Release Date: 09/23/14
Seventeen-year-old Holly Hart wants to be a star. She moves to Los Angeles from the small town of Cedar Junction, only to hear she’s too fat and ugly to be a famous singer.
But when Shell Shocked Records looks past Holly’s plus-size and less-than-graceful-personality to offer her a recording contract, Holly cannot believe her good fortune. On closer inspection, however, the record execs want Holly to do all the singing, and a thinner and more beautiful girl, Lacey, would lip-sync and get all the credit. Holly goes for it because after all, she wanted to sing.
Contractually bound to secrecy, Holly is more than happy to sit backstage while Lacey shimmies in the limelight and basks in the fame. Before she knows it, Holly is friends with Serena, the pop-star daughter of a music-mogul, flirting with an intern, and developing a strange half-friendship with Lacey.
When Grayson Frost, the biggest country star in America, and coincidentally, a former school bully begins dating Lacey, Holly hopes that he won’t recognize or torment her.
Through a series of embarrassing and weird events, Holly gets to know Grayson and learns that he is much nicer and more mature than he was four years ago. Holly is horrified when she starts falling for him. When Grayson admits he fell for Lacey’s voice, what is a girl to do when she can’t legally tell the truth at the moment when the truth matters the most?
Holly Hearts Hollywood by Kenley Conrad
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
For me this book certainly had promise. I was instantly drawn into the world of country music and the girl who didn’t necessarily fit the prevailing image. This book would resonate with young people who long for the music career, and I do believe that it demonstrates exactly how different the life of a celebrity is. In fact, the ending was quite disturbing, and I can only hope that the author plans for a sequel. I believe she captured the naivety of Holly, and I was certainly cheering her on to become who she really was supposed to be. I would say the book is more realistic and eye-opening than I first believed it would be.
My only criticism is that there is some profanity that does not belong in young adult books. This was become a disturbing trend in young adult novels, but I’m grateful this book contains no bedroom scenes. While the ending does appear to be realistic, I would have liked to have had some kind of commentary on Holly’s last decision. I don’t know how well young adults like unsettling endings, but if a sequel is planned, then this may not be an issue.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
About the Author