29 April 2010

Review: SPOTLIGHT by Ilana Fox *****

A fallen star. A runaway bride. They're about to be pitted against each other by a very powerful man.
Madison Miller has everything - beautiful, talented and just a little bit naive; she's the small-town girl who swept to victory on America's hottest talent show to become the nation's sweetheart. She's also head-over-heels in love with the man who's masterminded her career - the head-spinningly powerful, lethally attractive Beau Silverman. But there's trouble in paradise...
Jess has bolted from her approaching wedding and a dead-end job in London to chase dreams of being a fashion designer in New York. But she's finding life in the Big Apple tough, until she meets a man who makes her an offer she can't refuse. It means a taste of a life she's never had - glamorous parties, paparazzi, haute couture - but at what price?
Sweeping from the hotspots of LA to the coolest bars of New York, SPOTLIGHT cuts a gloriously fun swathe through the world of celebrity and glamour, with a page-turning story at its heart.
Having loved Ms Fox's debut, The Making of Mia, I could not wait to get my hands on her second book, Spotlight, which is actually OUT TODAY! I got my ARC a while ago and as irresistable as it was, I decided to save it and read it closer to the release date. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down! I loved pretty much everything about this book so I hardly know where to begin praising it, heh!

Firstly, the plot was gripping! Okay, I'll be the first to admit that it was slightly far fetched, but it was still a fantastic read!
We have two girls, one ex-stripper turned mega popstar (Madison) and a runaway bride from the UK (Jessica). What they have in common is that they were both manipulated by the same man - Beau Silverman, the music mogul and a ruthless businessman. He's the owner of a music company and a talent show Teen Star USA, and he's determined to produce the best popstars ever, no matter the cost. After winning Teen Star, Madion becomes a worldwide superstar and a massive celebrity overnight. After the press get wind of her relationship with Beau, the latter gets furious and blames her for putting their careers at stake. Consquently, he bans Madison from her pre-tour appearances, almost imprisons her, and finds another girl to represent her - Jessica. He manipulates her into thinking that by posing as Madion's double, she'd only be helping her, and Jessica can't help but buy his lies ...
I was really quite gripped by the story and kept wondering what will happen when the truth comes out ... There were indeed a few twists & turns and the ending was nicely dramatic too, I loved how things were wrapped up and the story itself was honestly fantastic. I loved reading about the glamourous showiz world as well as about what really goes on behind the scenes - I do wonder where the author got all the inside scoop. ;)

On top of the great plot, the book also features a strong set of characters. The one that really stands out on the negative is Beau, the ruthless music mogul. He is incredibly manipulative and evil and just overall a horrible, selfish person. However, he can also be the most charming man on the planet and he's a very talented liar so he can easily wrap people (especially women) around his finger. I thought both of his sides were portrayed really well and thus he made a great antagonist - goodness knows I wouldn't like to mess with him, heh.
Then we also have the two girls, Madison and Jessica. At the beginning of the book, they're both shy and naive, and I was slightly annoyed by how doormat-y they both were around Beau at first - but I suppose I can't really blame them as he really was a master schemer and knew which strings to pull. But later on, both girls become stronger and learned to stand on their own two feet. I grew rather fond of them and admired them for how they solved their seemingly hopeless situation.

The writing itself doesn't particularly stand out, but it's fitting enough and makes the novel very easy to read. What definitely stands out though is the gooorgeous cover, which I absolutely love and I'd definitely pick it up in a book shop.

In conclusion, I thought this was a fantastic light read, set in the showbiz world, with a gripping plotline and great characters. Not typical chick lit, but definitely recommended if you're looking for some escapism!

overall rating:
plot: 5/5 | writing: 4/5 | characters: 5/5 | cover: 5/5


Nina said...

Great enthusiastic review! :)
The cover looks way too cute, I havent read anything from this author and chicklit isn't my favourite genre but I may give the first book a try. I read the summary and it sounds awesome.

Great review for this book, the characters sound really fun. I mean you got a runaway brid and a ex-stripper/popster.

Chloe said...

I loved this one as well! Great review :)


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Ooo the dress! Too cute.

Rhiana said...

Great review...I LOVE the sound of this, and I agree the cover is gorgeous!

Naomi Stern said...

Have just read this book, loved it!!

gurlwholuvsreading302 said...

Hi great review!!
P.S, I LOVE your website design, since I noticed you follow my blog I'd thought I would check out yours! It's really cool!

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