Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

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.


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

February 28, 2012/Walker Childrens/272 Pages/Young Adult

Source: Borrowed from teacher (ARC)


  1. This looks like such a cute book. Great review!

  2. Aw this sounds cute.
    I like the idea of this book, and it does sound like something light and fluffy.

  3. This one looks like so much fun :)

  4. I'm planning to read this book later this week and I'm so excited now. I didn't know much about it, other than it was YA, but seeing that it's a light, funny contemporary with some sweet romance-that is right up my alley! Thanks for the review.


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