Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review: The Fame Game

Like many of my female peers of similar age (and maybe some dudes, what do I know?), I spent much of my "studying time" during college watching "Laguna Beach" and  "The Hills" on MTV. It just seemed like those girls were living the life. They were beautiful, famous, rich, etc. I fairly quickly realized that their reality was not the same as mine, if you could call that reality at all. But I've always kind of had a soft spot for the girls, especially Lauren Conrad (LC). I know she wasn't all innocent but it always seemed like she was a pretty, nice girl who go the short end of the stick a lot. (On both shows she had crappy love interests and awful frienemies.)

Fast forward a few years, the shows are only playing in reruns now and Lauren is a fashion designer (yeah, ok she was in school for that) and an author (uh, what?!) That just didn't seem like a natural leap to me and was/is she even writing those books herself? So I resisted reading her books. I just thought it would surely be a waste of good reading time. 

But alas, I am fickle. I saw where Lauren would be doing a signing for her new book pretty near to me. I love author events and as aforementioned I always kind of secretly thought Lauren was cool. Once I decided I wanted to go to the signing I realized I'd have to buy at least one her books. I still was not thrilled with the book written by reality star part. My hubs knew I wanted to go nonetheless so he got me a copy of The Fame Game the day before the signing. I was all set, only thing left to do was read it.

I began reading when I was going to bed. I'll just read a little bit til I get sleepy I said to myself. If I like a book, I'm never good at reading just a page or two or even a chapter or two and putting a book down. I kid you not, I read the whole dadgum book, cover to cover in one sitting. The Fame Game is actually a pretty good book! Imagine that! I liked it even.

The same elements I love about reality TV were in The Fame Game with the added benefit of leading me to believe I was getting some kind of insider info. Ha! That's awesome, I totally dig that kind of thing! The Fame Game is a spin off series to Conrad's first series called L.A. Candy, which I have not read. The Fame Game follows four young female Hollywood hopefuls as they chase down their dreams of fame and fortune. Of course, drama ensues.

The "main" character is Madison, who is a revamped trailer park girl with family issues. Her rival is Carmen, who was born on the A-list thanks to her well connected parents. Gaby is the air-headed comic relief. And there's Kate, a Mid-Western signer song writer trying to make in the big city. There is the anticipated boy drama and jealously issues. But I think one of most surprising elements to The Fame Game was the willingness to address some big issues. It's not discussed too much but Gaby's eating disorder and obsession with cosmetic procedures is alluded to more than once. Madison's family issues include a sister that had to go to rehab, an alcoholic mother and ex-con father, who have recently resurfaced in her "perfect" life. 

I thought the story was actually very interesting. I caught myself thinking things like, "Oh snap!" and "Girl, don't do that!" And again I read the book in a matter of just a couple of hours which is a testament that I did in fact like what I was reading. The only thing I didn't really like, which I also find that I don't love about the shows, is that even after reading the whole book or watching the whole show nothing really "happened." Ya know? I guess it's just that feeling that things are left unresolved. I felt like it was a really good set up for something to happen, it just hasn't yet. Maybe that's just the disadvantage of reading a series. The next book, Starstruck, just came out so maybe we'll get a little further in that one.

I give The Fame Game 4 out of 5 stars. I just really surprised by how much I did like it. If you like catty drama in the same lines of "The Hills" TV show this may be a fun read for you too. I would say this book is for older teens to young adults, some language and themes may be mature for young readers.

More info on The Fame Game on Goodreads.

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