Book Review: Map to the Stars

Posted November 6, 2015 by Kara in book review, Kara / 1 Comment

Book Review: Map to the StarsMap to the Stars by Jen Malone
Published by Epic Reads Impulse on July 14th 2015
Genres: young adult, romance
Pages: 242
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
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two-stars

Can one down-to-earth girl plus a very famous boy and a whole lot of paparazzi ever add up to a perfect Hollywood ending?
Seventeen-year-old Annie Shelton isn't sure why her mom thinks moving to Hollywood will allow them to escape the drama of their small-time life in Georgia, but she's along for the ride. When Annie's mom snags a gig as makeup artist to a teen movie idol and finagles a spot for Annie to accompany her on his European promotional tour, Annie's pretty sure she'll be fangirling over architectural sights rather than teen heartthrob Graham Cabot.
But then of course she actually meets him. As Graham and Annie fall for each other in the most romantic cities in the world, Annie realizes that this turn of events may not be quite as glamorous as she thought. Instead of red carpets and celebrity couple names, they are navigating a minefield of keeping secrets from Graham's fans, overprotective assistant, stage "momager," and beefy bodyguard. And when the paparazzi make an appearance, Annie has to decide whether their love is worth the harsh glare of the flashbulb.
Epic Reads Impulse is a digital imprint focused on young adult short stories and novellas, with new releases the first Tuesday of each month.

Let’s be real here. I rarely read books with romance as the main genre. It’s just not really my thing. But because this one sounded super cute with its “Hollywood star meets regular girl” trope, I was intrigued. I read another book with this trope and I really liked it: Just One Wish. I highly recommend that one. This one, though? Meh.

It’s been a long time since I pushed my way through a book I wasn’t really enjoying. Maybe that shows a marked improvement in my patience and attention span. I hope so. Anxiety and depression are rough, y’all. But I didn’t really decide this book wasn’t working for me until the end. I thought parts of it were really cute–the romance, the interaction between the couple, all the Hollywood antics…but close to the end, the book started to lose me and I started to dwell on why it was a disappointment.

This is what I came up with:

I didn’t believe in the motivations of the characters–why Annie was mad at her dad, why she and her mom just up and left to move to LA (I was expecting MUCH MORE), how they financially managed to live where they did and how they financially managed the ending (I can’t say because spoilers). It was just stupid.

Then there was the fact that Graham just kept doing stupid things, thinking he could get away with them as a major celebrity. The culmination of this was the one fucking idiotic thing he did that ruined everything. I saw it coming, it was laughable, it was predictable, and just no.

I had no issues with the romance like other readers did–frankly, I thought it was cute. But I had no emotional attachment to the characters whatsoever, so this book really did nothing for me, and books that make my emotions feel flat are not going to get high marks from me. I need to feel something to like a book. I REALLY need to feel something to love a book.

Minor good things?

It was humorous at times, and I really appreciated the author’s attempt at humor. It is clear that she knows the movie industry, because that part of it felt very realistic. I also loved Annie’s relationship with her mother and how her mother stood by her through her choices. Good parenting for the win.

I probably wouldn’t recommend this one. It’s not horrible, but it’s not good either. Obviously I always want the reader to decide for themselves. But I think the book I linked to up above with the same trope is a much better selection, and way more happy-making than this one.

Kara Sig Plant

One response to “Book Review: Map to the Stars

  1. I’ve seen this one around a lot but I’ve never actually considered it. I really don’t like the cover because it looks so much like The Fault in Our Stars with the font and the color scheme. Anyway, this is the first review I’ve seen of this book and it looks like I’ll probably avoid it too.
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