Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby, published by Walker on 28th February 2012
Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.
Sharp, funny and witty, 'Shooting Stars' is an entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable read. Have you ever imagined what the life of a paparazzo is really like - well you can find out all their juicy secrets here. This book will definitely appeal to those who are obsessed with celebrities and the world of entertainment, for which I would definitely include myself!
Jo is a sixteen year old paparazzo, following in the footsteps of her father. She loves the rush of snapping that elusive shot and because of her age she's able to go places and get photos that no one else can get. She agrees to enter a retreat to get pictures of singer and teen sensation Ned Hartnett but she ends up discovering a lot more about Ned and herself, than she bargained for. Jo is an engaging and sharply perceptive central character and narrator. I warmed to her straight away and although she keeps her feelings buried deep inside, she has a big heart. I really liked the way that Jo actually ended up learning things about herself during the retreat which helped her to decide about her own future. There was a tremendous amount of growth in her as a character which I enjoyed.
There were some great secondary characters in the book too, including Jo's paparazzo friend Mannie, her air-hostess cousin Wendy and various others like Katrina and Seth who she meets at the retreat. The latter two are also working on rebuilding their lives after personal difficulties and tragedies but it was nice to see that Jo made some real friendships through her experience.
I loved the twist that Allison Rushby drops into the book about half-way through. I have to say that I didn't guess it at all but it made the second part of the story even more interesting as Jo has to try and find a solution for the mess she's got herself into!
'Shooting Stars' is a fun read with a cute boy, a sassy heroine and an engaging storyline. I for one, will never look at celebrity snaps in magazines the same way again. Don't wait, go out and pick this book up now!