Starring In The Movie Of My Life

( 11 )

Overview

Thirty-five-year-old Samantha acts without thinking. Her heart is huge while her sense of purpose is small; she's willing to fight for those she loves, but she's never learned to fight for herself. Eighteen-year-old Melody is cold and calculating, and she's driven by the desire to better herself. As these compelling yet deeply flawed women battle for the affections of twenty-five-year-old Nathan, he becomes increasingly confused and torn between them. Nathan is Melody's English teacher, and after he saves her ...
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Overview

Thirty-five-year-old Samantha acts without thinking. Her heart is huge while her sense of purpose is small; she's willing to fight for those she loves, but she's never learned to fight for herself. Eighteen-year-old Melody is cold and calculating, and she's driven by the desire to better herself. As these compelling yet deeply flawed women battle for the affections of twenty-five-year-old Nathan, he becomes increasingly confused and torn between them. Nathan is Melody's English teacher, and after he saves her from being raped, she becomes attached. Melody longs for the affection she's never felt, so she involves people in her self-invented drama, making sure she is at once the star and the director. Meanwhile, Samantha is newly married to Nathan. But Samantha has hang-ups about motherhood and lingering feelings for her ex. To make sense of the world, Sam relates her life to the themes of her favorite movies, while she independently makes a documentary to jump-start her non-existent film career. Stylistically influenced by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner, Starring in the Movie of my Life is told alternately from both Samantha's and Melody's points-of-view and relates two complete yet combined stories about love, acceptance, and redemption. It speaks to our universal desire to be saved by the ones we love, and the monumental effort required tosave ourselves. Laurel Osterkamp's first novel, Following My Toes, published by PMI Books, won the 2008 National Indie Book Award for Excellence (Chick Lit category). She drew on her experiences as a high school film studies and creative writing teacher as she wrote Starring in the Movie of my Life. Currently she lives in Minneapolis with her husband, son, and daughter, and is working on her third novel.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933826677
  • Publisher: Preventive Measures
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 26, 2012

    This novel was purely excellent! I really enjoyed reading it. Th

    This novel was purely excellent! I really enjoyed reading it. Throughout, I was thinking how this story was going to go; I was in the middle, and found this story to be unpredictable, which I liked, because this will make you turn the pages that much faster for more. There were many things I liked in this story, and one was definitely the films, which is of course a huge part in the characters, especially in Samantha's life. I just loved how different lovable films were referenced here. It was just wonderful, how they integrated in Sam's life, and how they can be seen as either a coping mechanism or just seen for the love of it, as studying/watching film is a passion; something I can relate with. So any movie lovers out there, I think this would be a good read for you.

    I think the story in general was very well written, and the characters were greatly developed. There's eighteen year old Melody who is manipulative, oh yes, very manipulative. At times I felt sorry for her, I really did, but then she does some nasty things, where I went back to disliking her. Samantha on the other side is thirty-five, and I would she say has lived and experienced more in her life, and I really liked reading her point of view. This story also includes Melody's point of view, of which I found intriguing, I must say. Osterkamp does a wonderful job distinguishing the voices, from a teenage girl to a married woman. I also found there to be realistic situations here, and how they can be relatable to others. The other characters, Nathan seems to be a genuine type of person, young, and ambitious in his career, but.... There was also Samantha's ex Collin, whom I thought was a complicated but fixable person, as he and Samantha have known each so long, but seem to still not work things out. Through helpful flashbacks, we read their rocky relationship. All in all, this was just quite wonderful, and yes, this is a novel I really Recommend!

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  • Posted June 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Samantha is married to Nathan Linden. She is also 10 years olde

    Samantha is married to Nathan Linden. She is also 10 years older than Nathan. Melody is 18 years old and a senior in high school. Nathan Linden is her teacher. Melody falls for Nathan or
    "Mr. L," after he saves her from being raped at a school dance. This is the story of their lives, and is told from alternating points of view between Samantha and Melody, each telling their own story. Samantha has her own issues, but she is very likable. She is still insecure in her relationship with Nathan, and the age difference bothers her, even if she won't admit it. On top of that, there are secrets about her past she hasn't told him about either, one being that Collin, the manager of the apartment complex they live in, is also her ex-husband. If that's not bad enough, Samantha still has feelings for Collin, even if she won't admit it. Melody on the other hand is extremely manipulative. She has grown up in a broken home with an alcoholic mother who has given her little if any affection. Melody plots and plans, and doesn't care who she hurts in the process, as long as she gets what she wants......and she wants Nathan Linden.


    I enjoyed this book. It was interesting hearing the story told from both Samantha and Melody's point of view. I liked Samantha, despite her hangups, she is a really good person, though quite impulsive. She harbors a lot of guilt from mistakes and situations in her past and she desperately tries to earn redemption for her mistakes. I really did not like Melody much. I felt sorry for her, but she was very conniving, even using her best friend to help her achieve her "5-step plan" to get Mr. Linden, and when that doesn't work out, she turns downright evil in her attempt at revenge. I was glad to see that she developed a conscience near the end of the book and did the right thing, and she had started to make better choices. I kind of felt sorry for Nathan, he kind of got the short end of the stick in everything. I really did like Collin, who despite everything that had happened, still loved Sam. I found their relationship both amusing and romantic. The characters in the book deal with real life issues, some of which are very difficult, and they all go through the process of growing and changing, as life's circumstances mold and shape them. Starring in the Movie of My Life was a very enjoyable read and it ended very well. The characters were believable and well written, and the issues they deal with are issues that most people can relate to in some way. I enjoyed Laurel Osterkamp's writing and look forward to reading more of her novels.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great read with a flawed characters!

    Starring in the Movie of My Life, goes back and forth between two females. At the beginning there doesn't seem to be any connection between the two. Samantha and Melody are two very different characters. Samantha is a 35 year old married woman who works at a video store. She is a great friend, who would do just about anything to help someone out and has a fantastic relationship with her father. She is flawed when it comes to her lack of direction for her future and still seems to carry a torch for her ex-boyfriend, Collin-who just happens to be the manager of the apartment complex where her and her husband live.

    Melody is a high school senior looking to escape her reality. Melody doesn't have much going on in the friend department. The one friend she has is Kelsey and Melody really is more interested in using her 'friend' than being a friend. Her relationship with her mother is dysfunctional to say the least and as the novel progresses the more manipulative Melody becomes.

    These two stories collide one night during a high school dance when Melody is almost raped. Her teacher Mr. Linden comes to Melody's rescue and she now has her heart set on attaining him. The only problem is, he is married to Samantha. Melody doesn't seem to think that is going to be much of a problem once she enacts her five point plan to make him hers. As Melody chips away at making Nate Linden hers, Samantha is going through her own real life drama with her friend in an accident and her dad with a medical issue. Sam's distractions and baggage makes Melody's plan all the more easier to implement.

    Starring in the Movie of My Life is a story of flawed characters looking to find happiness in their not so perfect lives. The book has dark moments and witty, fun moments. I never really connected to any of the main characters, but I could emphasize with their struggles. I loved how all the characters in the novel have flaws even one that I was expecting. Even the end was unexpected, in my mind. I didn't always know where the story was going to go and I found it refreshing. Let's be honest that is how real life works!

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  • Posted May 11, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I really enjoyed this book. The characters were complex and interesting and I never knew what they were going to do next. We are reading this in book club next month and I am looking forward to a lively discussion. I can't wait to read this author's next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2011

    Great for book clubs!

    While there was certainly a hero I was rooting for and an anti-hero that I wasn't, I found myself simultaneously frustrated and sympathizing with both of the main characters in this book, and that made it an extremely satisfying read. Melody was incredibly bright and had enough redeeming qualities that I didn't want to see her slide down the same selfish, self-destructive path as her alcoholic mother. How does a person who has never experienced a healthy relationship with anyone learn how to foster one? Sam was easy to love and had a generous soul but she was in a state of arrested development floating along, making impulsive decisions without introspection. This is an engaging tale of self-discovery and growth from both perspectives.

    After reading the book, I recommended it to my book club because both women were such compelling well-drawn characters, and everyone enjoyed the read!! I highly recommend reading "Starring in the Movie of My Life".

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  • Posted April 22, 2011

    Highly recommended!! A real treat.

    This is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. I did my best to stretch out my reading sessions because I really didn't want to finish it. Highly recommended!!

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    I Loved This Book

    The characters were well developed, and the story had me guessing what was coming next. At times it was funny, other times moving, but always kept me entertained.

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    I recommend this book!

    I read a nice review of "Starring . . ." in Midwest Book Reviews and was looking for something new to read over a three-day weekend. I always like to give new authors a try, and was impressed with the reviews of Ms. Osterkamp's previous book "Following My Toes." I was hooked in the plot and invested in the characters, especially Melody.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended!

    I stumbled upon a comment the author wrote on another site so I decided to see if it was available for my Nook. I am so glad it was. This book is well written and I couldnt put it down. The format the author uses really works well. I found myself having a love/hate feeling toward the two main female characters. I could even see this being made into a movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

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