Map to the Stars

By: Jen Malone

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“The second hardest part about growing up is trying to figure out who you are. The hardest part comes after you’ve figured it out and the rest of the world wants to pull you in a different direction.”

I’m not really sure how to rate this book…

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On one hand, I loved the mystery behind Annie and her mother relocated to LA. I thoroughly enjoyed the encounter with Billy Glick in the beginning which I felt set the tone and established the individual characters of both Annie and her mother. However, as we move along the story gets a bit cliche and dry with Annie ‘accidentally’ falling asleep on Graham’s bed, Annie and Graham becoming fast friends, and then Graham eventually declaring his feelings for her while at the same time pretending that she doesn’t exist – as all cliched movie stars do…

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While the situation with Annie’s dad was explained, and he was given minor distinguishing features, I felt as though he wasn’t quite able to make any sort of impact on me. In saying that, he did only have a limited number of scenes in the book. So I¬†was quite satisfied with what Malone did with his character.

Her mother on the other hand, while mentioned multiple times throughout and fiercely supportive of her daughter, wasn’t given any character development at all. Initially she seemed like the second fiddle to Annie the protagonist, however as the story progressed, it felt like she was simply there because Annie had to have a mother, and that was that.

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Their family friend Joe really only existed to pull them out of sticky situations, which was a little disappointing because I thought he would have played a bigger role in the novel. While he did counsel Annie, give her advice, etc. I was almost expecting more humorous scenes with him and the family, but sadly he was mostly in the background.raw.gif

The shenanigans that Annie and Graham get up to do get interesting, and you do get swept up in the romance and moment of it all. However, it just seems a little convenient for Graham to be travelling on a world tour, thus allowing them young couple to visit some of the most romantic tourist destinations around the world.

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What this book does really well is touch on the subject of truths and reality in Hollywood, and in specific, how far many individuals are willing to go in order to maintain their public image or profile. It was good to see Graham confess to the truth, as I felt caused me to reflect and ponder over the consequences of the scenario the two teenagers found themselves in, and what I would have done if I found myself in a somewhat-similar-more-realistic situation.

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