Publisher: Pocket Star
E-book 250 pages
Received from Publisher for review
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Goodreads-With a major crush on an adorable pop star, annoying younger siblings, and a mom and stepdad who are too strict, Estella Blanchard is a typical teenage girl-except that her daily struggles are plotlines on the reality show Seven Is Heaven, which relentlessly documents her life as the older half-sister of sextuplets. Estella's an Oscar-worthy actress at hiding her true feelings from the camera.I don't remember requesting this one, but somehow I got it. And so, I read it. It was a quick read and very light. Not too deep, but enjoyable.
However, she can't outrun the spotlight when she receives a Christmas present from her biological father...who died ten years ago under mysterious circumstances. Blamed for this "sick prank," Estella is placed in an unorthodox support group for troubled child stars-including a twenty-three-year-old has-been, a backstabbing drama queen, and a super-cute (but very off-limits) boy bander. And, as weird as the group is, when a creepy paparazzo starts stalking her, claiming that her dad is actually alive, Estella's going to need their help to uncover the truth and stay alive.
Characters- Estella is the 16 yr old daughter and sister of sextuplets. She's a sweet sister, caring that one of her sisters, 6 yr old Gracie still wets the bed in the middle of the night. Gracie runs to Estella's room for help and Estella changes her sheets and washes them in the middle of the night all without anyone knowing so that Gracie doesn't get yelled at, on camera, by their mother. Such is the life of a reality star. She knows the personality of each of her brothers and sisters and has a tender heart when it comes to watching them being used and extorted for ratings. She tries to protect them. She knows that secrets are being kept from her and feels like she can't trust anyone. There isn't quite enough depth to her to really make a big impression on us. But you'll like the way she treats and protects her siblings.
Mom- A bit fame hungry, seems zoned out through most of the story. She doesn't believe anything Estella says when things happen and Estella denies she did it. She seems to only be interested in how things look on t.v. Even the children suffer under her detachment. She redeems herself a bit in the end.
Barry (Stepdad)- Producer of numerous reality shows and father of the sextuplets. Seems to be a caring man, but it never quite reaches his eyes if you know what I mean. He seems to have very little to do with the kids.
Steve- Bodyguard, the only one that Estella has ever trusted. He's been with them since the kids were born. They have a rocky relationship.
Jake- a teen boy band member who Estella falls in love with way too quickly
Dylan- 20 something washed up child star who is probably one of the most genuine people in the entire book.
The World- Honestly, reality t.v. is probably the most non real t.v. there is. I don't watch it. Ever. I like my drama in books. Anyway, the world is reality t.v. Almost every moment of their waking day, this family is on film. There are supposed rooms that are off limits, but even those seem to be being filmed when Estella investigates. When not being filmed, Estella has to attend counseling with fellow child actors at TMTS led by a former child actor himself. And then, if she can slip away, Estella is searching for proof that her father is still alive. Paparazzi, teen stars, autographs, screaming fans, disguises, clandestine meetings, all part of the world.
The Story- Estella is being led to believe that her father is still alive by a truly despicable man, the lowest of the paparazzi. Yet, rather than take pictures of her crying about the news he's giving her, he puts his camera away and gives her clues. She uses some of her therapy group to help her with her investigation. She's arrested, a friend is shot. They find out what her dad was involved in. She goes viral on You-Tube. All sorts of things go on, but they follow a logical sequence.
My thoughts- There is really no depth to this story and the lack of that leaves me feeling a bit so so about the whole thing. My characters need depth and layers and to show growth. I really like the way Estella treated her siblings and that was about all I could say about her. There wasn't a lot of development after that. She was in love with Jake after one group counseling session that lasted less than one hour and he had a girlfriend! Too Fast! And he was on board with it by the third day, I think.
After he broke up with the girlfriend. (I know the magic of Hollywood). There is the suspension of belief and then there is I'm just not buying this. Most of it leaned toward the I'm just not buying this.
But, if you can suspend belief easier than me in your contemporaries, you'll enjoy this fast paced novel.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher for review. Regardless, my opinions and thoughts about the novel were not influenced by this.