Starstruck by Rachel Shukert

11:13 AM

Title: Starstruck
Author: Rachel Shukert
Release Date: March 12, 2013 (hardcover)
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 352
Source: ARC provided by publisher

Overall: 4 Stars

“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

A golden age of glam . . .

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. 

My Thoughts: 
I absolutely enjoyed reading Rachel Shukert's debut YA novel Starstruck! Set in the 1930s, Rachel Shukert sweeps you away into the glamorous world of Old Hollywood, where dazzling lights flash and future film stars are born seemingly overnight. I hadn't heard too much about Starstruck beforehand, but once I read the plot description, I was immediately captivated and just had to know more.

The lives of Margaret Frobisher, Gabby Preston, and Amanda Farraday are about to intertwine as they chase their dreams and learn that fame always comes with a price. Margaret had a privileged upbringing, but she wants a very different future than the one her strict parents have always expected her to have. She doesn't want a life of country clubs nor settling down to marry a rich man and carrying out the duties of a wife. No, what she wants is freedom and independence, a chance to be in the movies she has loved ever since she was a little girl.

Gabby has been performing acts for years to support her mother and herself, and still feels the pressure to always work harder. She's a well-trained singer and dancer, but her youthful looks have typecasted her into roles which have stopped her from becoming a leading lady. Amanda is determined to forget her past and be more than just the girl with a sultry body that attracts the eyes of men whenever she walks into a room.

Not all that glitters is gold in Old Hollywood though, and at the heart of Starstruck is Margaret's growing curiosity in the mysterious disappearance of Diana Chesterfield, a famous starlet everyone at Olympus Studios only speaks about in whispers. What makes it all the more complicated are Margaret's growing feelings for Dane Forrest, her new co-star who was rumoured to be dating Diana before she suddenly vanished.

If you love reading historical fiction novels with a tantalizing combination of glamour, secrets and mystery, then I would absolutely recommend Rachel Shukert's Starstruck! I have a feeling Starstruck will be underrated by many readers, so I sure hope the novel gets some love and attention because it definitely deserves it!

Thanks so much to Random House Canada for providing this review copy!

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  1. I've been waiting really impatiently for Starstruck - glad to hear that it holds up. How's the writing?

    1. Rachel Shukert's writing style is easy to quickly read and describes the setting / time period really well! It really felt like I'd traveled back in time. I thought STARSTRUCK really captured the glamour and magical illusion of the Golden Age of Hollywood. :)