Levi enters her life at the perfect time. Her family has just taken a huge hit, she’s sad, and gradually, she finds someone to trust, welcome into her circle, and in ways, I think it helps her to move past the pain of unexpected tragedy and learn how to be close to another person. I loved Macallan’s feisty-ness, her bravery, and how she was so dedicated to things (cooking, especially) and people. See? Great characters.

But all genuinely good people make mistakes (especially when a friendships spans so many years like this one, as we get to high school) — they fail to recognize how their significant others are taking up their time, they don’t always tell the full truth, they give into social pressure, and they don’t stand up for the other at the most opportune times. As the years went on, the growing pains of Macallan and Levi’s friendship sadly push them apart, but it feels impossible  to stop.

Could they make it through? Would their history help them to reconnect? Was all the tension caused by more than just time getting in the way? New girlfriends and new boyfriends? Were they not seeing what was really there? Eulberg might not have tackled these questions as deeply as I would have liked, but Better Off Friends was hard to put down and I found myself wistfully staring at my eReader, wondering what would become of Macallan and Levi once I was to get back to reading.

That, my friends, is what I call a worthwhile read.

While Better Off Friends was definitely a highlight amongst my reads this year so far, I did find the interludes (Macallan and Levi’s discussions between chapters) confusing. I loved hearing their reactions but I wondered where exactly they were coming from (the heavens?) and if it gave too much away. I also would have loved for a stronger secondary plotline involving Macallan and Levi worrying less about each other and more about something in life. A wish that would have been a challenge because of the span of time covered in the book, but better developed relationships with supporting characters would have worked too.

All in all, Eulberg has created two true-to-life characters that I care about and I know I will be thinking about as the reading year continues. Plus I will always be wondering: where are they now? (Also I must say: the chapter art — silhouettes of either Macallan or Levi swinging depending on chapter POV? So gorgeous, and a great detail.) 

rather be reading worth it icon

Add to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Buy on B&N

March 21, 2014 - 10:23 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - How funny! I actually liked the interludes. I was impressed because I hadn’t seen that before.
I’m glad you liked it! I thought it was just so light and cute and I feel the same way — I still have no idea if this is really possible, because as far as I’ve seen, it’s kind of not haha.
I agree that I enjoyed it BUT didn’t quite fall in love with it. I do think there could have been a bit more development as far as a secondary plot goes.
Great thoughts on this one! Interesting to see! :)

March 16, 2014 - 7:25 pm

Alexa S. - I’m really looking forward to reading BETTER OFF FRIENDS. I think there’s something about Elizabeth Eulberg’s books that I always find fun, interesting and relatable, so to see her tackle this (very important) (very discussable) question in her way will be a fun experience!

March 11, 2014 - 11:39 pm

Ellice - You already know how much I LOVE this book, so this review made me so happy. I was thrilled when I saw that it got a “worth it” rating. ;)

I do have to agree that their conversations at the end of the chapters were confusing. My e-arc had formatting issues, so there wasn’t any separation between the chapter and that conversation, so I had NO IDEA what was going on for the first few chapters. When I realized that it was a present-day conversation, I just assumed they were texting or talking through something like Gchat or Facebook messages? I understand what you mean about those conversations giving too much away, because I figured out how it was probably going to end based on those. BUT, at that particular moment in time, it was refreshing for me to have a book that didn’t stress me out, one that I could just sit back, relax, and read. If I had read it at another time, that little detail might have annoyed me.

I just loved Levi and Macallan. There aren’t many guys that age that would be quite as sweet and sensitive as Levi was in junior high/high school, so I enjoyed that quality in him (although it may be a bit of a stretch). And I loved that Macallan was so unique in a lot of ways too– her family is Irish, she learns to cook really difficult recipes at a young age, she’s named after Scotch, etc. etc. I just like the book’s originality and the fact that it is such a feel-good read. <3 I think it will be a go-to when I need a pick-me-up :)

Anyway, now that I have left you a novel of a comment, I guess you've figured out that I enjoyed your review? Haha

March 11, 2014 - 12:45 pm

Candice @ The Grown-Up YA - I actually really liked this one. It wasn’t deep or anything, just a cutesy feel good book.

As for the little interludes between Macallan and Levi, I felt they were kind of like the little interludes in When Harry Met Sally when they would cut away to a couple talking about relationship stuff. That’s how I had to rationalize it in my mind!

March 10, 2014 - 4:08 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - Your “heavens” question made me laugh out loud. I pictured those interludes being like Gchat conversations they were having as they looked back at their friendship. They were ambiguous, but I thought they had their good moments. (Like when Levi realized she got her period.) I know you didn’t love, love this like I did, but I’m glad you still found it “worth it.”

March 10, 2014 - 11:07 am

Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook - I just don’t know if I want to read this one, Estelle. I’ve read three of Eulberg’s books – The Lonely Hearts Club (super cute), Prom & Prejudice (sweet) and Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality (not a fan). Because I really didn’t care for Revenge, I’ve been super hesitant to read this one.

I feel like what you said – how Eulberg didn’t tackle the issues as deeply as you would like – is always the case with her books. I always feel like a little bit is always missing.

Hollywood Week: A Taste of New York + A Recap

Hollywood Week at Rather Be Reading Blog

The finale of Hollywood Week brings us cross country to New York City in 1939. Amanda Farraday is making one final leap to get the man she loves back into her life, and this includes escaping the ghosts of Hollywood and arriving in that city that never sleeps. As a New Yorker myself, nothing brings me greater joy (setting wise) then seeing this great town through the eyes of one of my book characters, and I was more than thrilled to be getting a taste of vintage NYC in Love Me.

To get you in the Starstruck spirit, I took a little walk through the city yesterday (I wore a light jacket; this feels like progress, folks) to bring to life some of Amanda’s initial reactions to this lively place.

She didn’t resent these swift-moving, smartly dressed people quite literally too busy to give her the time of day. Not at all. She wanted to be one of them.

Waldorf Astoria Love Me NYC Tour

“People come and go so quickly here,” she said aloud.

Welcome to the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. Isn’t it beautiful? It’s personally one of my favorite places to walk past (especially during the holidays). I’ve never stepped foot inside but I basically have it memorized from watching Serendipity every year since it came out. Back to Love Me – Amanda’s stature is pretty convincing because she can look the part of a wealthy young woman, which is why the cabbie brings her straight to the Waldorf. She gets a room so quickly; it’s uncanny.

Martin Beck Theatre Love Me NYC Tour

Up next — where better than to confront your lost love than at his place of work? Harry is working on a new place at the Martin Beck Theatre (pictured on the left in 1955 and now renamed the Al Hirschfield Theatre) called An American Girl.

Obviously, I didn’t realize you’d be in rehearsal or I’d never have dreamed of interrupting like this. But I thought as long as I was here, it would be terribly rude not to say hello.

Sure, Amanda, sure.

21 Love Me NYC Tour

“It was a little bit of a letdown.”

Harry agrees to meet Amanda for a drink so they can “talk”. Amanda has just gone shopping at the Hattie Carnegie Boutique (which, coincidentally, was located near my current office) with a quick stop at the Elizabeth Arden Spa to ensure she knocks off Harry’s socks and arrives unimpressed at 21. (Harry mentions the lawn jockeys in his description of the place so it’s pretty fun that they are still guarding the place.)

21 from Afar for Love Me NYC Tour

She sips a ginger ale and Harry orders a scotch and well, you’ll have to read the book to see what happens from there… it’s crazy and dramatic and oh-so-very juicy.

And just like that, our tour is over — short and sweet like this troubled starlet’s jaunt to the big city. This is yet another reason why I enjoy Shukert’s work so much. Even though this characters spends so little time in New York City, Shukert doesn’t skimp on the details and instead brings this setting to life.

The sharp scent of diesel filled her nose as she pushed through the throngs of people waiting to embark for destinations north, skirting the uniformed porters struggling with piles of luggage, the little vignettes of joyous reunions and tearful farewells playing simultaneously around her. Like everyone is in their own movie.

Will Amanda return to NYC in book three of the Starstruck series? Will skyscrapers ever rank above palm trees? There’s so much to look forward to (and more) in the upcoming book! So much.

Thanks so much for following along with Hollywood Week! It was so much fun to change up the routine, spotlight a great series, and also share the spotlight with some of my favorite bloggers. In case you missed any of the posts, here’s a quick run down of how it all went:

» Nailed It: Starstruck + Reality Boy
» Andi ABC’s Styles the Stars for the Oscars
» My review of Love Me (Book 2 of the Starstruck series!)
» Hollywood Tour from Rachel Shukert
» Hollywood to Your Bookshelf: Lea Michele + Jonathan Groff
» Pop! Goes the Reader + Films of the Dirty Thirties
» Author Rachel Shukert Meet + Greet

Thank you thank you thank you to Andi + Jen! Huge hugs to Rachel from Hello Chelly for making this gorgeous header!

And one final bonus: your chance to win Starstuck + Love Me! It’s easy to enter + open to U.S.  readers only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

» For info on STARSTUCKGoodreads | Amazon | B&N | Rachel Shukert «

March 16, 2014 - 7:35 pm

Alexa S. - I love that you were able to give us a mini-tour of NYC based on LOVE ME (which I still have to read). It’s so awesome, just as this entire Hollywood Week has been. AWESOME JOB E!

March 13, 2014 - 6:42 am

Munira Kapadia - New Yorks my dream. I am so going to do this the day i go there

March 13, 2014 - 6:02 am

Book Review: Starstruck | Just a Couple More Pages - […] reading Starstruck, you can win a copy of it, and the second book in the series Love Me, over on Rather Be Reading. The contest is open until […]

March 12, 2014 - 10:05 pm

Lisa - So much fun! I’ve never been to New York, so these pictures definitely add a whole new level to the books set in NY. I totally wish people could do little tours like this for EVERY book. Man, that would be so cool. I loved this post. :D

March 11, 2014 - 11:13 pm

Ellice - This Southern gal has never been to NYC, so these pictures are fascinating to me! I’d love to visit sometime. I know how much fun it is for me when I find a book that’s set in the South, in a place that’s familiar (the only recent example I can think of is THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett), so I bet you do have a blast reading about your city! The potential settings in your neck of the woods are so glamorous, E :)

I honestly wasn’t familiar with this series until you reviewed it this week, and it sounds like something I’d really enjoy. I added it to my TBR, so it would be so exciting if I won this giveaway! ;) Hollywood Week has been so much fun, ladies (I’ve been reading along even though I’ve been a horrible commenter this week)!

March 11, 2014 - 10:41 pm

Hannah - I think my favorite part is big city life. Always lived the majority of my life in the ‘burbs. I love the idea of life in the big city!

March 10, 2014 - 4:05 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - So you still haven’t been in the Waldorf? You should have went in on your tour! You know I love tours so I love this. I think those lawn jockeys are like such a NY icon. They’re so cool.

March 10, 2014 - 1:07 pm

Tammy - Of course, initially it’s the gorgeous covers. Now if only every book we read we could get a chance to walk it’s path, so fun!

March 9, 2014 - 5:06 pm

alice-jane - Ahh I think it’s absolutely neat to trace the path that fictional characters take in real life! I love New York and it’s cool to see the places that are talked about in books. I can’t wait for my upcoming trip to NY!

Hollywood Week: Meeting the Star a.k.a Author

Hollywood Week at Rather Be Reading Blog

Greetings!

Honest truth: I always forget to do recaps of author events on Rather Be Reading. It’s so so terrible of me because I’ve gone to some great ones and never seem to get them written in time. But by a huge stroke of luck, Starstuck and Love Me author Rachel Shukert was in town around the time I brainstormed Hollywood Week (in the Notes app on my phone over a drink with my husband).

Another truth tidbit: I was absolutely so nervous to meet her. After all, she’s written two awesome books, and she used to write fantastically funny recaps for Smash (the deceased NBC show about theatre that I had a total love/hate relationship with) for New York Magazine so there’s sort of kind of a degree or two of separation between her and Jeremy Jordan (my just-below-Zac-Efron celebrity crush).

Anyway! Last Sunday afternoon, I headed over to McNally Jackson in Soho for a pre-Oscars launch party for Love Me. Truly impeccable timing because the opening of Rachel’s latest book started with main character Margo freaking out over the Oscar nominations. All bets are on her getting a nod for her first starring role, but until she knows for sure, she opts to be a total wreck.

McNally Jackson Soho

Nestled in a cozy corner of McNally’s second floor, I had a seat next to one of my (other) favorite books.

Books I Sat Next To McNally Jackson

Couldn’t be more fitting since Rachel is a huge Muppet fan too.

Rachel Shukert Book Event at McNally Jackson

To kick the event off, Rachel read a great bit from Love Me. I kept thinking WHY ISN’T MY INSIDE VOICE AS ENTERTAINING AS HERS because it’s so interesting to hear someone read from a book that you read  alone on your couch or on the subway. I’ve decided that Rachel will have to read part 3 of the series outloud to me.

In a Q&A afterwards, the crowd learned a few of these tidbits:

  • Most of her research for the 1930s Hollywood setting was done spur of the moment because she had accumulated so much “useless” Hollywood knowledge over the years.
  • She tried to write the book as realistically as possible but had to edit some minor details to fit in her fictional characters. (Like omitting a person from an Oscar category.) It made her think a lot about what actors and actresses we would be remembering 70 years later.
  • Rachel is a pro at Oscar speeches. She was even quoted in the New York Times last week.
  • Book 3 of the Starstruck series (out next year) will bring readers into the 1940s and into a war.

Afterwards, Rachel was sweet enough to chat, sign a copy of my book, and even draw something very special.

Rachel Shukert at her Book Signing

Yes, I took a very up close shot. Of course.

Can’t say I’ve ever had an author draw a Muppet in my book before.

Obviously, she’s the best.

It’s been so long since I’ve visited McNally Jackson (which Rachel called her favorite bookstore in NYC) and I’m so glad I stopped in to celebrate the release of Love Me! I’m pretty much dying to find out what happens with Margo, Amanda, and Gabby in the last book of the trilogy. Let’s hope I can keep my patience in check.

Until then, there’s time for you to experience the Starstruck series! The books are a total guilty pleasure but they are also so smartly written and I think it brings them to a whole new level in the young adult genre!

» THIS IS HOLLYWOOD WEEK! For info on STARSTUCKGoodreads | Amazon | B&N | Rachel Shukert «

March 16, 2014 - 7:39 pm

Alexa S. - I wish I’d known about this event, as it sounds great! Rachel seems awesome, and I love that she’s got that much of a connection with Jeremy Jordan ;) So glad you were able to meet her!

March 10, 2014 - 4:02 pm

Maggie @ Just a Couple More Pages - I assume that’s your really cool looking Benz parked in front of McNally Jackson that will ferry me from the NYPL down to SoHo in a few weeks?

Is it weird I didn’t know there was an upstairs to McNally Jackson? I’ve been downstairs, but I can’t even picture how to get upstairs.

Sorry, would you like me to leave you a comment related to this post? I love the tidbits you learned during the Q&A and the Muppet that she drew for you, that is very cool.

March 9, 2014 - 9:36 pm

Christina @ My Life In Books - I absolutely love, love, LOVE McNally Jackson – I even got to meet Sarah McNally through a class in college! The layout in that bookstore is so organic and welcoming at the same time. Wish I was still in the city to visit :)

March 8, 2014 - 12:15 pm

alice-jane - AHHHH this looks like it was loads of fun! It’s cool that she personalized your book (Kermit!) and her extensive knowledge of Hollywood culture and the Oscars. I definitely have to read her books now!