Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book Review: Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

Title: Shooting Stars
Author: Allison Rushby
Publisher: Walker
Publishing Date: February 28th 2012
Length: 265 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, stars, photography, undercover
Source: Author

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.

Summary by Goodreads 

SHOOTING STARS is a really nice summer read. Josephine appears to be an ordinary teenager. If you'd met her on the street, you wouldn't guess how she's making her money. But if you take a closer look you see that there's something about her that's more business and passion than average teen.
She's got an incredibly fast finger when it comes to snapping pictures. She is sneaky and has all the high-tech equipment and ideas to give her exactly the pictures she wants to shoot. I'm a fan of taking pictures myself. Whenever I have time or find me on a trip, there's no way around bringing my camera. Without it I'd feel like missing a limb. That's exactly how Zo Jo (Josephine's business name) feels. She is a pro when it comes to celebrity photography. She makes a lot of money and earned some respect in the paparrazi business.
In SHOOTING STARS we'll see Josephine in action. And in various tricky situations. Let's see how she uses her equipment to her advantage and against her competitors.

I found the idea of a teenage papprazzo so funny and refreshing that I had SHOOTING STARS on my list since I knew it was going to be published. It has the Hollywood glam factor the business craves. But also shows the other, more real, human side of it all.

You'll find out how business deals with the fate and privacy of single people of public interest, biding high sums of money to get the best stories and pictures before everyone else.
Allison Rushby did a nice sketch of how the industry works and in how far it can change people, make them into worse, in exceptions better, versions of themselves.

And because a good YA contemporary shouldn't miss romance, there is one in SHOOTING STARS, too. Josephine is paid to go into promi rehab to spy on Ned Hartnett. Take pictures of him and and so deliver the most exclusive and juciest story to a big gossip magazine. Now guess how's falling for that hot star?
The love story isn't that dominant though. SHOOTING STARS is further about Josephine finding out what's important in life and in how far her view of the thing she loves most, being a respected papparrazo, changes in the course of the story.

Also the rehab has to offer a few secondary characters that enrich the storyline. I enjoyed the mystery around Ned Hartnett's story and how his and Josephine's relationship changed over the stages of rehab. They do have a few very cute moments together that make you smile. But I would have wished for the romance to be a bit more encanced, the story to concentrate more on the romance than on the job at hand.

1) of its star appeal
2) of love in unexpected times
3) of a game to remember
4) of a cool Hollywood mystery
5) of its photography feature

3,5/5 ***/* SHOOTING STARS - Get ready for the hunt for the perfect shot. Celebrities, paparazzi business and Josphine Foster in the middle of a conflict between profit, privacy and an unexpected love. 

SHOOTING STARS didn't sweep me off my feet, it kept me reading though. I read the story in only a few hours and can recommend it to everyone who's looking for a short and sweet distraction. 

* Allison's written a lot of books so far, YA and chick-lit. Check them out here.

* Click here for an excerpt of SHOOTING STARS.

* Click here for Allison's travel memoir Keep Calm and Carry Vegemite.

* Visit for further information about Allison and her books.

* I'm sending out a great thank you down under, to Allison Rushby, for sending me a copy of her book when she was about to leave Great Britain and needed to get rid of a box full of lovely SHOOTING STARS copies. 


  1. I've been curious about this read for months. The idea of paparazzi is such a good one!! Sounds like a light read.

  2. This book certainly sounds like a fun, lighter read. I like the twist of having a younger paparazzi having to go undercover, definitely unique!