Book recommendation: Flirting with Fame, by Samantha Joyce

I re-read the Hunger Games series last week. I’ve already recommended the series here on my blog, so you may be wondering why I’m bringing it up. Well, those who’ve already read it know (and those who haven’t have probably heard) that it’s a pretty dark series. By the time I was finished this go-around, I was having some serious cravings for something a little lighter.

Before I even had a chance to look through my unread book collection, Samantha Joyce’s Flirting with Fame came to mind. I couldn’t remember exactly what it was about, but I did remember the summary evoking a sense of romance and humour.

I searched out the book on my e-reader, settled in to read a few chapters… and ended up reading the entire thing within the span of a few hours.

Despite being a best-selling author, Elise Jameson doesn’t crave fame. She published her books under a pseudonym, even going so far as to use someone else’s photograph. But when her series is being turned into a television show, Elise is expected to be on set. She comes up with a solution: track down the girl in the photograph, and let her pose as the author. Except this means watching someone else get all the perks that come along with being the author of a hit series, including the admiration of the show’s star.

From the very first chapter all the way through to the last page, Flirting with Fame is one of those novels that’s really hard to put down. It’s lighthearted, but still dramatic enough to keep you hooked–without you even realizing you’re hooked. I made it halfway through it before I realized how far I’d actually read.

While the plot was definitely intriguing, though, I think it was the characters that caught me. Though she has her flaws, Elise, in particular, is wonderful in a lot of ways: shy but approachable, caring, funny, and talented. It’s hard not to like her. And I loved reading along as she figured out who she was and what she truly wanted.

Goodreads summary

Elise Jameson is the secret author behind the bestselling, cult hit Viking Moon series. But when a stranger poses as Elise, the painfully shy, deaf nineteen-year-old starts to see how much she’s missing. Can she really hide in the shadows forever? This clever, coming-of-age debut is for anyone who has ever felt unsure in their own skin.

After a freak childhood accident leaves her deaf and physically scarred, nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson retreats into a world of vibrant characters she creates on her laptop. She is shocked when her coping mechanism turns into a career as a phenomenal bestselling novelist. Fans are obsessed with Elise’s Viking Moon series and its author—a striking girl with zero resemblance to Elise who appears on the back covers. Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor following a minor panic attack. Now, horrified to learn she is expected on set of the television pilot based on her novels, Elise tracks down her anonymous stand-in. To Elise’s surprise, Veronica Wilde has been taking credit for Viking Moon for years. She eagerly agrees to keep up the charade if Elise will pose as her assistant.

It’s hard for Elise to watch a stranger take credit for her work and get all the perks she desires, including admiration from the show’s heartthrob star. Edged onto the sidelines of her own life, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay anonymous. Is she ready to come to terms with her true identity—and with the long-buried secrets that could cost her her career, her fans, and the few precious friendships she’s made?

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