Shooting Stars – Allison Rushby
Pages: 265 (ARC)
Release Date: 28th February 2012
Other Titles by this Author: Blondetourage, Diamonds are a Teen’s Best Friend, The Seven Month Itch, How to Date a Millionaire
Behind the flashing lights, the camera reveals all...even love.
Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo knows that the public – and the stars – have a symbiotic relationship with the paparazzi. She doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on a major uncover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett – teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her – at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone at the retreat wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.
I’d had a proof copy of Shooting Stars lying around for ages and kept telling myself I’d get around to it nearer to its release. And then on publication day, I finally picked it up and devoured it in two sittings.
A prolific teenage paparazzo is something that I’d never even really heard of, let alone read about so I was instantly intrigued by Shooting Stars. With the amount of YA out there it can be difficult to spot something truly original and I think Allison Rushby got it. It also introduced me to an idea that I hadn’t really given much thought to: how celebrities are people too and are entitled the same privacy that an average person would expect. It’s a very interesting theme to run with and I loved how Jo came to realise the same.
Jo is a brilliant protagonist. Her charm, wit and ruthless skills as a paparazzo (can you tell that Shooting Stars also taught me this word existed?) made her the perfect person to spy on the elusive Ned Hartnett. The way she began to doubt her actions and the business that she’s in was natural and progressed at a believable pace and her developing feelings for Ned came across as genuine and not as a result of him being a gorgeous celebrity. Ned is snarky and sweet, mysterious and talented. What’s not to love?!
Shooting Stars also had quite a few questions that formed a thread through the novel that kept me turning the pages rapidly. Where was Jo’s mum? What is Ned in the centre for? What’s the deal with Ned’s brother? But in front of these questions lay the fear of the moment that Ned would finally find out about Jo’s deception, adding a thick layer of suspense over the story.
What followed was completely surprising and utterly brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed Shooting Stars and I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for more of her books in the future.