Friday, January 2, 2015

Book Review: Spiral by Jacqueline Levine

Media Type: Ebook 
Title: Spiral
 *Series: Spiral Series #1
Author: Jacqueline Levine
Publisher: Self
Pages: ebook, 289
Release Date: September 9, 2013
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Content Screening: Sexual Situations

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers that enjoy gossip magazines and celebrity stories

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | BookLikes

Still reeling from his mother’s new marriage and all the step-family baggage that came with it, Jack Hansen thinks his Christmas Eve dinner can’t get any worse. When his step-sisters’ famous cousin, Cherie Belle, walks into the room, he discovers he was dead wrong. The beautiful starlet is anything but America’s sweetheart, and her mean-streak knows no limits. Jack is relieved when she finally storms out, hoping he never has to see her again.
But then tragedy strikes for Cherie, and Jack’s family is all the celebutante has left. Suddenly, Jack finds himself riding the roller coaster that is Cherie Belle’s life: swarms of paparazzi, lying tabloids, and shady members of an entourage that seem to be pulling all of the teen queen’s strings. Only Jack knows what darkness Cherie is hiding behind her bright, camera-ready smile. Only Jack knows what it’s like to feel all alone. Soon, only Jack knows Cherie’s secrets, and he has to keep them, no matter how bad they are.
He’s one of them.
This was definitely a guilty pleasure read for me. While I don't usually follow celebrity gossip websites or magazines, I have to admit the synopsis on this book made me curious enough to pick it up. It reads like a gossip magazine in several ways which I enjoyed. The excerpts from the paparazzi magazine in the chapters really brought the story along for me. It gave a break to some of the teenage angst of the main characters.

Not everyone can accurately depict some of the trials and tribulations of a blended family, but Levine does a great job giving a voice to the chaos that can ensue. Bringing step-families together, especially at holidays can be challenging, let alone dealing with the tragedy of loss. While Jack's complaints are valid, they are also tainted with the angst of a teenage boy. He's impulsive and overbearing at times, but his genuine concern for his family and friends make him a great lead character.

Cherie Belle I never really grew to like as a character, but I think that was kind of intentional. She's a young actress who suffers a terrible tragedy and deals with it in a very stereotypical way. The overbearing manager and publicist story for celebrities is pretty thoroughly ingrained in this trope so those situations didn't really shock me. Some of the situations that are included are a little above a young adult audience, in my humble opinion, but maybe I'm a little out of touch with what a 16 year old goes through these days.

All in all this was a fun read that I enjoyed.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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