Starring Me

Starring Me

4.2 15
by Krista McGee

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Kara McKormick is told she’s auditioning to star in a new teen variety show. It’s what she isn’t told that could change her life.

The feisty New Yorker moves to sunny Orlando to participate in a month-long audition, where she’ll live with nine other contestants and an eccentric housemother. Kara knows that the show already has a big


Kara McKormick is told she’s auditioning to star in a new teen variety show. It’s what she isn’t told that could change her life.

The feisty New Yorker moves to sunny Orlando to participate in a month-long audition, where she’ll live with nine other contestants and an eccentric housemother. Kara knows that the show already has a big-time celebrity lined up for the co-host, but she doesn’t know who it is.

Chad Beacon quickly rose to fame after winning America’s Next Star, but he doesn’t want his entire career to be about singing. There is so much more he wants to do—like act. The new variety show sounds like the perfect next step for him, but his parents want him to have a co-star who shares his faith since they’ll be spending so much time together.

Acting is high on Kara’s priority list. But a relationship with God? Not so much. But God is after Kara’s heart and He’s put people in her life who are showing her there’s far more to Christianity than rules and judgment.

And just when it seems that Kara’s going to have to give up her acting dream, God reveals that she may have a starring role after all—in a story so big only He could write it.

“Spunky chick meets dreamy boy and auditions for a teen version of Saturday Night Live. What’s not to love?” —Shannon Dittemore, author of Angel Eyes

“Ripe with the glitz and glamour of celebrity, the drive of ambition, and the angst of peer pressure, Starring Me is the perfect book for teenage girls.” —Nicole O’Dell, author of The Diamond Estates series

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7–11—Former reality show contestant and aspiring actress Kara McKormick, 17, has been chosen to participate in a monthlong audition to star in a new teen variety show with a secret celebrity cohost. The contestants are to live together while, unknown to them, their characters and religious qualities are being assessed as much as their acting abilities. Kara does not know that her potential costar is Chad Beacon, the America's Next Star winner, whom she can't stop thinking about since she met him at the White House with her friend Addy, who is in a relationship with the president's son. Chad is enamored of Kara, but because she is not a Christian, he can't see a future with her. Chad's devoted family assistant, Flora, goes undercover as the housemother to evaluate the girls' potential for the variety show and as a potential friend for Chad, and the relationship Kara forms with her is central to the plot development. Many people will root for Kara's conversion to Christianity and watch it unfold in an organic way. This story is well paced and easy to read. Scripts from Kara's many auditions are included. In general, this novel provides moral guidelines for youngsters in an increasingly reality-TV-filled world. The "Reading Group Guide" in the back matter states that the book is "loosely based on the story of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24."—Danielle Farinacci, Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, San Francisco, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Good things come to those who wait--and pray. Since winning America's Next Star, 17-year-old Chad Beacon is famous enough to call the shots when a network develops a clean, teen version of Saturday Night Live. Well, maybe Chad's not calling all of the shots yet. Since he will be spending so much time with his female co-star, his (presumably evangelical) Christian parents want to choose a Christian as his companion. A compromise is made: The network will narrow the talent pool to 10 girls, who will live together for a month while Chad's tutor (also described as a Christian) will serve as housemother and help with the selection. The third-person narration alternates between Chad and Kara McKormick, also 17 and a former reality-show star, who becomes one of the contenders. Although the two meet through mutual friends (including the president's son) and form an instant attraction, neither has any clue that they may be co-stars. And despite Kara's obvious distinction from her conniving fellow contenders, she may lose the role--and Chad--because she doesn't believe in God. Suddenly surrounded by believers and frightened by her dad's deteriorating health, a questioning Kara turns to God for support. Chad and Kara's outcome is predictable from the start, but their time spent being creative and typical teens in the context of their celebrity status keeps the narration fun for genre fans. (Christian chick-lit. 13 & up)

Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Starring Me

By Krista McGee

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Krista McGee
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-8492-1

Chapter One

I want my parents to pick my costar." Chad Beacon, current pop sensation, sank back in the leather chair.

Chad watched as the eight network executives sitting at the conference table stopped everything—stopped taking notes, stopped texting, stopped moving.

"Excuse me?" Samuel Dillard, the head of the new teen network, leaned closer to the table, his eyes tiny slits.

Dad folded his arms. "If our son is going to be spending several hours every day with a young woman, we want to decide who she'll be. We want to make sure she shares our faith and our values."

Dillard placed his palms flat on the mahogany table. "Mr. Beacon. We appreciate that you want to be involved in your son's career. We applaud that."

The others nodded their agreement before Dillard continued. "But this is a brand-new show on a brand-new network. We want Chad because he already has a fan base, but—"

"Quite a large one," Mom interrupted. "After winning America's Next Star, Chad's popularity has been growing. More than we know how to handle, to be honest."

"That's for sure." Chad thought back to his time on the popular TV show. Two years before, he had competed against hundreds of other young people to be chosen by millions of viewers as America's Next Star.

"You wouldn't believe how many shirts I've had ripped off—not that I wanted that. I tried to stop them, but holding one side of my T-shirt while a Hulk-sized girl is on the other, well ..." Chad looked at his parents, both sending him "Shut your big mouth" stares. "Not the time for this conversation, right. Sorry. Go on."

"Actually, this is exactly why we're willing to discuss this show in the first place," Dad said. "Chad is being pulled in directions we don't want him pulled in. He's just seventeen. We don't want him to give up his childhood yet."

"But we do want him to be able to do what he loves." Mom placed a hand on her husband's arm.

Dillard relaxed back in his seat. "Then we want the same thing. Chad is a talented young man—we've seen that. And I know his albums have sold well."

"Quite well," Dad affirmed. "But he wants to explore his other gifts as well."

"That's where we agree wholeheartedly. Those of us here at Teens Rock want him to be able to use all of his talents. Not just singing, but acting, comedy; we're even willing to give him creative license when we begin writing the episodes."

"Now that's what I'm talking about." Chad spoke directly to Mr. Dillard. "Singing is fun, don't get me wrong. But I don't want to be just a singer."

"And we don't want that either, Chad." Mr. Dillard's broad smile made him look like the Joker from Batman.

"We appreciate that," Mom said. "But Chad is still a teenage boy. The wrong kind of girl playing opposite him in this show could create more temptation than we want him to have to face."

"Perhaps." Dillard shrugged. "But we are interested in putting together a show that will be successful. You'll be around the set. You can help him if his costar is too ... tempting."

"This is nonnegotiable." Dad shook his head. "We choose his costar or Chad will not do the show."

"This network may be new"—Dillard's voice echoed in the cavernous conference room—"but we're financed by one of the largest networks in the country. We've already got producers and actors lined up at our door. Advertisers are battling each other for sponsorship privileges."

"We've done our homework." Dad placed his elbows on the table, hands clasped. "We know all about Teens Rock. We like the idea of it. But we also know you need a popular young teen star to help get this show off the ground."

"Look." Dillard seemed like a deflated balloon. "We always do a thorough background check on the girls who audition."

Another executive turned toward the Beacons. "And we have a zero-tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol already in place."

"That's wonderful," Dad said. "But we want more than a young woman without a criminal background who isn't addicted to drugs or alcohol."

"That's not what she was implying."

"We're not trying to be difficult, Mr. Dillard." Mom looked at him and smiled. "But we take our responsibility as parents very seriously."

"That's an understatement." Chad winked at his mom.

"Enough." Dillard lifted his hand. "We understand your position. I think we need a few minutes to discuss it. Privately."

Samuel Dillard stood and walked to the large door, ushering Chad and his parents out of the room. They walked back to the lobby of the Teens Rock office.

"So, what do you think they'll decide?" Chad asked. The lobby was decorated to look like what he imagined the overpriced designers believed was the bedroom of an American teenager: splatter paint on the walls, retro furniture, and gumball machines sitting on a lime green shag rug.

Dad eased himself into an oversized beanbag chair and groaned. "I hope they'll decide to get real furniture in here. Beanbags and sixty-eight-year-old bones do not mix."

Mom held her husband's hand as he helped her into another of the beanbag chairs.

Chad looked at his parents. When Bill Beacon met and married Maria over forty years before, they became Christians and committed to raise a large family that loved their Savior. But that dream faded as years went by and Maria couldn't conceive. Finally, when the couple thought their chances were gone, God gave them a son.

"We have prayed over this decision," Mom said. "If God wants you on that show, you know he'll work it out."

Chad leaned against the wall beside them. "And what if he doesn't?"

"Sweetie." Mom reached for his hand. "Do you want it if God doesn't?"

"But this show sounds so perfect. I mean, come on, a teen version of Saturday Night Live? Me and the mystery girl hosting, with teen stars joining the cast every week for different sketches? I'd get to sing, act, even write some of my own stuff. I can't think of anything that would be more fun than that."

"You didn't answer my question."

"Mom." Chad groaned. "I want God to want this."

"I know." Mom gave him a sympathetic smile. "And God knows your heart. Even better than you do. And if this doesn't work out, that just means he has something even greater planned for you."

"So you don't think it's going to work out?"

"I don't know what's going to happen." Mom squeezed his hand before releasing it. "But if they come back and insist on their own choice for your costar, then we'll have to walk away."

"I'm not a kid." Chad ran a hand through his blond hair. "I was with tons of girls on America's Next Star, and hardly any of them were Christians. I handled that all right."


Excerpted from Starring Me by Krista McGee Copyright © 2012 by Krista McGee. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

When Krista McGee isn't living in fictional worlds of her own creation, she lives in Tampa and spends her days as a wife, mom, teacher, and coffee snob. She is also the author of Anomaly , First Date , Starring Me , and Right Where I Belong . Twitter: @KristaMcGeeYAFacebook: krista.a.mcgee

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Starring Me 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
TheAddLibrarian More than 1 year ago
First, let me just say that I love how "Starring Me by Krista McGee" rhymes. Cute! Sorry. I loved Kara in McGee's first book, First Date. She was the highlight of the book for me. (Read my review here.) We get plenty of her trademark sass in Starring Me, but we also get to see her deeper side and qualities. She's loyal, dedicated and kind. I also loved Flora, the housemother that Kara bonds with. Both First Date and Starring Me are loosely based on the bible characters of Esther and Rebekah. But in cool way. I really love the tv reality show gimmick. There's an "insider" feel to the descriptions of the filming and rehearsals that's really fun. A great read for younger teens. I recieved a eBook copy of this title through NetGalley.
girlsmama More than 1 year ago
Starring Me, Krista McGee’s second offering in the YA genre follows well behind “First Date” as a charming and very age appropriate YA novel aimed at young teen girls and at the young at heart. Following in the footsteps of the reality TV show gig, Starring Me centers around the charming character of 17 year old Kara McKormick who readers will remember as Addy Davidson’s best girlfriend from her first book. But this time the spot light is all on Kara and her own shot at staring in a new up and coming teen show along the lines of a teen versioned Saturday Night line and what Kara doesn’t know is that if she were to get this shot, she would be co-starring with none other than Chad Beacon, an instant teen pop star who soared to popularity by winning America’s Next Star. But here’s the deal, Chad’s parents are loving and protective and wants to make sure that his co-star isn’t just any girl and aspiring starlet, but one that has integrity , character and that they hope shares their Christian faith as well since their son would be spending so much time with this girl. So the family hatches a plan to put their beloved housekeeper undercover as a sort of “house mother” living in with the girls that get chosen to be the top ten girls vying for the shot at this show and going through a grueling audition process. Their housekeeper “Flora” is very flamboyant and so many girls show their true colors around her which helps Flora really see which girl is the best girl. Kara has all the right qualities except the most important one- she does not believe in God. Kara gets to know Chad a little bit through his friendship with Jonathon who happens to be the President’s son and the guy who is seeing her best friend Addy. There is an instant connection between the two and a friendship starts to grow. As the story unfolds it takes the reader on another sweet story about faith, relationships and what is the most important thing in the end- faith, family and love. As a mother of teen girls I can recommend Krista McGee’s books with confidence knowing that they are sweet and yet carry a message that I hope will make a teenage girl think with regards to her relationships in life and her standing with God. My only bit of criticism might be that I felt the “audition scripts” were a bit too young and perhaps corny for me to believe they would be used in a program designed for teens. But that is being pretty nit-picky and a very minor part of the story. Overall, another great read to recommend to your daughters! 4 Stars I was graciously provided with a digital copy of this book by the publisher through the Netgalley program in exchange for an honest, non-biased review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Cupcakegirly More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for sending me this e-galley through their Book Sneeze program. Starring Me is a fun, refreshing read about a girl as feisty as her red hair, a cute boy and the chance of a lifetime. This story is loosely based on the biblical story of Issac and Rebekah and is a companion novel to McGee's debut, First Date, (where we first meet Kara). Kara McCormick was born to perform and while she didn't win the boy on The Book of Love, she came away with an even better prize in her new best friend Addy. The girls have a lot in common but the one thing they don't share is Addy's belief in God. Kara doesn't see the need for Him in her life even though she's seen Him work in Addy's. All that changes when Kara gets the chance to audition for a new teen sketch comedy show, convinced it's her ticket to making her dreams come true. When things don't go as smoothly as she expected, she'll discover that God works in our lives whether we acknowledge Him or not. Kara also gets a lesson about what's really important and the meaning of real love - the kind that's all consuming and never ending. I thoroughly enjoyed Kara! She's straightforward, selfless and laugh-out-loud funny. She shows integrity and an openness to what Addy and several others have to say. There's a sweetness to the friendship she develops with Chad and parents of younger readers have nothing to worry about. The idea of courtship; not dating until you're serious about finding a lifelong partner is addressed with Kara and Addy discussing the pros and cons of bouncing from one relationship to the next. Krista McGee is one of the few Christian authors I've found who is able to share a message of love, forgiveness and grace without sounding preachy or cheesy. McGee's characters are believable and relateable. I'm a Christian and I don't enjoy reading stories where everything is over the top or with characters who are too "perfect". There's also a Q&A in the back for small groups or book club discussions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so good and very inspirational! I didn,nt realize it was a sequel but it wasn't confusing. I loved it!
Novel_Teen_Book_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Chad Beacon isn’t your average Hollywood heartthrob. Sure, he won the show America’s Next Star, but as he and his parents negotiate his next big contract, a teen skit show that’s similar to Saturday Night Live, his parents want to make sure that his co-star shares his faith. The compromise? A family friend—and a great judge of character—volunteers to play housemother to the top ten finalists, and she will choose Chad’s co-star. Kara wants to be an actor, so when she gets a callback to audition for a teen skit show, she is thrilled, moving to Orlando to where the competition will be filmed. But how can she stand a chance at winning when she’s the only one without an agent? And why does it seem like everyone around her is talking about God? Cute story! And another fictional addition that jumps on the reality TV craze. It reads similar to a romance novel, bouncing between Chad and Kara’s points of view. This book is a spin off from First Date, and Chad and Kara are friends with Jonathan and Addy, the main characters from that story. McGree’s characters are have great dialogue and interactions. This story was loosely based on Isaac and Rebekah’s relationship, which makes it all the more fun. If you haven’t discovered Krista McGee yet, I suggest you waste no more time. Fun stuff.
TheRomanceBookie22 More than 1 year ago
I was given an ARC of Starring Me by Krista McGee via Netgalley a couple of months ago. I read Krista's first novel First Date (Review Here!) back in January, and thought it was a very cute story. So when I saw Krista's second novel Starring Me on Netgalley I didn't hesitate to request it right away! Then when I was contacted by the publisher this past week, to possibly take into consideration of reviewing this book, I couldn't resist! So as soon as I finished my last book, I picked up my beautiful lovely Kindle, and started reading. Starring Me was released on July 10th, and is the story of Kara. Kara was Addy's roommate in First Date, and while both Addy and Kara didn't win the date with the President's son, Addy did win the President's son's heart, and Kara has just been given the chance of a life time! The chance to be the star of a new Comedy teen Variety show! In competition with nine other girls, Kara is forced to endure one very unpleasant cast member from Book of Love the show she met Addy on. Anna Grace is as terrible as before, but sometimes even worse. But what Kara doesn't know is that she already knows who her co-star is, unintentionally though. You see none of the ten girls actually knows who their co-star is going to be. But Kara has already met him, through Addy and Jonathon (the President's son/and Addy's boy(friend)). Chad Beacon got his fame two years earlier on a singing competition TV show. Since then, he's been recording, touring, greeting crazy fans, and learning what it's like to be a star. However, he feels it's time for something different. The TV show is just what he thinks he needs. And with the help of his parents, he persuades the TV studio to work out a way that his costar is a nice Christian gal with a kind heart, one whom Chad can see himself getting close with. What Chad hadn't anticipated was not being able to get that tall red-head out of his head, Kara McKormick. But the problem is, she isn't a Christian! Will her parents (namely, her mother) be able to over look this? Will Kara be able to handle the stress of the show? Will her cast mates ever stop being so rude? And why does an actress/actor HAVE to have an agent, to make it big?? Will Kara find out that Chad may be closer than she thought? Will Kara find God through her friends? Find out in Starring Me by Krista McGee. I will say this book, like Krista's first novel First Date, deals with the Christianity faith A LOT! And while, I personally am not a religious person, I found it enduring and beautiful how dedicated someone can be to their faith. I enjoyed this story, I thought it was a very light easy, cute read, and I recommend it to anyone who has a strong faith, or something just looking for a fun easy read! :) The Romance Bookie :)
Shatterbooks More than 1 year ago
When I saw this on NetGalley, I thought I would like to read about a girl trying to get in a teen variety show. I seems like a good read. I decided to read this book because I been reading a lot of paranormal romance books. I thought this would be a great book. In the beginning was about Chad and his parents trying to agree with the producer about picking the costar for Chad's T.V. show. His parents wanted to choose the girl. His parents wanted a girl who was Christian. The producer wasn't to fond of the idea but he made it work. The idea was to hold an audition for the girls who wanted to be on the T.V show. They decided to keep the secret about Chad being the star on the show because they wanted girls who were good at acting and singing rather then just wanting to just meet Chad. After the audition, they would choose 50 or so girls, then narrow it down to 10. When there are 10 girls picked. Chad's grandma would be staying with the girls for a month and will be picking the girl by her personality not by her talents. Well Chad is famous because he won the 'American's Next Star'. He's a great singer but this time he wants to be an actor. He's the guy that teen girls would fall for. Pretty much like Justin Bieber. He's blond and tall. He's Christian. He obeys his parents like a loyal son. I hate how he always listen to his parents. It gets annoying sometimes because stuff like that rarely happens in real life. He also hasn't dated anyone yet. He wants the first girl to be perfect and be his wife. Kara is one of the girls who is auditioning for the T.V show. She has a friend name Addy. Kara meet her at a show called The Book of Love. They were both trying to get a date to prom with the President's son. They didn't win. They get along really well. I feel like Kara is so boring... Overall the book was okay. I did enjoy the book in the beginning but the ending was really slow. I would talk more about this book but I feel like it's just all negative things. This book is about God and trying to connet with him through hard times. I didn't enjoy it as much but it's alright.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kara McKormick wants to be a star! She's a seventeen-year-old girl who is known for being a contestant on "The Book of Love" which you can read about in Krista's first novel, "First Date". In this novel, Kara tries out for a variety show, "Teens Rock". Unbeknownst to the ten girls who are competing against each other, they must impress their housemother, Flora. When "America's Next Star", Chad Beacon, decides to take on acting, his parents demand his co-star be a Christian, Flora, their assistant, poses as the girls' housemother. This was such an amazing book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! There was more to this novel than the average "follow your dreams"; the story had a clear, Christian message, and I loved that Krista wasn't afraid to express Christianity in this novel. I also loved the relationships in this novel: Kara & Addy, Kara & Chad, Chad & Jonathon, and Addy & Jonathon). Despite the fact that this novel was loosely based on the story of Issac and Rebekah in Genesis 24, it wasn't overly relegious; it was still fun, enjoyable, and showcased struggles without jamming one's beliefs down your throat. I love reading a good Christian book every once in awhile, because it relaxes, strengthens, and grounds me; it's a reminder of my faith. I think everyone should read this novel, even if you're not a believer; it puts things in perspective for you!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once you start it, you do not want to put it down. It is second in the trilogy, so I would suggest reading "First Date" first, then this one, then "Right Where I Belong". All GREAT books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was great to finally read a book without inappropriate material, and was a great light christian romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This a great story on 2 teens with totally different back rounds. They both love God and both want to have the spotlight. It is a captivating, interesting, and cute novel!! It will suck you right in!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." Starring Me is a fun, refreshing read about a feisty girl who can't wait to be a star, a cute famous boy and the chance of a lifetime. This book is a sequel to Krista McGee's First Date, which is where we are first introduced to Kara McCormick. Kara McCormick was born to be a star. We first met Kara (in McGee's First Date book) when she was on the show "The Book of Love," where she met her new best friend Addy. While they are a lot alike, they differ on one thing - Addy's belief in God. Kara thinks her life is just fine without God in it, but even she had to admit the effect God has on Addy. When Kara gets the chance to audition for a new teen sketch comedy show, her dreams have finally come true. However, when the going gets tough, she finally starts to see that God is always there, whether we want Him to be or not. She also learns very important lessons about life and love. I enjoyed reading about Kara and her personality was awesome. She is so open to hearing about God from Addy and several others. The friendship she develops with Chad is something that is not found in many young adult books these days. Dating - in this book - is addressed seriously through the eyes of a Christian. The dialogue of Addy and Kara discussing relationships is a refreshing change from most books. I have really enjoyed every Krista McGee books that I had read. She can share the message from God and not be too pushy. The characters are down to earth and people that you feel like you can relate to. I can't wait to see what she writes next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disincentive More than 1 year ago
I will be honest right now – I grabbed this book from Netgalley by accident. Do I regret it? No. Really. I should have started with telling I’m Christian by myself, but I’m not really a strict one. I don’t care too much about religion. I didn’t expect myself to like religious fiction actually – books like that seem to be boring and kind of plastic to me – unreal. Something good happens – God wanted it to be like this. Something bad happened – God wanted it to be like that too. Starring me is connected with First date book, it’s a little like a sequel. I haven’t read any other book by this author but it was still okay with me – I think it’s not required to read First date to understand Starring me. We a have handsome boy, a singer (one of those teen stars who are popular because they are popular). He is perfect of course, as perfect as a person could be. I labeled him BORING and UNNATURAL at start. He’s going to have his own show but needs another new “star”. And here starts the fun. His parents let him play only with a Christian girl – because only a Christian girl can be good for his son, right? It seemed like one big parody of Christianity at the beginning. It bothered me so much that I was about to delete this e-book and give up on reviewing. All was about convincing Kara that Christianity is the only good choice. Pretty bothering. But I continued reading… And oh, Narnia opened to me. Author has amazing writing style and she makes the story intriguing even if the ending is really predictable. Last pages were so amazing and when it ended… I wanted more. To sum up, it has some disadvantages like annoying, unnatural characters but… It still has this SOMETHING I look for in books. Looks like I shouldn’t have judged the book by its first pages… So I recommend it to young adults, Christians or not. It doesn’t matter. This book is simply good!