Review: Starlight by Alexandra Richland

Title: Starlight
Series: Starlight #1
Author: Alexandra Richland
Pages: 400 +
Published: May 1, 2013
Acquired: From author for blog tour - Thank you Alexandra Richland
Goodreads Rating: 4.16
My Rating: 4.0
October 1952 finds eighteen-year-old Marie Bates relocating from her rainy hometown in the Pacific Northwest to the sun-soaked streets of Los Angeles, California. Marie's plans for a teaching career take an unexpected turn when she's asked to film a screen test at a major motion picture studio.

Renamed Elizabeth Sutton by the studio heads, she lands her first role as an extra. On set, Elizabeth spies Aidan Evans, a rebellious, twenty-three-year-old Method actor from New York. Aidan is branded as a stuck-up troublemaker by his famous Hollywood peers, but Elizabeth suspects a tragic secret lurks behind his steely facade.

As their careers hit the fast track and friendship evolves into romance, the expectations of Hollywood stardom threaten to shine a spotlight on Aidan's dark past before he can make peace with it. Elizabeth must help Aidan confront the painful event that shattered his life and conquer a terrifying truth before it destroys him and their future together.

Starlight is the first book in The Starlight Trilogy, a story of love and redemption set against the backdrop of the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age.

Five Reasons To Read Starlight:

1. A sweeping technicolor tale of forbidden romance.

2. A detailed homage to the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.

3. Cameos from many of your favorite classic film stars.

4. Transformation of a small town girl to silver screen starlet through Hollywood’s unforgiving lens.

5. Close-up of a 1950s bad boy channeling a tragic past and the stress of sudden super stardom through the art of Method acting
My Review:
Last week I had the privilege of being apart of the blog tour for the sequel to this amazing story by Alexandra Richland. I really wanted to get this review up prior to reviewing the second, but unfortunately I was not able to. But alas since this story is so good, it deserves a proper review and therefore it will get one.
Immediately while reading this book I was enchanted by world that the author has created. The starts off with Marie a recent high school graduate who moved to Los Angeles to follow her dream of becoming a teacher. While she moves there she befriends Olivia who becomes her best friend and her room mate. With out knowing Marie starts working at a Pharmacy which is the most sought after job in all of L.A. Now this isn't the usual sort of Pharmacy that you and I know of today. It is the time of Pharmacy that used to have a diner with in it. It is the most sought after job in town due to the fact that it is also the most frequented by celebrities and the whose who of Hollywood at the time. And everyone who Marie worked with had a desire to make it big - all Marie cared about was making enough money to pay her rent and school.
But alas when Marie is least expecting it the right - hand man to the biggest producer in town sees Marie and is drawn her natural girl next door look and wants her to come in for a screen test. Unsure of what to do, but Marie decides to go in for the screen test anyway. She doubts she will be hired but decides to do it anyway to save herself from having any "What Ifs," later on. But despite her reservations the producer loves her girl next door look and signs her for a 7 year contract.
As she embarks on her new journey in life, she is faced with learning her new craft and all the behind the scenes hoopla that goes into becoming an actress. And as she starts doubting herself and her ability to actually be an actress, she meets Aidan - a new method actor who moved across the country from New York to star in the biggest movie to hit Hollywood to date.
Ridiculed for his type of acting and facing demons from his past that make him not the social person in Hollywood Aidan sees something in Claire - or Beth she now known and Beth for him. Their attraction is instantaneous, but one thing or another keeps them apart. This is just the beginning of a beautiful story with Hollywood glitz and glamour and guest appearances from Ricky Ricardo and Lucille Ball and John Wayne.
There were so many things that I liked about this book and I mention them in detail in my review for Starbright - but there were a couple of things I left out.
I really enjoyed that the romance between Beth and Aiden, is gradual. And that for a good portion of this book they are each others shoulder to cry on, but from afar. It takes them a while to finally admit their feelings for one another and that was refreshing to read about. Another aspect that I really liked reading that I did not mention was the friendship between Beth and Olivia. I really enjoyed reading about how both of them fought to make their dreams to come true.



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