Saturday, August 11, 2012

Review of "Starring Me" by Krista McGee

Rating: 3.5 Stars
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Summary from Thomas Nelson: Kara McKormick is told she’s auditioning to star in a new teen variety show. It’s what she isn’t told that could change her life.

The feisty New Yorker moves to sunny Orlando to participate in a month-long audition, where she’ll live with nine other contestants and an eccentric housemother. Kara knows that the show already has a big-time celebrity lined up for the co-host, but she doesn’t know who it is.
Chad Beacon quickly rose to fame after winning America’s Next Star, but he doesn’t want his entire career to be about singing. There is so much more he wants to do—like act. The new variety show sounds like the perfect next step for him, but his parents want him to have a co-star who shares his faith since they’ll be spending so much time together.
Acting is high on Kara’s priority list. But a relationship with God? Not so much. But God is after Kara’s heart and He’s put people in her life who are showing her there’s far more to Christianity than rules and judgment.
And just when it seems that Kara’s going to have to give up her acting dream, God reveals that she may have a starring role after all—in a story so big only He could write it.
Review: I am often compelled to try young adult fiction, especially when the plots seem to offer fun and faith. Starring Me, Krista McGee's follow-up to First Date, offers both qualities. It is a quick read with a positive message for teens. Many of the young characters in the novel have or aspire to high-profile lifestyles. Although most teens aren't vying for a spot on a tv show or mingling with the President's children, the emotions and circumstances that the main characters experience are very relevant. McGee creates main characters who are great role models for young adults. Chad, Addy, and Jonathan are strong Christians who are committed to following God's plans for their lives.  At times they seem a little too perfect and too mature for their age. Kara balances out their "perfection," with realistic questions and doubts that young readers may also experience. McGee weaves a strong Christian message into the plot through Kara's experiences as well as the beliefs of her friends. 

I enjoyed Starring Me overall, but there are some elements that keep it from being one of my favorite young adult novels.  Many of the characters fall into one of two molds - those who are thoughtful and nice, and those who are self-centered and annoying.  Kara meets young celebrities or aspiring actresses throughout the novel, and the majority of them are arrogant and unlikable. The addition of more likable characters would balance the negative personalities. I did not completely connect to the characters, but Starring Me is definitely a promising novel for teenagers. The reality show setting offers interesting experiences with a diverse range of challenges to keep readers intrigued and waiting for the next book. 

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from NetGalley, courtesy of Thomas Nelson.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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