Sunday, December 4, 2011

Famous by Todd Strasser

Goodreads Description: "All Jamie Gordon wants to do is to take pictures of celebrities...and maybe to become famous herself. She's only fourteen, but already her pictures are sought after by fanzines and websites, and she's invited to all the best parties. And now she has the chance of a lifetime. She has been invited to spend a week with Willow Twine, taking pictures of the teen superstar's new chaste life. But when Jamie gets her hands on some sensational shots of Willow, she's suddenly in over her head. The pictures could make her career...and destroy Willow's. Everybody seems to want to get their hands on the photos, and Jamie has to decide what she really wants...and what she's willing to pay to get it."

My Review: I did not like this book very much, From the synopsis, I thought I was going to love it---I thought it was going to a funny and touching story about fame, like Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway...but what I got instead was a chaotic mess of different story lines and viewpoints told from different moments in the present and past and absolutely no character-building at all. To start with, I could NOT figure Jamie out at all---she seemed nice enough...yet she pointlessly disobeyed her mother because she wanted to be a paparazzi. She didn't even seem like a teenager rebelling; it just seemed like the author went, Oh, teens are rebellious, so I should have her fight with her mom some, and threw some awkward confrontations in there. She acted like she cared about what happened between her and her boyfriend...but they had no chemistry. They were like strangers, and I had no idea why they were together. And she seemed like she cared about her older brother, who had a crippling disease---but he was barely part of the story, had maybe a few lines dedicated to him. Many different storylines were going on at once---such as the one about her best friend's struggle to be famous---and none of them really seemed to fit together. The story was told through POVs, emails, police forms, letters, etc---and this was enjoyable...except for two things: 1) I could not figure out what was going on or who was who, and 2) Each chapter was a different period in time, jumping randomly around a space of two years, so I was VERY confused. Some plot lines just bored me---like her best friend's---and some plot lines made me want to read more---such as Willow's stalker. But Strasser never devoted much time to ANY of the plot lines. All in all, a chaotic, disorganized book with unnecessary elements tossed in. It would have done better as just Jamie's present-day POV about her time with Willow, plain and simple.

Cover: The cover was honestly the only really cool thing about this book. It's simple yet cool. The word "famous" is written in the most awesome font and the picture of the teen girl taking the photo just looks epic.

Overall Grade: C-

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