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Starstruck
     

Starstruck

3.8 6
by Rachel Shukert
 

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A new series set in the golden age of glam . . . 

“Wit, pluck, darkness, pitch perfect period details, juicy twists, and big heart. This book is one to savor.”—Anna Godbersen, New York Times bestselling author of the Luxe and Bright Young Things series

Every week they arrive in Los Angeles—beautiful and

Overview

A new series set in the golden age of glam . . . 

“Wit, pluck, darkness, pitch perfect period details, juicy twists, and big heart. This book is one to savor.”—Anna Godbersen, New York Times bestselling author of the Luxe and Bright Young Things series

Every week they arrive in Los Angeles—beautiful and talented young hopefuls who dream of becoming stars. It's all Margaret Frobisher has ever wanted—and when she's discovered by a powerful agent, she can barely believe her luck. She's more than ready to escape her snobby private school and conservative Pasadena family for a chance to light up the silver screen.

The competition is fierce at Olympus Studios and Margaret—now Margo—is chasing her Hollywood dreams alongside girls like Gabby Preston, who at 16 is already a grizzled show-biz veteran caught between the studio and the ravenous ambition of her ruthless mother, and sultry Amanda Farraday, who seems to have it all—ambition, glamour . . . and dirty secrets. Missing from the pack is Diana Chesterfield, the beautiful actress who mysteriously disappeared, and there are whispers that Diana's boyfriend—Margo's new co-star—may have had something to do with it. Margo quickly learns that fame comes with a price, and that nothing is what it seems.   

Set in Old Hollywood, Starstruck follows the lives of three teen girls as they live, love, and claw their way to the top in a world where being a star is all that matters.

“Valley of the Dolls for a new generation.”—a TeenVogue.com  ‘Read During Spring Break’ selection

“If you're into T.V. dramas like Smash, or love the over-the-top fashion of The Great Gatsby, Starstruck will have you hooked!”—a Seventeen.com  ‘What to Read This Summer’ selection

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set during the 1930s, this scintillating series opener shines the spotlight on three very different Hollywood hopefuls. Pasadena debutante Margaret Frobisher is discovered at a lunch counter and transforms into Olympus Studios' newest star, Margo Sterling; Gabby Preston spent her childhood performing vaudeville and now takes dangerous drugs to lose weight in her quest for a leading role; and redheaded bombshell Amanda Farraday hopes to hide her not-so-distant past as a paid escort. Through alternating chapters, the protagonists struggle with a controlling studio that dictates their wardrobe, diet, and romantic interests as they pursue the elusive dream of celebrity. Adult author Shukert, in her first book for teens, embeds a mystery at the heart of it all: where did glamorous Diana Chesterfield, the studio's biggest star, disappear to the night of her movie premiere? The characters are types, and Shukert doesn't shy from melodramatic writing ("They melted into each other's arms.... She couldn't tell where she ended and he began"), but this all fits well with the book's film backdrop. Readers will gladly immerse themselves in the almost mythological setting of Hollywood's Golden Age. Ages 12–up. Agent: Rebecca Friedman, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
TeenVogue.com, March 11, 2013:
"This author's razor-sharp writing has been published by high-brow publications like Salon and McSweeney's, and she maintains that same wit and humor in her first foray into YA. About Old Hollywood starlets in varying stages of professional success, think of this as Valley of the Dolls for a new generation."

Seventeen.com, March 29, 2013:
"Why we're buzzing about it: Rachel Shukert's Starstruck is not a typical Hollywood tale. This novel is filled with glamour and ambition, but it has tons of drama and mystery, too."

The Huffington Post, March 6, 2013:
"
As a blogger, playwright, and the author of two memoirs, Rachel Shukert has already proven herself to be one of the most hilarious and talented writers ever, forever. But  Starstruck is epic and expert in a new way...The result is witty, breathtaking, and a priceless addition to both the young adult and historical genre."

HelloGiggles.com, March 9, 2013:
"I completely fell in love with it. If you’re a fan of old Hollywood, glamour, drama or just good writing, chances are you’ll love it, too... Starstruck is an insanely compelling read, and not just because it’s fun and exciting and glamorous (although it is all of those things). I’m not a huge old Hollywood buff, but Rachel Shukert includes so many details about the culture and time period that it’s impossible not to get sucked in."

The Atlantic Wire, January 3, 2013:
"Old Hollywood plus Y.A.,like a Laura Lamont for the teen-reader set."

Publishers Weekly, March 25, 2013:
"Set during the 1930s, this scintillating series opener shines the spotlight on three very different Hollywood hopefuls...Readers will gladly immerse themselves in the almost mythological setting of Hollywood's Golden Age."

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2013:

"Shukert's foray into the teen market is well-plotted and carefully nuanced; historical details are crisp and vivid without being too obtuse; the narrative is tight and masterful, mixing just the right amount of cattiness and salaciousness with secrets that reveal themselves one after another. The result is a compulsively readable piece sure to appeal to fans of Anna Godbersen and Judy Blundell...Historical fiction that's both smart and sassy."

Booklist, April 15, 2013:
"This is part Valley of the Dolls, part Modern Screen magazine, and lots of fun. The tropes are hoary—the evils of Hollywood, the bad girl trying to hide her past for the love of a good man—but they’ll be new to many teenage readers. A surprise ending (a real surprise) is over the top in the best possible way."

School Library Journal, May 2013:
"The Golden Age of Hollywood–and its gritty underside–is captured with real flair in this novel...this novel evokes late-1930s Hollywood with panache. Characters are well drawn, representing common archetypes but with a twist. Bound to appeal to fans of Anna Godbersen and Judy Blundell."

DuJour.com, March 12, 2013:
"Starstruck reads like a smarter, more real Valley of the Dolls...As with all satisfying novels, the worst part of Starstruck is that it comes to an end."

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April 2013:
"Shukert has enough historical and contextual knowledge to give satisfying depth to the froth in this cinematic sudser...Readers who adore the black and white selections in their Netflix queue will eat this up like popcorn."

 “Wit, pluck, darkness, pitch-perfect period details, juicy twists, and big heart. This book is one to savor."—Anna Godbersen, New York Times bestselling author of the Luxe and Bright Young Things series

"Thrilling, superb, and dizzyingly glamorous . . .  I was completely 'starstruck!'"—Jillian Larkin, author of The Flappers

Children's Literature - Bonita Herold
Against all odds, Margaret Frobisher gets discovered when she skips school one afternoon. When the starstruck seventeen-year-old from Pasadena, California undergoes a screen test against her parents' wishes, Margaret's nerves cause her to fail miserably—until the appearance of the perfect leading man. Failing to come to grips with her conservative family's point-of-view and their unreasonable demand that she choose between family and stardom, she does the unthinkable—leaves. She finds life in Hollywood to be totally different from what she had imagined. Yes, it is thrilling—but the endless task of reinventing herself as Margo Sterling is tiring, boring, and confusing. Worst of all, though, are the secrets people keep: the lies, the drugs, the cover-ups. Shukert fleshes out her characters to the point that readers will expect sequels. What happens to Amanda now that Harry has discovered her past? How will pill-popping Gabby ever come to grips with life? Will the reader ever discover the significance of the broach? Does Margaret get revenge? A look into the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1930s, Starstruck reveals to the reader that stardom doesn't come cheap. Teenage girls will, no doubt, lap it up. Reviewer: Bonita Herold
VOYA - Kristi Sadowski
Set in the 1930s, the story shows that teenage girls today are not that different from teenage girls back then—at least not the ones who want to star in Hollywood films. Margo leaves her wealthy society family for a chance to be a star. Gabby, who has been pushed for years into the limelight by her mother, is trying to find her own way and own path to success. Amanda, who ran away from an abusive father at fourteen, has finally found something to make her happy, but she fears her torrid past could ruin her future. In the midst of these three girls perusing their dreams, the most famous actress at Olympus studios has gone missing, and the president of the studio has his own opinion about what path the girls' careers should take. Shukert has taken historical fiction and made it incredibly relatable to modern readers. Part mystery and part story of finding their way, Starstruck, is sure to capture readers' imaginations. It is hard not to route for each of the three girls, even when their actions are not the best. This book is certain to be popular, especially in the public library. Fans of classic movies may also enjoy this book for its many references to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Reviewer: Kristi Sadowski
Kirkus Reviews
Intrigue and ingénues abound in this delightfully frothy period drama. Teeny-bopper Margo Sterling (born into Pasadena society as Margaret Frobisher) spends her days mooning over Hollywood's A-list celebs until a chance encounter at a soda fountain starts her whirlwind transformation into Tinsel Town's new it girl. Along the way, she meets Gabby Preston, a former child actress who will do whatever it takes to get the role of her dreams, and Amanda Faraday, a gorgeous, up-and-coming actress who wants to escape her shadowy past and find true love. But in 1930s Hollywood, secrets run deeper than the pockets of the studio executives, and nothing is what it appears to be. Shukert's foray into the teen market is well-plotted and carefully nuanced; historical details are crisp and vivid without being too obtuse; the narrative is tight and masterful, mixing just the right amount of cattiness and salaciousness with secrets that reveal themselves one after another. The result is a compulsively readable piece sure to appeal to fans of Anna Godbersen and Judy Blundell. Though there is no mention of a sequel, some plot threads are left swinging like the fringe on a flapper's gown: Expect readers to clamor for more. Historical fiction that's both smart and sassy. (Historical fiction. 13 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—The Golden Age of Hollywood-and its gritty underside-is captured with real flair in this novel. Going from being a Pasadena debutante to a Hollywood star is an eye-opening experience for Margaret Frobisher. When she arrives at Olympus Studios, everyone is wondering what happened to Diana Chesterfield, the missing star and Margaret's idol. There are plenty of other hopefuls for Margaret to meet, like Gabby Preston, the plump songstress who is desperate for success, and Amanda Farraday, the slinky bombshell with a secret she's desperate to keep hidden. Margaret soon finds herself falling for Dane Forrest, the dashing matinee idol of her dreams. She is renamed Margo Sterling and made over in Diana's image, but there's one way in which Margo can't take the star's place: in Dane's heart, on orders of the studio. Margo's lost in a world she doesn't fully understand, and it could get even more dangerous for her unless she learns the truth behind Diana's disappearance. Clearly a setup for a series, this novel evokes late-1930s Hollywood with panache. Characters are well drawn, representing common archetypes but with a twist. Bound to appeal to fans of Anna Godbersen and Judy Blundell.—Melissa Rabey, Frederick County Public Libraries, MD

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385741088
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
03/12/2013
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
809,296
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2013:
"Shukert's foray into the teen market is well-plotted and carefully nuanced; historical details are crisp and vivid without being too obtuse; the narrative is tight and masterful, mixing just the right amount of cattiness and salaciousness with secrets that reveal themselves one after another. The result is a compulsively readable piece sure to appeal to fans of Anna Godbersen and Judy Blundell...Historical fiction that's both smart and sassy."
 
“Wit, pluck, darkness, pitch-perfect period details, juicy twists, and big heart. This book is one to savor."—Anna Godbersen, New York Times bestselling author of the Luxe and Bright Young Things series

"Thrilling, superb, and dizzyingly glamorous . . .  I was completely 'starstruck!'"—Jillian Larkin, author of The Flappers

Meet the Author

RACHEL SHUKERT is the author of Everything Is Going to Be Great, Have You No Shame?, and the Starstruck novels. She has been fascinated by the Golden Age of Hollywood since she was a girl, when she used to stay up all night watching old movies and fall asleep the next day at school. Rachel grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and graduated from New York University. She lives in New York City with her husband. Visit her at rachelshukert.com.

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Starstruck 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disappointing, the summarize make sound good but it not. It Valley of the Dolls for teens, Margo is partly based on Lana Turner and Gabby is partly based on Gypsy Rose Lee and Judy Garland. I thought it will be exciting but I was wrong and show the cruel side of Hollywood.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
Starstruck took my by complete surprise. I didn't know I was going to enjoy it as much as I did… but I did. I am not a huge fan of fiction set in the 1930s.. especially ones that are centered around Hollywood because I feel there is too much unnecessary drama that will come out of it.. so I was a bit wary. Initially, it took me some time to get used to the book because a) it is told from multiple POVs that switch without warning, b) There was a bit too many characters and I had to keep on flipping back and forth c) The book itself had a slow start. However once I got everything straightened out and we finally get to be in the middle of hollywood.. boy did I love it. What I appreciated the most is the lack of backstabbing going on in the book. Yes, there is one pesky character that was like that, but the rest were all fighting their own problems and demons to care much about the others. I liked the mystery around the novel, especially how it was incorporated, not too all consuming, but also thought out. I found myself loving the setting of the 1930s and the way they speak, as well as the overall atmosphere of the book. I would read at any chance I got because I wanted to know what happens next. Anywhere you stop the book, you can pick it right up, that was how engaging it was.   The main protagonist, Margo, was such an endearing character and I really felt for her when she went through a couple of rough patches with her parents, as well as one of her supposed friends. The end was a bit shocking, and I wanted to pick up Love Me, the sequel, immediately. There was a big hint on what the main plot of the next book will be and I kind of wish the author was a bit more subtle since it was too predictable but that won't deter me from picking up Love Me as soon as I can. I definitely recommend it to YA contemporary/historical fans. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was on Seventeen's summer reads and looks cool but idk...
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Ever since the ‘Flappers’ series, it has been such a thrill to see the YA world turn to the past and unearth the extremely ‘cool’ eras. And in this new - completely amazing - book, readers get to take a peek into the ‘golden age’ of Hollywood…a time that was literally filled with true stars. Beginning where any Hollywood story should, readers are delivered to the red carpet. It is 1938 and Diana Chesterfield - the star of all stars - is celebrating the opening night of her latest Olympus Studios picture that the world has been waiting for. Unfortunately, even though many big stars arrive, Diana doesn’t, leading the gossip mill to begin buzzing about where, exactly, she could have gone. At the premiere, watching the flashbulbs and trying not to drool over Dane Forrest - the most handsome actor in the world who is said to be Diana’s true love - is Margaret Frobisher. She is one of those girls with a longing to leave her debutante, boring life behind and shine onscreen, where she will become everyone’s next beloved star. Oddly enough, unlike most of the girls who fantasize about this particular life, Margaret’s dream comes true. As she sits in Schwab’s, which is the unofficial canteen of the Hollywood colony, the Director of Publicity for Olympus Studios suddenly appears and offers her a screen test; a screen test that, with the help of the amazing Dane Forrest, is a smash hit. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Margaret looks a great deal like the missing superstar, and Olympus Studios is desperate to find someone who can take Diana Chesterfield’s spot ASAP. Soon, Margaret sees behind the scenes and secrets are revealed about the Hollywood life that she hadn’t even imagined. She is beyond tantalized by the glamour and captivated by Dane’s smile; however, the pall of mystery still hangs over her head, wondering what on earth happened to Diana Chesterfield. Is the studio harboring a secret, or is Dane Forrest a man who has made an evil mistake? Whatever the case may be, Margaret finds herself knee-deep in a world that looked a heck of a lot more fun on the pages of Variety magazine. This is beyond exhilarating. The reader will feel as if they are standing right on that red carpet as old Hollywood is revealed to one and all. The secrets, the lies, the back-door deals, the young stars living on drugs in order for them to keep up with what the studio and American people want from them - every page is an absolute rush! Quill Says: This is one you do not want to miss, and it will have you dreaming of what Hollywood was like before the class and charm disappeared.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. Juicy, glamorous, full of period details that made me feel like I was really there. And a bit deeper than your typical YA read too. The characters feel like real, complicated people with real lives. This is a great read for anyone who loves Hollywood, historical fiction or YA.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You might be surprised with just how much of the Golden Age of Hollywood you will learn about. Starstruck is packed with history and its main characters are based upon the lives of real stars. However, the balance between storyline and historical scaffolding is very uneven. At times a simple scene is stretched far beyond its worth in order to cram in historical background. The ending leaves room for a sequel. Overall, not a bad read, but not the best YA historical fiction out there.