Released: July 10th
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
When a new teen network casts Chad Beacon to be the star of its new variety show (think "Saturday Night Live" for teens) he needs a costar. The network execs are happy to find a great girl to work along side him, but Chad's parents acting as agents are insistent that the girl is Christian. Instead of scrapping the whole idea, the network sets up a reality type show for ten girls to try out. Meanwhile, Kara, fresh off her previous reality show "The Book of Love," joins the cast and she's eager for a chance to be on television.
One thing I really loved about Starring Me were the characters. While Starring Me stands alone, some of the characters were also featured in McGee's first novel, First Date, which came out this past January. It's exactly like how you can read Lola and The Boy Next Door as a standalone, but characters from Anna and the French Kiss show up... I love that! I'm hoping we get the same thing in McGee's next book, Right Where I Belong, due out this coming December.
The story in Starring Me makes for a very fun read. I really enjoyed reading about the girl's "try-outs" for the variety show and learning about the girls who were involved. Anna Grace sticks out the most, since she's such a know-it-all who thinks she's the best thing since sliced bread. I would have loved to have seen her face when she found out who won the competition! On the one hand, I'd love the see Anna Grace have a change in heart in the future, but on the other hands, she's a character we can all love to hate and I think that's a great role for her. If Anna Grace is a character to dislike, then Kara is a character to adore. She was so sweet and helpful throughout the whole book, I really liked her as a person.
The only thing I didn't like about Starring Me were Chad's parents. I understand they wanted what was best for him and that's admirable, but I feel like they took it to the extreme when it came to choosing his costar. They were very insistent that the girl chosen was Christian. When the producers of the show offered a morally upstanding, good-girl that simply wasn't good enough for them. It made Chad's parents come off as a little judgmental against non-Christians, which I did not care for. Thankfully, that didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the novel and I will definitely be reading Krista McGee's future YA fiction. Who knows, maybe Anna Grace will show up in future novels and finally find God? Er, maybe not...
Four stars! This lighthearted YA novel about reality television is great fun to read, whether you're a believer or not. Definitely check out this book and McGee's first novel, First Date, which I also really enjoyed.