Starlet Series by Carla J. Hanna

Last year I responded to a post on Goodreads about a book called Starlet’s Web. I read over the synopsis and thought it sounded like an interesting topic- I don’t know many books that discuss actresses and all the pressures in their lives. I decided to give it a try and enjoyed the first book in the series Starlet’s Web (find review here). The author contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing the last two books in the series: Starlet’s Run and Starlet’s Light. I figured i might as well give the last two a try and said sure. I enjoyed the series and thought it had some important lessons to teach teenagers (and adults as well) 

Starlet’s Run

Starlet's Run (The Starlet, #2)Title: Starlet’s Run
Author: Carla J. Hanna
Pages: Paperback, 322 pages
Rating: 
3 hippos(out of 5 hippos)

Synopsis: 
Love. Intentions. Acting. Life is more complicated than a Hollywood story.

Fictional actress Liana Marie Michael writes her second memoir, Starlet’s Run, as she suffers through the Five Stages of Grief. But when Lia’s scripts speak for her and drama becomes her life, can she find the strength to run her own lines and shape her new role?
~ – ~
I’m actress Liana Marie Michael. Hollywood’s obsession with beauty made my actress-mother stay competitive. Athletes use steroids. Actors use plastic surgery and anti-aging drugs. So now I’m a physical mess inside, dealing with it, and starring in a major motion picture.

Of course I can’t quit. I have brain surgery, feel alive at Grandma’s Montana ranch, go back to Hollywood and act. My boyfriend, Manuel, and I want to get married. Everyone has an opinion. I ignore the millions of naysayers until consequences turn dire.

I believe that dwelling on pain is a waste of time. Indecision is exhausting. I want to write my own future. But I’m only eighteen years old.

In a world where an actress is a product and everyone is a critic, can our young love survive? Should it?

My review: 
This second book was good. It continued one right where the first book left off and answered some questions that were left from the first book. Immediately from the beginning of the book, your heart went out to Liana Marie Michael and to Manuel. This second book deals with a lot of interesting aspects of being a teenager: teenage marriage, sex, religion, and knowing who you are. I think this book would appeal to teens since it does discuss these topics, but I’m not sure that teens would be able to relate to the characters very well. I think this was the biggest issue I had with the book, sometimes when the characters spoke it was hard to believe that Liana and Manuel were both still teenagers and not adults. A lot of the things they said together I couldn’t even dream about saying to previous boyfriends. This might be explained by the fact that Liana Marie had to grow up pretty quickly within the world of Hollywood, but I still found it hard to relate to them. Other than having a hard time trying to relate to the characters I enjoyed the book and the story and thought that the book taught some very valuable and important lessons.

Starlet’s Light

Starlet's Light (The Starlet, #3)Title: Starlet’s Light
Author: Carla J. Hanna
Pages: Paperback, 294 pages
Rating: 
3.5 hippos(out of 5 hippos)

Synopsis: 
Love. Trust. Acting. Cancer survivor-actress Liana Marie struggles with trust and commitment as she shapes the role she plays in her own life. She gives up the fight until she sees the light.
~ — ~
I’m actress Liana Marie Michael and am dying. In my last two memoirs, I show how I’m the ideal Hollywood product. In writing Starlet’s Web and Starlet’s Run, I realized that the drama in our stories affects the lies in our real lives. The thin, young ideal of beauty is as much of a lie as the plot twists and dialogue we create to hide our insecurities.

In this memoir, I make a mess of my love life while shooting a film in Great Britain. I dump Manuel for his own good. I love him with all my heart. So how could I not when he has a bright future? My dad visits and puts my past in perspective. I spend weekends in the hospital. I learn to rely on Franz, Evan and Amelie. Yes, I hook up with my Swiss billionaire-heir friend Pierre even though I miss Manuel every minute. But it all makes sense, especially since I am so done with acting.

We are all flies and spiders in a web of stories. If I live a more authentic life, can love prevail despite my many faults? Can truth alter Hollywood’s web?

My review: 
The third book in this series definitely was my favourite, even though I still had some issues with it. Again, this book picked up right where the last one finished and continued on with the story of Liana Marie and Manuel. There were some addition characters in this book, which helped progress the plot, but I think also added to some of the issues within the book. Again I found the characters a little hard to relate to, especially at one point when Liana Marie told her mother that she was planning on having sex. I mean I don’t know very many teenagers who are willing to tell their mothers “I’m planning on having casual sex with this person and we’ll see where our relationship goes from there”. I mean first things first, I’m married and still don’t tell my mother that I am planning on having sex with my husband, and second, should we really be teaching our kids that sex is okay to have casually, especially if it will shed light on the relationship you are in?! Although I did have issues with some of the things that the characters were doing, there again were several important lessons for people- weight issues, waiting until the right time to marry some (and to have sex [to some extent]). This book was good, even though I had some issues with parts of it.

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One thought on “Starlet Series by Carla J. Hanna

  1. Pingback: Updates: February Books, Classics Club Update, Chunkster Book Challenge Update and Series Challenge Update | Book Loving Hippo

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