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3.7 out of 5 stars
Shooting Stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
After reading the synopsis for this book, I knew I had to read it. For sure, this book did not disappoint me.

What I loved most about this book is the plot line. You have a great character who life is about to change through simply seeing things from a whole other view. I really adore how with each new chapter, Jo view is changed from what she thought she knew. She gains so much knowledge not only about herself but about others around her.

I adored the characters. The main character Jo, did so much growing up before the readers eyes. I admire her selflessness in what she had to do. Even if it meant giving up the one thing she wanted. The minor characters played a bigger part than what I thought. I am very happy that even the minor characters played a bog role in the end.

The love interest is one that will surprise the readers. The switch that caught me by surprised was a very good idea! I did not see that coming at me at ALL! Totally made me gasp, but nicely done. Once I settled into the book again, I was taken away by the love that grew between them.

Shooting Stars provides a wonderful story with true love. Capturing the romantic essence mixed with great writing, the reader can fall into the book easily. Shooting Stars is an light-hearted story that anyone can read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
My Thoughts: One word to sum this novel up? Cute...

We are introduced to Jo who is a photographer. Not just any kind of photographer but basically she is a paparazzi. She takes pictures of celebrities mostly. Her Dad is also a famous photographer who does the same.

Jo has one big advantage. She's small and looks young. She can easily sneak into a place pretending to be a young kid, people wouldn't give her a second thought thinking she might be filming them.

She gets the ultimate gig. To go on a retreat to take pictures of popular heartthrob Ned Hartnett. This retreat consists of group meetings, individual meetings, and fun things. It's so people can deal with their problems. She makes a few friends and things don't go as planned. She has gotten paid a lot of money (and will get paid the rest when she's done) for these pictures of Ned. It's her job. And she must do her job right and perfectly.

Of course things don't work out that way when she starts to have feelings for her target. With the help of her friend Mannie and her new friend Katrina she must figure out what is right and wrong, what she can do and not do with her guilty conscious.

Let's just say this, its a cute debut. It has a few lessons in the story. Thing's aren't always cookie cutter perfect for Jo, and she has tough decisions to make.

I also wanted to point out, I did not see that twist coming in regards to Ned. What the heck? That caught me off guard and totally surprised me and that is what reading is all about!

I loved the romance in this one! It was so sweet!

Overall: Shooting Stars is a cute fun read. A perfect book for a late Friday night when your home alone while your parents are out on a date or there is nothing on tv.

Shooting Stars was fun! There isn't a whole lot of depth to it (there is some) so its more of a fun sunny read. I really enjoyed it.

Cover: It's neat. I love how the girl is holding her camera and all the people are in the background doing the same.

What I'd Give It: 4/5 Cupcakes
________
Review Based On Softcover Edition

Taken From Princess Bookie (blog)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
I saw a couple of reviews for this around the blogosphere and was promised a cute, fast read with a sweet romance. This made me eager for a weekend to curl up with this and just leisurely flip through the pages, taken away into a world of paparazzi and stars (I kind of love Hollywood gossip so this was right up my alley).

Jo is almost ready to enroll in photography classes for portraiture but she needs to pap until that enough money has been earned. As the daughter of a paparazzo and with a youthful face, she has some advantages, getting the pictures that no one else can. This generally works in her favor, landing her an exclusive offer to enroll in a facility with hot reclusive star Ned Hartnett and get undercover pictures of him. Although this makes her uncomfortable, the money is just too good. This last job and then she can leave the game to follow her photographic interests. Complicating her decision is that Ned is actually a celebrity who was nice to her, even giving her a tip for her paparazzi work. Once there though, Jo's conscience continues to pain her and she learns some secrets about Ned as well as confronting some of her emotional baggage. Together they turn the tables on those who want to exploit Ned's problems for gain.

Due to those reviews, I had some idea of what to expect. But the emotional terrain covered in the books was actually deeper than I had anticipated especially as we learn about Ned's phobia and Jo faces family hurts. I also thought Jo's struggles with conscience over this assignment were intense, perhaps a bit too whiny for me. She was not forced to take this job (there was no blackmail hanging over her; there was just focus on the photography course goal without consideration of other money-making opportunities).

But don't worry, there are still lots of humorous little bits and the overall tone is pretty upbeat especially the ending, which is of course happy with Jo reevaluating her personal and professional life and preparing for great things in addition to a romance.

Overall: A fun, quick contemporary read with a different kind of life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I got this book: an ARC from the publisher in exchange for this review
Publication Date: February 28th, 2012
I rate this book: 5/5
Summary:
Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she's called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn't mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she's sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett--teen superstar and the only celebrity who's ever been kind to her--at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo's dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned's in for. But Jo certainly doesn't know what she's in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.

My Review:
I adored this book- it's cute, funny and sweet, with lots of twists and turns you're not expecting at all- it's an amazing read, and I highly recommend it.

But it does take a while to grab your attention- for the first 20 pages, I honestly just read it because it had a cute cover, and it didn't grab my attention until about 20 pages in, but then, it held it and didn't let go.

I highly recommend this book, and if you buy it, you won't regret it- it's just so sweet and funny, and the cover is just so adorable! <3

And, as an added plus, the cover isn't just adorable it... *drumroll* does that rare thing where it actually looks like the character should, and echoes the mood of the book, since Zo Jo, as her nickname is, is half-japanese, sixteen but looks younger, and is in the paparazzi business- the cover says all this, if you look a bit closely, you can see the other paparazzi standing behind her- amazing, right? And the heart is just adorable and- oh, just go buy yourself a copy, this book is amazing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
First Impressions: I had no clue what to expect when my copy of Shooting Stars arrived in the mail. I was looking for a nice, relaxing, and fun read when I decided that this book would fit the bill. I've been digging contemporary novels lately and I just thought that this sounded like a good read. This is the first book I've read by this author, so I honestly had no idea what to expect from it.

Characters & Plot: Jo knows that what she is doing is wrong and reminds her self quite a few times that what she is doing is wrong. She shouldn't be going undercover at the rehabilitation retreat to find out what teen superstar, Ned, is there for. Unfortunately, the money from the job is calling her name and she doesn't have the willpower to stop doing what she is doing. She desperately wants to take photography classes and by going against her conscience, this job will pay for the classes.

I had to push through almost half of the book before I started to enjoy the main character. Jo isn't the most likable of characters and at first she seemed very flat, like there weren't many layers to her. This changes throughout the course of the story though, and I began to like Jo once I realized that there was more to her then what meets the eye. There are points in this book where I just wanted to shake her and tell her that she could get the money for her classes in a different way, especially when she started to fall for Ned. I won't tell you how that whole scenario plays out, but I will say there are some major changes as far as character growth.

Final Thoughts: This was a really cute book, but it wasn't all fluff. Shooting Stars does deal with some major, heavier themes without becoming depressing or over the top. I enjoyed how everything panned out at the end of the story and it even had me laughing out loud during certain parts. This would be a great, quick read to take with you to the beach on spring break!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Zo Jo (the zo stands for paparazzo) is a famous member of the paparazzi, and is known for her ability to get into places no one else can, due to her age (sixteen) and her small stature. Her goal is to earn enough money "papping" (and this word annoyed me, because it made me think of things that were decidedly NOT photography-related) to be able to attend portrait school. Because of her desire for said money, she takes on a job that she doesn't actually want to do: following teenage heartthrob Ned Hartnett to an exclusive retreat near Boston and taking pictures of him from the inside. What follows is her own eye-opening experience at the retreat, not only involving Ned, whom she has a crush on, but also involving herself and her own life.

I have to admit that I was not the hugest fan of Jo for the first half of this book, and that was probably part of the point. I felt like she was being willfully blind to her own issues, and unwilling to face the fact that "papping" is indeed a fairly sleezy occupation. However, she really started to grow on me once the V-ball game happened (and even a bit before that), and I couldn't help but cheer for her as the rest of the story played out. Toward the end of the book I was even laughing out loud at some of her antics, and thoroughly enjoyed the ending; it was so cute that I sort of wanted to draw hearts all over it. The book is very much a personal journey-type story, and it did that extremely well, and in a very entertaining and interesting way. Jo was a very real character, and the author managed to portray her perfectly.

An ARC was provided for this review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Shooting Stars will capture your attention and make you see stars. Shooting Stars was and easy enjoyable read and I loved it! It was so cute and just what I wanted at the moment. It was the first book I have finished in 3 weeks. Every other book I have given up on because I didn't like them.

Cover:
The cover is what originally drew me to the book. I loved how the flash is a heart and she's at the forefront of the crowd! Which is sooo true in the book! :)

Plot/Writing:
The plot had a very good flow to it. The way the book was written made sense, it wasn't all over the place with random facts that made no sense to the story. I felt myself smiling and laughing as the story progressed. The writing was very good, there were some things that I felt were a little repetitive, but it made sense on how it was written.

Characters:
Jo is a determined little spit fire of a girl. She doesn't let anyone push her around and is set on what she wants to do. She has a very clear conscience though. Even though she takes a job she doesn't feel is right, she feels guilty as she takes every picture. She believes in what is right and in the end does what is right.

The there's Ned. I loved Ned. He was so sweet and not to mention sexy! Which even makes Jo notice him. Which is a tough feat. He cares about everything and isn't afraid to show it. He is one of those trust worthy/swoon worthy guys that everyone wants!

All in All:
I really enjoyed this book. If your looking for a nice easy read then Shooting Stars is for you. 4 out of 5 Tacos! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
4 out of 5 stars, this is an entertaining, fast-paced, fun, and dynamic novel!! It's about a 16-year-old paparazzo trying not to stay in the biz for her whole life yet she likes the money and a young star has a few issues of his own, but has always been nice to her, getting thrown into a situation that neither was prepared for. I really liked how the author handled the big twists this novel has in it!! I mean when Ned/Jake started getting suspicious about a pap being at the retreat center I pretty much cringed thinking, this novel wasn't going to turn out the way I wanted it too. However, I was satisfyingly surprised!! This novel came together better than I could have imagined!! Plus, it really helps that all of the characters in the book (not including Melissa) have truly redeemable qualities.

I enjoyed this book and I think you will too! I recommend it to anyone who likes YA romance novels with entertainment themes!

Review By: From Me to You ... Book Reviews
(read more of this review and two teasers on my blog)
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on October 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
Josephine Foster, daughter of paparazzi royalty, can pap with the best of them. In fact, armed with her handy faux-iPod camera and sneaky sunglasses cam, little Zo-Jo is the best stealth celebrity stalker (I mean paparazzo) in the business. But she's not happy with the dirty world of underhanded tactics. All she really wants is to get enough money to do the portrait photography course she's got her heart set on and leave the business of snapping celebrities to someone else.

When Jo is offered the opportunity to get all the remaining money she needs in one job, she's not as eager to accept as one might expect. That's because her client wants her to spy and take photos of singer-songwriter Ned Hartnett - the celebrity who showed her kindness a few years ago and has held a special place in Jo's heart ever since.

After reluctantly taking the job of going undercover in the rehab facility in Boston for teens with non-substance abuse kind of issues, Jo is having a moral dilemma. Ned doesn't recognize her but Jo is falling even further for the star with every passing day. Doe she betray the boy she is starting to really care about or does she take the chance to finally get out of the game for good and take the money and the photos?

I enjoyed reading this book. Last night I couldn't sleep so I picked up my copy and started reading. Before I knew it, I was over three-quarters of the way in and by that stage I couldn't stop before the end. It is a fun read. From the start I enjoyed being privy to Jo's life as a paparazzo and just what it entailed for her.

It's a little cheesy in places and there were some parts that I sort of found a little unbelievable but this is not real life - it is a novel - and I found it very entertaining. I did feel a little cheated by the ending. This whole novel revolves around Jo and how she's not quite all she seems. She goes to the retreat as a way to get close to Ned but whilst she's there we see that she has some real issues of her own that she needs to deal with. I felt like that part of the story was glossed over a little. I know it's not a deep and meaningful book but it seemed like we had the big reveal and then it wasn't really addressed in a way I was satisfied with.

There is a lot to like about this story: the characters are entertaining and there were a few complete surprises in terms of the plot. I enjoyed the journey the author took me on.

In many ways this reminded me of a Meg Cabot novel (Teen Idol in particular) and I recommend it for anyone who appreciates teen stories where the hero is a bit of a heart-throb celebrity.
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on July 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Sometimes I just need a fun, light, contemporary read and that is just what Shooting Stars was. Allison Rushby's newest young adult release was an entertaining read that left me eager to grab my camera and scamper off to Hollywood and try to get some great shots. The title is a perfect fit for this book, I love how creative it is. I enjoyed this book and while it was at times predictable, I still found myself smiling at the end. Shooting Stars will certainly appeal to a wide-range of readers and this copy (which I borrowed from my teacher) has rarely been on the shelf for long.

To begin with, Josephine Foster is a spitfire character. The daughter of an Australian paparazzo father and Japanese mother, Jo hasn't led an easy life. Her mother is gone and she has been raised by her father who is rarely home, but when he is he is usually sending her out to snap pictures related to his latest tip. Zo Jo has been a successful pap so far and enjoys what she does, especially the cash benefits.

I have to admit one of my guilty pleasures is gobbling down the latest US Weekly or In Touch magazine. I love looking at pictures of "celebs in the wild" or dressed to the nines. It's a lot of fun and it was great to see how things are for those actually snapping the pictures. Paps are usually portrayed very negatively, so Jo's story told the other side of things. I think it would be fun, for at least a day, to run around LA following different tips of celebrities on the move. Of course the book did not just focus on Jo's photography.

When Jo gets a huge job- go to a private rehab retreat in Massachusetts and find out why teen superstar Ned Harnett is really there- she has no idea what is going to happen. It was a lot of fun seeing how Jo navigated the center and learned a lot not only about the other people at the center, but about herself.

I liked getting to know the different characters in the book, although they weren't as developed as I would have hoped. Jo was a great main character and I definitely connected with her, but some of the others fell a little flat.

The plot was predictable at times, but there were some big, unexpected twists towards the middle of the book that kept me that much more invested in the story. The romance was sweet and although I never entirely felt the "spark", they were a cute couple.

Shooting Stars was just the book I was looking for and while it was not as fantastic as I might have hoped, it was still a fun read that I will recommend.

Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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