Saturday, March 12, 2011

FAMOUS by Todd Strasser

We are fascinated with the rich and famous.  We buy magazines and tune in to shows like the Insider to get glimpses of our favorite celebrities in both their high moments and their even juicier low moments.  Our appetite for celebrity gossip is satisfied by gutsy, risk-taking paparazzi and their ability to be in the right place at just the right time.

Jamie Gordon has become the darling of the paparazzi not because she is the current teen singing or acting sensation, but because she has proved she can be in the right place at the right time just like the best of them.  One well-placed photo of a popular celebrity earned Jamie a spot of the cover of People magazine and a chance to do what she loves best - take pictures of the rich and famous around her home in New York City.

Still in high school, it is challenging for Jamie to tend to her blossoming career.  Her mother believes she should be sitting in her boring high school classes instead of prowling the streets of NYC in search of her next celebrity sighting.  Although her father is a bit more supportive, her parents are divorced making her mother the custodial parent whose opinion counts the most.

When she is offered the chance to spend spring break with teen superstar Willow Twine, Jamie's parents come to an agreement that she can take the job.  She heads to L.A. and Willow's mansion.  The idea is that Jamie will follow Willow and photograph her daily activities, but when the gig actually begins, Jamie quickly realizes that some parts of Willow's life are off limits.  For example, Willow's rockstar boyfriend, Rex, has been a bad influence on Willow and is considered a potential threat to her career.  Willow makes it clear that Jamie is not to photograph them together.

Other events that complicate the plot of FAMOUS involve Jamie's longtime childhood friend who left NYC to come to Hollywood to become an actor.  He has found that getting into the business is not as easy as it seems, and his life is spiraling out of control.  There is also the creepy stalker who keeps sending letters to Willow saying that he knows someone is out to get her, but that he is there to protect her from harm.

Author Todd Strasser takes the celebrity stuff that intrigues us so and combines it with a bit of suspense and mystery to create a real page-turner.  Much different than many of his other books, FAMOUS will still appeal to his fans and probably create some new ones.

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