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Starstruck Hardcover – March 12, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Starstruck Series

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Editorial Reviews

From 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, MDα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

One minute Margo Sterling is in the fan line at a Hollywood premier; the next, she is being discovered at Schwab’s drugstore; and the next, she has snagged the lead role in a movie—substituting for a star she resembles who has gone missing. That’s the good news. On the downside, her prissy Pasadena parents disown her, and she flounders in this world of 1930s moviemaking where the studio runs everything, including her romances. Two subplots feature other starlets, Gabby, obviously based on Judy Garland, and Amanda—who was also known as Ginger when she was in the escort business. 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. The Veronica Lake look-alike on the cover will draw readers—even though 99 percent of them will never have heard of Veronica Lake. Grades 9-12. --Ilene Cooper

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385741081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385741088
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,471,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Judy McGuire on March 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am a long-time Shukert fan; her memoir, "Everything is Going to be Great" is one of my favorite books. So when I saw she started writing fiction, I was excited, though the YA category threw me a bit. After all, I wouldn't be caught dead reading Twilight--I'm old! But then my review copy came in the mail and I figured I'd give it a go. Three hours later (I read pretty fast), I'd turned the last page, sorry that the ride was over.

"Starstruck" is completely entrancing for readers of any age. It's glamorous, with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, and always completely engrossed. Even though I was lucky enough to get a freebie, I bought a copy for a friend too. Apparently there'll be at least two more books in the series and I can't wait to read them!
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Format: Hardcover
"Starstruck" is a hit TV show waiting to be made. Seriously. Watch out Gossip Girl. Fantastic characters immersed in a glamorous setting, overflowing with wit. And there is intrigue, secrets, and suspense aplenty. What more would you ask for?

The three leading characters of "Starstruck" are all starlets on the rise--young women, each challenged by where they are coming from, and what they are becoming. There is a Pasadena beauty, a would-be debutante, who leaves an icy, conservative family, who promises to disown any child who takes up such an undignified profession (a wounded, young Veronica Lake). There is a vaudeville cherub, plagued with an overbearing stage mom, a child star who desperately wants to break out into a romantic lead (think of a pubescent combination of Shirley Temple and Clara Bow). Then there is the striking redhead (shades of Rita Hayworth) who flees the abuse of her stepfather, and though her temptress good looks are outside of her control, she always remains a subject of gossip and mistrust by those around her.

I was born in Hollywood, and raised in LA, and I watched plenty of old movies. It's clear to me this author is no amateur with the period she is discussing. She nails the dialogue and the setting so well, scenes from some of my favorite movies would overtake me while I was reading like: "The Thin Man," "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" "Now Voyager" "My Man Godfrey," "Adam's Rib," and on and on. The fictional characters of "Starstruck" easily cohabitate with the real Katherine Hepburn and Myrna Loy, Errol Flynn and Clark Gable.

Though this book is transportative--whisking its readers to a bygone era--it's much more honest than the classic movies made at the time.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Growing up in Pasadena means you’re close enough to be discovered. Hollywood. The glitz. The glamour. Margaret was fascinated by it all. She dreamed, of course, but it was just dreams… until it wasn’t. After being discovered at the soda shop, she had to choose between her family and being a star.

Thrown into Hollywood without a clue, Margaret becomes Margo and learns that everything is not how it seems. Those starlets are not actually all madly in love with the leading men they’re seen out and about with. People would do anything to get ahead including becoming all new people. Margaret must figure her way through the politics, the romances (real and set up), the friends (real and not — mostly not).

She’ll see and hear things she never saw or heard in Pasadena. But she’ll also realize that in Pasadena or Hollywood, everyone is mostly the same.

She’ll even meet her idol, just not under the circumstances she’d expected.

Starstruck is a fast fun romp through old Hollywood. The real stars take their places as bit background players. Margaret, Diana, Gabby, and Amanda are the stars here. If you like old movies, you’ll probably love some of the name dropping of real celebs mixed in with our girls (and guys but mostly girls).

If I have one complaint with this book it is that the two girls who seem like they are meant to be as important as Margaret don’t actually get to be developed as well as they could be. Still, I’ll gladly continue on with the series.
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Format: Hardcover
Starstruck is a brilliantly written, fast-paced, and compelling book about many things -- Hollywood and the movie industry in its mythical years, the intersecting lives of three very different but very ambitious people, but mostly the universal themes of the pursuit of dreams and aspirations. By respecting the intelligence of young adult readers, the author has written a book for everyone, including this far-from-young adult. While the book is a real page-turner that kept me reading far into the night, the quality and economy of its writing, character development, and wonderful descriptions of a period in time also reward a much closer, slower reading. Young adult readers will find characters and a story that can feed their own dreams. Parents of young adult readers will find the kind of book that their children should read -- literate, evocative, and human. And adults of any age will find storytelling and style at its best. Starstruck demonstrates that great writing speaks to readers of all ages.
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Format: Hardcover
Teenagers are fascinated by fame and the lure of Hollywood. This phenomenon, of course, is nothing new, and in this historical novel set in the 1930's, author Rachel Shukert recreates the golden age of Hollywood for today's teen readers. Our heroine, Margaret Frobisher, is a Pasadena debutante from a conservative old money family who loves going to the pictures and following the stars in the Hollywood gossip magazines. When she's "discovered" at a Hollywood drugstore counter and invited to come to the (fictional) Olympic Studios for a screen test, her dreams are about to come true, or so it seems. But things are not that simple--her parents are horrified at her decision and want nothing to do with her--proper society young ladies are certainly not supposed to make a career on the silver screen. So she moves into the studio system, where she gets a new name, Margo Sterling, lives at the studio with other underage stars, and meets celebrities she only dreamed of in the past, including the dashing Dane Forrest (who appears to have been modeled on Clark Gable).

Shukert does a great job of evoking the days of the great Hollywood studios, when plump young starlets were put on amphetamines to slim down and then sleeping pills to let them sleep, gay men had to be completely in the closet to protect their image, and studio chiefs were in charge of everything to do with the stars' lives, down to who they would date and even marry. Margo soon learns that fame is not all it's cracked up to be. Her idol, actress Diana Chesterfield, has disappeared, and Margo is cast in her place in a historical drama. But what has really happened to Diana?
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