Friday, May 22, 2015

Book Review: ABSOLUTELY TRUE LIES by Rachel Stuhler

Publication: May 26, 2015
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: E-ARC
Rating: 4 Stars

A fledgling entertainment writer stumbles into the gig of a lifetime writing a teenage pop star's memoir and soon realizes that the young celebrity's squeaky-clean image is purely a work of fiction.

Struggling writer Holly Gracin is on the verge of moving back home to upstate New York when she gets hired to write the memoirs of eighteen-year-old Daisy Mae Dixson, a former Nickelodeon child star who has moved seamlessly into both blockbuster movies and pop music.

Holly quickly realizes that Daisy's wholesome public image is purely a work of fiction, as Holly finds herself trailing the star as she travels around the world on yachts, gets stalked by paparazzi, and sneaks out of five-star hotels in the dead of night.

As Holly struggles to write a flattering portrait of a teenage millionaire who only eats "nightshades" and treats her employees like slaves, Daisy has a public meltdown - and suddenly, her book is the cornerstone of resurrecting her image. But working at all hours trailing a pop star has taken its toll, and Holly must decide if becoming the ultimate insider is worth losing a starring role in her own life.

Fun, juicy, and inspired by Rachel Stuhler's own stranger-than-fiction experiences as a celebrity ghost writer, Absolutely True Lies is an entertaining look at how the lifestyles of the rich and famous aren't always what they seem.

Wow, what a surprise. Absolutely True Lies isn't what I expected in the least. I thought I would be getting some light, fluffy chic-lit read, and while yes it was a bit like that, it was also full of wit and glamour. I feel like we've gotten a front row seat behind the scenes of what Hollywood truly is; it's messy and not at all as glamorous as they want us to believe. So why should you read this book? Well because it's about Hollywood for one! Plus no character is what they seem. For me as the reader, I couldn't tell who I was to trust and who not to trust. One moment you'd be like okay I can see myself liking this particular character and then bam! They do something to clout your judgment. It was like that throughout the novel. Just a fair warning. 

The story follows Holly, a writer down on her luck when the magazine she writes for shuts down. With barely any money to her name, Holly finally finds a lucky break when her uncle gives her name
to the agent of Americas sweetheart, Daisy Mae Dixson. Daisy Mae is the girl every girl wants to be, who every boy wants, and has her own hit TV show on Nickelodeon. She has the reputation of saving herself until marriage...she has the purity ring to prove it! Her family life is great, the girl has the world in the palm of her hand. Yes, her life is seemingly perfect. Except for one minor thing: IT'S NOT PERFECT ALL. Holly is about to find out first hand that nothing and no one is what they seem. Oh yeah, Holly is supposed to write Daisy's autobiography!

When I first started reading this, I thought okay, here's another Hollywood centered book. One that will probably be about a nobody girl who just so happens to "fall" into fame. There she'll meet the big wigs and possibly fall in love with an actor. Maybe her new best friend will be like the Taylor Swift of the novel. I could go on and on. I love Hollywood books, okay so I may be obsessed with them. But one thing I absolutely love, is that they're predictable. Absolutely True Lies isn't predictable at all! I'm so glad that I was able to see Hollywood in what I believe is pretty realistic. I'm sure as somebody famous, you can't trust anyone. You can't go anywhere with the paparazzi following your every move. It would be so tiring! I can't say I have dreamed about being rich and famous but at the end of the day, I like my anonymity. 

Holly thinks she doesn't like anonymity until the world finally sits up and takes notice. Of course the only reason they follow her is because they want something from her. Plus, she part of Daisy's entourage, so it would only make sense that they want the dirt! And believe me, Holly has a bunch! Juicy details that would ruin little miss perfect's career. I'm getting off track here, the book isn't really about getting information and selling it to the highest bidder. Holly is trying to tell the life story of Daisy, but Daisy and her camp have made it very difficult indeed. 

My anxiety was up a lot throughout the book. Especially anytime Holly and money came into the picture. Holly isn't exactly the richest person and she depends on the money she's making from writing the book. But there are dishonest and greedy people out there, so there are times that I have no idea how Holly is going to make it. The girl is tough though, and I immensely enjoyed reading her story.  

Overall, if you're up for some fun, I suggest this book. While there is romance, it was more on the back burner. I still think anyone will appreciate it though! I definitely look forward to more books from the author. And on a side note, the main character was a little too judgy for my liking but she makes up for it in the end which I liked. It's always nice to see character growth and in this case, it
was an A plus. 

*Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a review copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy Link:

About the Author:
Rachel Stuhler grew up in Rochester, NY, so obsessed with movies and books that she spent as little time as possible in the real world. In her late teens, this obsession led her first to New York as a terrible production assistant and then to Los Angeles, where she spent four years working as a script supervisor (and pining after writing jobs) until one day an actor told her, “If you think you can do it better yourself, just do it.”

Within a year, Rachel had sold TV movies to Lifetime and Hallmark and because she doesn’t know when to quit, began dreaming of writing a novel. After forcing countless crew members, family, and friends to read manuscripts, Rachel came to write Absolutely True Lies. She continues to work on TV movies and plot her next move in world domination, or reading about world domination, which is more fun and a lot less work.

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