Beware: since this is book 2 in series, there may be a few spoilers from STARSTRUCK.
Keep in mind I’m going to try really hard not to let this happen because I so so so want
you to experience this series and get excited to pick it up.
Love Me by Rachel Shukert ( web | tweet )
Part of the STARSTRUCK series.
Publication Date: 2/11/2014
Publisher: Random House Kids / Delacorte Press
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: Hollywood, Oscars, friendships, romance
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley! (Thanks!)
Summary: After an overabundance of drama, romance, and Hollywood glamour, Love Me picks up where Starstruck left off: Margo is dying of anticipation as a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination, Gabby is trying to break out of her “little girl” persona the studio continues to push on her, and Amanda is lost — without her man and without her career. Where will she turn?
What struck me the most in Love Me is just how much Margo, Gabby, and Amanda were willing to sacrifice for what they wanted. Margo wants to be well-known in the industry — a leading lady, while Gabby wants to be seen as a woman with needs and true talent, and Amanda just wants to be in love with her man and be taken care of.
Margo allows her relationship with Dane gradually dwindle because of her ambition (but she still remains so sweet) and she lets the studio’s demands navigate her love life and her future. She’s a measly puppet, and when Dean tries to be honest with her (I loved him for that because it couldn’t have been easy) — she was still the new girl on the block, that momentous occasions in their relationship should be THEIR decisions and theirs alone, that she needed to give everything time to breathe and grow — she just wouldn’t listen.
Gabby, who spends her time flirting with older guys and making love to bad habits, wants what Margo wants. (Or what she thinks Margo wants?) She finished playing the sidekick. She wants to make a splash. If only someone would let her. She lies to her mother, uses her friends, and falls for Eddie Sharp, who shows her a whole new side of Hollywood. But is he just another horrible addiction? Does he really care for her?
And lastly, Amanda — she’s desperate to escape her past and is equally desperate to get the love of her life back. She’s spending more money than she is making to guarantee looking like a million bucks every time she goes out and to make an impression, to get word back to the only guy who treated her well. She thinks a guy can save her. From everything. Wipe the slate clean. Is she in total denial or is it possible?
It’s tough to be a headstrong lady and to want what you want in this world, where everyone wants a piece of you and everyone knows the right way to manage you. When do you take your life back? When do you regain control? There was so much at stake — everything each of these ladies worked for — but it wasn’t exactly making them happy either. Did that even exist? Being happy and getting what you want? It’s hard to say at this point in Love Me.
And what about friendship? I so wanted to believe in the bonds that Margo, Gaby, and Amanda had with one another. But how can you truly be friends with one another when in the back of your mind you are always competing with one another and always trying to stand out? Is there a balance? Sure. But I don’t think these three found it yet. It made me think about just how tough it is to be a good friend when you don’t even know who you are. When part of you is always jealous, always comparing. Being a girlfriend can be so complicated.
As you can see, there’s a ton happening in Love Me. An absolute ton. But Shukert, once again, treats her readers with respect and makes them think, makes them earn the good parts. I’m amazed by how compulsively readable these books are, especially because they aren’t exactly action-packed, just lovingly detailed, subtly sexy, and so thought provoking. While I could have used some more dialogue between the characters, my love for this series grew even more with book 2. (Plus it was nice to have a few reminders from book 1 folded in so I didn’t feel like Ms. Forgetful.)
For multi-dimensional female characters and a lively (and complicated) 1930s Hollywood setting (gorgeous outfits!), you must pick up Starstruck and Love Me as soon as you can.
Add to Goodreads | Buy on B&N | Buy on Amazon
Welcome to Day 2 of Hollywood Week, celebrating Rachel Shukert’s STARSTRUCK series. I am beyond thrilled to welcome Andi from AndiABCs to Rather Be Reading today! She was one of the first people to pop into my head when I was planning this blog event because 1930s Hollywood was all about the fashion and Andi is the queen of shopping, trends, and has a great weekly feature called ABCs — sharing accessories, books, and clothes each Wednesday.
Big thanks to her for playing stylist and dressing some incredible leading ladies in 30s-inspired fashion!
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I can’t confirm or deny this, but I may have done a little dance with Estelle asked me about doing a guest post for her Hollywood themed week on Rather Be Reading. One because Estelle is awesome, two because I love all things Hollywood, especially the Hollywood Glam that the Oscars bring, and three, this is my first ever guest post on a blog and what an awesome blog it is.
Since this week is geared towards a Hollywood theme, 1930s inspired ideas and the Oscars happened this weekend, one idea came to mind after reading Estelle’s “pitch”, dress some of the best actress nominees in 30s inspired garb for the Oscars. I will admit it was easier in theory as finding 1930s looks that are modern is hard. But I am really pleased with what I ended up with. I think each look speaks to the 4 actresses I selected and I could see each and every one of them in these looks. I pretty much stuck to the silhouettes of the 1930s and kept accessories minimal and to the same time period. I found pictures of each actress with a hair style I think would work and voila, 4 modern actresses, Academy nominees, in 1930s inspired looks.
Sandra Bullock is almost always stunningly put together during award season. She hardly ever has a miss and I love that about her. She is all about detail and clean lines. Based on her body shape I thought this dress would be perfect for her. It has just enough sparkle to show off her gorgeous shoulders and arms and the silky material with the loose draping seemed to go with her laid back vibe. The shoes and the bag fit with everything nicely. Plus who doesn’t love a good Whiting and Davis clutch?? And the ring was to add a little color for show.
Amy Adams has been rocking the low cut front this award season, as she should in my opinion. When I saw this dress I just knew it was for her. The loosely draped back screams 1930s. Add the art deco clutch and shoe not to mention the ring and earrings and you have Amy Adams. A little daring and risqué, but also done so the look doesn’t come off as cheap.
Cate Blanchett can pretty much wear anything and I have seen her do just that. I wasn’t really going to dress her when I started off, but I came across this gorgeous dress in my research and she was the one and only actress I could see pull it off. The draped top and tighter bottom silhouette are perfect examples of modern 1930s glam. And every girl needs a little red bag to add a punch.
And what kind of Young Adult Reader would I be if I didn’t include the girl everyone wants to be friends with, Jennifer Lawrence. Not going to lie, I was a little scared to “dress” her. I know it is pretend and all, but her style is so her and she always looks AMAZING!(yes I was one of the ones that liked her Golden Globes dress). But when I saw this dress I couldn’t help but picture our little Katniss is it. It’s fun without being trendy. The art deco pattern is what makes this dress 1930s and since Jennifer can rock just about anything I added a fun hand bag and some more sparkle with her jewelry.
I may be bias, but I think these ladies look fabulous.Thanks for having me. It was fun.
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Don’t forget to stop by Andi’s blog and say hello (hold on to your wallets too because she has great taste)!
» For more info on STARSTUCK: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Rachel Shukert «
Welcome welcome welcome to an absolutely fun week at Rather Be Reading Blog! We’ll be hosting an entire Hollywood Week, inspired by the Starstruck young adult series by Rachel Shukert. Hollywood in the 1930s, three strong (yet flawed) ladies trying to make their marks in showbiz, and all the road blocks that get into their way. With the recent release of Love Me, book two in the series, we’ve decided to take a break from our “regular programming” and bring you a week of original features, guest posts, and more!
To kick off this week’s feature, here is a Hollywood-inspired Nailed It featuring two books that share the ups and downs of “glamorous” celebrity life. Thanks so much for stopping in! (And enjoy the Oscars tonight!!)
Avery | Alice | Mona
With spring (hopefully) arriving soon, I am loving this color palette. Pink, purple, and a great gray (to match the cover character’s eyes). I wish I had found the perfect blond to go with this lady’s locks but unfortunately I couldn’t. (Isn’t it great how there are so many shades in the hair detail, btw?) Since this book series inspired this Hollywood Week, I won’t tell you how good it is again (okay, I will… it’s super good) and I love how the gal on this particular cover looks so hopeful. Hollywood is a little tougher than she thought it was going to be.
Sheila | Jet | Lena | Catrina
Compositionally, I think the cover for Reality Boy is so visually appealing. It catches my eye every single time I stare at my bookshelves. (I really, really need to read this soon – especially after Estelle’s awesome review.) These days, “Hollywood” is composed of so, so many reality TV stars: musicians, housewives, waitresses, etc. You name it, there’s a television show for it. Though I hang my head in shame, I find myself watching these ridiculous (read: brainless) shows as much as the rest of America. (Especially when Mamma needs a little drama to keep her awake during baby girl’s 3 A.M. feeding. Can I get an amen?) Though my choice doesn’t focus as much on the glamorous side of Hollywood, I think it’s super fitting for what’s trending right now. And the color palette? I’m still not entirely sure about yellow on my own nails, but sign me up for all the other colors, please.
What color are you coveting this spring?
(big thanks to rachel from hello chelly for the amazing banner for this series!)
How often do you research authors you read and liked a long time ago? For me, not so much. Unless I happen to see a familiar name, I don’t actively seek them out. But after two authors who I once loved so fiercely made their way on my radar again, I decided to take a look back and see what was new with some of my old favorites.
Today is a “double the pleasure” sort of post. On one hand, you are getting a highly recommended backlist title and on the other, a newer or upcoming book that might strike your fancy. I hope you enjoy the list as much as I enjoyed putting it together!
Book I Loved: Rise & Shine | New Title: Still Life With Bread Crumbs (1/2014)
I actually lent Rise & Shine to Magan many moons ago. It’s a strong story about family, sisters, different paths and it really resonated with me. (I have no idea why I picked it up at first. Paperback table?) I haven’t read a Quindlen since but her newest is about a photographer who hits tough times and escapes her life in NYC for a quieter one in a cabin. Sign me up!
Book I Loved: What Remains (memoir) | New Title: The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating (2/2014)
I remember reading What Remains waiting in line for a musical at Disney’s Animal Kingdom one summer. I had sweat rolling down my back and tears rolling down my cheeks. It was a moment. What Remains is Carole’s memoir about her marriage soon to be cut short by cancer, and her friendship with JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette. (Carole’s husband was JFK’s cousin.) It’s a beautiful book about endearing unexpected tragedy in a short period of time, and it’s stayed with me all of these years. (Tip: the eBook is under 10 dollars — go buy it!) This year, Carole released her fiction debut: The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating. It sounds semi-autobiographical but I’m interested to see what she can do in this genre. (And someone compared her to Joan Didion, who is my writing idol! Big deal.)
Karen Joy Fowler
Book I Loved: The Jane Austen Book Club | New Title: We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves (pb 2/2014)
I am so surprised over how low the ratings are for JABC on Goodreads. So incredibly low. It’s been a long time since I read it, sure. But it’s a paperback that I’ve kept in my collection even after I’ve culled time and time again. I loved the characters and their relationships. (Plus who doesn’t like a book club!) Fowler’s newest release actually came out in 2013 but the paperback is out in stores as of February, and the reviews were solid! Sounds like an interesting family dynamic that I need to experience for myself. (I should probably reschedule a re-read for JABC too.)
Book I Loved: The Gap Year | New Title: Above the East China Sea (May 2014)
First, The Gap Year is one of the first books I reviewe on RBR. It holds a dear place in my heart and I’m sad I’ve sort of forgotten it because I was over the moon when I first read it. (It’s since come out in paperback and I love the cover.) Mother daughter relationships in books never get old for me. But oh gosh, I love that Bird is taking on a semi-historical fiction set during World War II for her next book. I cannot wait to read this one. It sounds intense, and I do like stories that alternate between present day and the past.
[ BONUS PICK ]
New Title: The Good Luck of Right Now
The truth is I own 3 (three!) books by Matthew and I haven’t read any of them yet. Two YAs (Sort of Like a Rock Star and Forgive Me Leonard Peacock) and also Silver Linings Playbook (I saw the movie twice; does that count?). I am the worst. This is why I go on book buying bans. His new novel came out two weeks ago and it was a very nice birthday present from a friend. Quick is a writing machine, isn’t he? Synopsis? A guy loses his mom, discovers she had been writing to Richard Gere, and as he sets off on a “new life” he continues to write to him as well. Sounds quirky, right? I need to get a move on with Matthew’s books!
Have you read anything non-YA lately? Leave your suggestions below! And thanks for stopping in today!
It’s true that you never know where you are going to meet the love of your life. Or in this case, one of your best friends. Three years ago, this week Magan was on her way to “work” at a wedding in Austin and Estelle was putting on a mint green dress to watch one of her best friends walk down the aisle. It sounds like the beginning of a strange love story, doesn’t it? So unsuspected that a comment about books would lead to many Twitter chats, Facebook friendship, and the nugget of an idea to start what would become Rather Be Reading.
Having too much fun at Urban Outfitters in 2013.
Over the course of these three years, we’ve helped/coached/cheered each other through some pretty major life moments. We thought it would only be fitting to celebrate our friendiversary by acknowledging and celebrating some of our favorite bookish friendships. (Note to authors: we want more of these!)
Past Perfect, in general, is full of some of the most honest characters I’ve ever met and this is probably my number one quality in a friend. Because, you know what, it is not easy to say how you feel all the time. So to see it in Fiona and Chelsea, especially when Chelsea is having such trouble getting over a breakup — I think it said a lot about how confident they were in their friendship and how much they trusted each other. They weren’t afraid to hurt each other’s feelings, and knew it wasn’t helpful just to say what the other wanted to hear. These are the pivotal moments where friendships grow stronger. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate being able to be myself around Magan, and knowing that she always has my best interest at heart.
And then there is Maggie and Roux. Their upbringing couldn’t be any more different but they also have so much in common. (Kind of loners at the beginning of this series.) But you know, they totally have each other’s backs. No matter what. Even when things get super hard and don’t make any sense. I especially love how Maggie’s family adopts Roux as one of their own — no questions asked. (I’ve hijacked some Blasig family vacas and they always make me feel so welcome.) I love how much fun they have together despite all the drama, and they just make me smile. (Minus the whole saving the world part, I feel this same way about M. We laugh so much when we are together, and I miss that as soon as our visits end.)
If you’ve read either of my two book selections, maybe you’re tilting your head to the side wondering why I chose these. Throughout the course of the last year, especially, I’ve really been overwhelmed with love and support by my friends. Estelle specifically. I’ve gone through some of the most emotional and trying times of my life and admittedly this has caused me to withdraw a bit from life to focus on the chaos. What I loved most about Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller was how Kat, Callie’s cousin and self-imposed BFF, pursued Callie. Callie was a very distant girl who didn’t easily make connections because of how disruptive her lifestyle had been with her mother — never laying down roots. But Kat was adamant about getting to know Callie and wanting to be part of her life. Throughout this year, when I was having super tough days and didn’t particularly want to work through my emotions, Estelle has done the same thing for me — she’s been there. She’s been a rock and she’s allowed me to work through all my crazy and helped me sort through what’s going on so I’m not trudging through it alone.
As for my second choice, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell … how can you NOT love Cath and Reagan’s friendship? I loved their oddball pairing — they’re college roommates not by their own choosing, but the forcefulness of the situation provides the opportunity for these two girls to get to know one another. You could say that essentially this is a lot like Estelle and I. We didn’t know we were going to meet. The situation we were both in that day provided the opportunity and it’s led to a beautiful, lifelong friendship. I’m certain Cath and Reagan would keep in touch forever… don’t you think?
We’d love to hear about home of your favorite friendships in YA. (Female or not.)
And be sure to check out Ellice’s amazing post over at Paper Riot on Top 10 Friendships in Fiction.
Now go hug your best friend! xo