Friday, 26 June 2015

Reviewed: Among a Thousand Stars by Jo Bartlett.







Among a Thousand Stars was published by So Vain Books on June 17, 2015.


Thanks to Stephanie at So Vain Books for sending me a copy of this book to review for the blog tour.



Here’s a book to just make you smile. Among a Thousand Stars is a feel-good, heart-warming story which is perfect to brighten up a dreary day or pass a few hours in the sun. Jo Bartlett effortlessly combines the witty and chaotic side of celebrity culture with the deeper, more meaningful look at love and how family and past experiences can shape you as a person.

Among a Thousand Stars introduces us to photographer Ashleigh who, bless her, always seems to end the day embarrassed at something, whether she was caught saying, or hearing, something she shouldn’t or maybe when she is young and her mother turns out to be the nude model in her class. Things take a turn for the more embarrassing when the celebrity agent who she’s already offended turns out to be her new boss. There we have Tom. Tom was, I think, one of those people with a hard shell and the softest personality on the inside. There’s chemistry between him and Ashleigh and even though they go back and forth a lot, I liked how it didn’t take them too long to test a relationship because sometimes I find the build-up takes too long and then the book is over before it really got started. I thought the pacing was done so well here.

Jo created a real mixed bag of characters – all faultlessly entertaining in their own rights. I loved the duo of Ashleigh and Stevie, photographer and stylist for Glitz magazine. Their characters were so very different but together their friendship worked like a treat. Stevie was the special kind of person who is just naturally uplifting and you get the feeling that in his company you couldn’t be fed up for long. He’s a little brash at times, always joking and regardless of the persona he puts across to everyone else, it’s so obvious how caring he is and how he would always put his friends first. The way he looked out for Ashleigh throughout this novel was very sweet and she does often find herself in situations where she really needs a friend to snap her out of it. I found Ashleigh so easy to like – sure, she could mope a lot but she was also capable of switching off for a little bit and whether she’s in need of a drink to cheer her up or just to share a joke or two with Stevie, I found that I really wanted her to get that happy ever after.

A lot of the strength in Jo’s writing of Among a Thousand Stars came through her characters as Ashleigh, Stevie and Tom weren’t the only memorable ones. There was Zac, a singer who was probably more famous for the number of fiancĂ©es he had had. I loved Zac, possibly for the wrong reasons, but he always made me smile whether he was sheepishly making a move on Ashleigh or just livening the place up with his antics. I also enjoyed reading about both Tom and Ashleigh’s mums who were very funny and a little outlandish at times. Tom’s mother had a particularly moving story and of course, I cried. I liked seeing Tom’s relationship with his mum because even though he apparently doesn’t believe in love, he had such a warming relationship with his mum that kind of made me feel like there was hope for him yet.

Among a Thousand Stars had all the components of a good romantic comedy. Not a page went by where I wasn’t laughing, smiling or being moved by this story and it was just so much fun. I loved all the antics the celebrities got up to but it didn’t feel as predictable and if I’m honest, as annoying as I often find books with celebrities to be. Sometimes they can be quite draining to read but for this particular book I thought Jo had it spot on. Actually, the bits where the celebrities are keeping Tom, Ashleigh and Stevie busy were my favourite parts because you never knew what was coming next and what trouble they were getting themselves into this time. This book had a good selection of some surprisingly down to earth characters who endeared themselves to me and through all the comedy, there was a little positive message bursting through of the importance of embracing love and how the fun in life comes when you have somebody to share it with.


Light-hearted, heart-warming and a purely blissful slice of romantic comedy.







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