Synopsis from Good Reads:
Elise Jameson is the secret author behind the bestselling, cult hit Viking Moon series. But when a stranger poses as Elise, the painfully shy, deaf nineteen-year-old starts to see how much she’s missing. Can she really hide in the shadows forever? This clever, coming-of-age debut is for anyone who has ever felt unsure in their own skin.
After a freak childhood accident leaves her deaf and physically scarred, nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson retreats into a world of vibrant characters she creates on her laptop. She is shocked when her coping mechanism turns into a career as a phenomenal bestselling novelist. Fans are obsessed with Elise’s Viking Moon series and its author—a striking girl with zero resemblance to Elise who appears on the back covers. Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor following a minor panic attack. Now, horrified to learn she is expected on set of the television pilot based on her novels, Elise tracks down her anonymous stand-in. To Elise’s surprise, Veronica Wilde has been taking credit for Viking Moon for years. She eagerly agrees to keep up the charade if Elise will pose as her assistant.
It’s hard for Elise to watch a stranger take credit for her work and get all the perks she desires, including admiration from the show’s heartthrob star. Edged onto the sidelines of her own life, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay anonymous. Is she ready to come to terms with her true identity—and with the long-buried secrets that could cost her her career, her fans, and the few precious friendships she’s made?
I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.
Flirting with Fame will be available February 29, 2016.
-My mother works with the deaf and hearing impaired, so I’m always interested to read about deaf characters. I liked that there were a few people in Elise’s life that knew sign language and that that was incorporated into the story. Since Elise was a teenager when she became deaf she has good speech and she’s talented at reading lips so a lot of people don’t realize she’s deaf. While I think that it was handled pretty well overall, I did think things were maybe just a tad too easy for her. Only once does she ever have to tell someone to slow down when they’re speaking and the majority of the time she talks with people is through speech instead of sign language, even with the people who are fluent with signing. I think it could have been just a bit more realistic if the communication barrier was greater explored.
-As someone who loves watching tv shows based on books, I loved that aspect of the story. I really enjoyed all the parts where Elise is on set and seeing how emotional she gets when she sees the sets and how the actors represent the characters she created. I wouldn’t have minded getting a little more information on the series, Viking Moon, but I did like that the story stayed focused on Elise and her real life.
-I really liked Elise’s new friend, the “cowboy” Clint. I have to admit a part of me liked him so much because when I was a freshman in college one of my first friends was a guy who thought of himself as a cowboy and it kind of reminded me of those days. I liked that he was often the voice of reason, but was also sweet and funny. I didn’t quite buy into his eventual romantic relationship, though, and how easy it was for him to shift his affections.
-For the most part, I really enjoyed the relationship between Elise and Gavin. I liked how they started out as friends and slowly grew into more. I thought Gavin was pretty adorable and just flawed enough to make him realistic.
What Didn’t Quite do it for Me
-Though I liked the romance between Elise and Gavin, I thought there were some scenes that were a bit too graphic for YA (though thankfully didn’t quite shift into NA territory). There was also a scene with Elise and some basically random guy, followed by some really heavy drinking and drunk shenanigans that really made me like her character a little less.
-I didn’t really care for Elise’s roommate, Reggie. She was pretty self-absorbed and made almost everything all about her. She did have several moments of being supportive, though, so she was a redeemable character.
-I think a lot of people will be able to identify with Elise’s low self-esteem and fear of exposure and understand why she goes so far to keep up the charade. However, I do find it a little hard to believe that she never had to meet in person (or even skype with) her agent, publicist, editor, etc. I also don’t think it’s that realistic that Veronica was able to pose as the author for so long without anyone figuring it out. Side note – Veronica was awful! But she was supposed to be, so I kind of enjoyed how awful she was.
Overall, Flirting with Fame was a pretty cute, fast read. I loved the concept and it was pretty well done for the most part. However, because I really didn’t respect a lot of Elise’s behavior, it made her and the story kind of difficult to like at times and is the reason I can’t quite give it 4 stars.
Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars