Book Review: Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

Title: Shooting Stars 
Author: Allison Rushby
Genre: Contemporary, Chick Lit
Publisher: Walker Children’s
Publication Date: February 2012
Pages: 272
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover 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 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.

My Review:

Josephine Foster, daughter of paparazzi royalty, can pap with the best of them. In fact, armed with her handy faux-iPod camera and sneaky sunglasses cam, little Zo-Jo is the best stealth celebrity stalker (I mean paparazzo) in the business. But she’s not happy with the dirty world of underhanded tactics. All she really wants is to get enough money to do the portrait photography course she’s got her heart set on and leave the business of snapping celebrities to someone else.

When Jo is offered the opportunity to get all the remaining money she needs in one  job, she’s not as eager to accept as one might expect. That’s because her client wants her to spy and take photos of singer-songwriter Ned Hartnett – the celebrity who showed her kindness a few years ago and has held a special place in Jo’s heart ever since.

After reluctantly taking the job of going undercover in the rehab facility in Boston for teens with non-substance abuse kind of issues, Jo is having a moral dilemma. Ned doesn’t recognize her but Jo is falling even further for the star with every passing day. Doe she betray the boy she is starting to really care about or does she take the chance to finally get out of the game for good and take the money and the photos?

I enjoyed reading this book. Last night I couldn’t sleep so I picked up my copy and started reading. Before I knew it, I was over three-quarters of the way in and by that stage I couldn’t stop before the end. It is a fun read. From the start I enjoyed being privy to Jo’s life as a paparazzo and just what it entailed for her.

It’s a little cheesy in places and there were some parts that I sort of found a little unbelievable but this is not real life – it is a novel – and I found it very entertaining. I did feel a little cheated by the ending. This whole novel revolves around Jo and how she’s not quite all she seems. She goes to the retreat as a way to get close to Ned but whilst she’s there we see that she has some real issues of her own that she needs to deal with. I felt like that part of the story was glossed over a little. I know it’s not a deep and meaningful book but it seemed like we had the big reveal and then it wasn’t really addressed in a way I was satisfied with.

There is a lot to like about this story: the characters are entertaining and there were a few complete surprises in terms of the plot. I enjoyed the journey the author took me on.

In many ways this reminded me of a Meg Cabot novel (Teen Idol in particular) and I recommend it for anyone who appreciates teen stories where the hero is a bit of a heart-throb celebrity.

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