Today the shelves in the young adult section of bookstores are filled with books about vampires, werewolves and witches. It is always refreshing to come across a book based in reality that has a positive message with no gore or foul language. Starring Me written by Krista McGee fits that category.
Starring Me is the followup to First Date (also reviewed on this blog). We met the main character, Kara in the first book. Kara wants to be a famous actress but she wants to be involved in the writing as well. When an opportunity comes for her to join another reality-type so to win a part in a sketch-type show, Kara is thrilled about the opportunity. The girls know they will be starring with a famous actor but they don’t know who that is (although the reader knows from chapter one of the book).
Kara is challenged with mean girls and tough situations but she has a supportive family, a faithful best friend and a kind house-mother type to help her survive the teenage struggles and the stress of being thrust into the spotlight.
This was a pretty quick and easy read. There are no big twists and turns. In fact, the book is pretty predictable but, in reality, isn’t life pretty predictable? Overall, it was a good, engaging read and most younger teenage girls (I’d say 13-15 years) will enjoy this book.
****Thomas Nelson Publishers provided me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.
It’s not often that I like a sequel better than a first book, but, in the case of "Starring Me," this is the case. I enjoyed reading "First Date," a contemporary story with elements from the stories of Esther and Daniel, but "Starring Me" was even more fun to read.
Also a contemporary story with recognizable similarities to a biblical one, "Starring Me" moves Kara McKormick from supporting role to lead. In this story, she’s auditioning for a role as a co-star on a brand new TV show for teens. She knows the show’s male counterpart has already been chosen, but his identity is being kept secret. Also unknown to her is the fact that his parents set up the auditions in a way that would allow them to choose his co-star. Knowing he’ll be working with her closely and over a long period of time, they want their son to find a co-star who shares his faith in God.
In addition to the fun story, this book offers some great insights into setting priorities, showing kindness, putting others above self, why Jesus matters, how God works in our lives, caring for those in need, maintaining strong family relationships, being a friend, and getting a good education.
I’m happy to recommend this sweet story, especially to junior high or early high school age girls. Thank you, Thomas Nelson Publishers, for sending a complimentary eCopy for this honest review.
Seventeen-year-old Kara McKormick hung up the phone and screamed. And screamed.
After winning America's Next Star, Chad Beacon quickly rose to fame and became a favorite pop-star, but he doesn't just want his career to be focused on singing. He gets an offer to be on a new variety show that he'll be singing, acting, and writing some of his own scenes. It's the perfect thing for him. But since he'll be spending most of his time with a co-star, his parents want someone that shares his faith. Kara doesn't believe that God is real, and even if she believed that He existed she doesn't want to serve someone that is all about judging and rules and will ultimately bring destruction on your life. But friends surrounding her do believe in God, and they believe that though bad things happen in life, God there's to take you through it. They also believe that somehow, through some circumstance, Kara will realize that there is indeed Someone who cares about her and won't judge her for her mistakes. Ever since she was a contestant on The Book of Love, Kara has wanted to act again, and not just in front of your typical teen play. So, when she is given the chance to come down to Orlando to audition with nine other girls for a part in a teen version of Saturday Night Live, she readily accepts. She'll be living with the nine other girls and a bizarre housemother. If she wins she'll be starring with a big-time celebrity, whose identity is a secret, and if she loses, she'll be forever wondering what she could have done differently. When she arrives in Orlando, she begins to doubt herself, her heart, and even her own beliefs.
I really enjoyed this book. Maybe it's because it was a light-fun read with tons of laughing moments, or because of the refreshing Christian-based read, or the characters with their different personalities and voices, or the fact that the author gives you a glimpse into the lives of pop-stars and auditioning actors/actresses. Whatever my reason, I really love this book. It was fun to see Kara's journey to God and acting. It had enough laughter and mystery to keep me reading. I recommend this book to anyone wanting a fun comedy book with Christian based beliefs.
Kara McKormick is told she's auditioning to star in a new teen variety show. But it's what she isn't told that could change her life.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 5 for Starring Me - eBook
A great sequel!!!
Date:September 30, 2012
Starring Me by Krista McGee is the sequel to Ms. McGee's book First Date. We met the main two characters Kara McCormick and Chad Beacon in First Date. Starring Me follows Kara as she auditions for a new teen variety show. You follow Kara as she leaves her family in New York to move to Orlando for a month to live with the other nine girls chosen to compete for the show. Kara and the other girls are told they will be co-hosting with a young up-and-coming male star. They have no idea that it is Chad Beacon. Unknown to the girls, their "house mom" is Chad's housekeeper, Flora. Flora is sent to learn what each girl is like when the cameras aren't rolling. Chad and his parents want the girl chosen to be of good moral conduct and character, as well as a christian. As Kara goes through the day to day activities, she really catches Flora's eye. However, Kara is not a christian. Will the time spent with Flora and Kara's best friend, Addy, start to make a change in Kara and draw her closer to God?
Anyone who enjoyed reading First Date will not be disappointed with Starring Me
Starring Me was a great follow up to Krista McGee's first book! What a pleasant surprise to find a book that was engaging, good fun! Initially, I wasn't too interested in the next installment, but because the books were appropriate for my girls - I jumped at the opportunity to read them. I was not disappointed.
In Starring Me, we are introduced to Kara McKormick. Kara is an aspiring actress hoping to get her big break. Although she is upright and strives to do the "right thing", she is not a Christian. Through the friendship that she's made with Addy Davidson, she's introduced to a Christianity that she's never known before. You'll want to grab the first book, First Date, where Kara and Addy meet and begin their friendship.
In the meantime, we are brought along her adventure as she chases her dream for stardom from New York to Florida. In between, she's running from God and all that it means to know Him. Throughout the book, Kara is placed with people that speak the truth in love to her and clearly spell out the gospel. I think that's what I enjoyed most from the story. Krista McGee skillfully wove the gospel into the story line while still keeping it fun and engaging. We are able to learn with Kara what it means to follow Christ and trust Him with your life.
Starring Me was an entertaining read that reminded me again of the many ways God works in our lives - when we least expect it and in the most surprising ways.
STARRING ME By Krista McGee Starring Me is a sequel to First DateFirst Date. But where First Date focused more and on Addy and Jonathon, Starring Me focuses fiesty Kara McKormick and her chance to become a star.
Kara has been offered a chance to audition for a new teen variety show. If she wins she'll co-host with a celebrity teen star in Orlando. But what Kara and the other nine girls don't know is that celebrity teen Chad Beacon is the mystery star and his new co-host needs to be a Christian to win. Will a not so little thing like belief in God keep Kara from fulfilling her dream?
The month long audition takes place in Orlando Florida and the girls live together in a house with Flora as their housemother. Flora is an unusual housemother in her love of reading classic books, her colorful hair, and her style of dress. But Kara is drawn to Flora and they talk about Flora's belief in God. During her times off Kara spends time with Addy. Kara feels out of her element with the other girls who are just as catty and mean spirited as they were on The Book of Love. And to top it off Kara is only girl auditioning who doesn't have an agent.
With so many people praying for her and living as examples of true loving Christianity, will Kara decide to pursue a relationship with God? When a crisis forces Kara to decide what is important in her life, what will be her decision?
I found Starring Me to be as much fun as First Date. Kara is the kind of person you could see as a friend and maybe a little over the top in her reactions, but totally fun. Kara's life journey is fascinating to follow. And I loved that Addy and Jonathon were in it again.
I am hoping for a third book in this series as I love the growth that all the characters experience from their exposure to each other and from their families.
I received this book free from the publisher through the Book Sneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
It is encouraging to read literature for teenagers that is well written, entertaining and uplifting all at the same time. Many Christian books for teenagers can come across as preachy and often turns them off. Not only did this book have a great point, it was fast pace, creative and funny. It is definitely a book I will recommend to my own teenage daughter. I was introduced to this author’s works when I read the prequel to this book, First Date, and became in instant fan. Though Starring Me works as a stand-alone, I would recommend reading First Date before this book because it also is a five star read and you may stumble across some spoilers in this book. The characters in Starring Me are quirky, but down-to-earth and believable. Though it is probably a little far-fetched that parents of a teenage star would have the foresight and enough clout to demand a Christian co-star, I found the idea inspiring. I also loved the concept of a covert “character test” for a group of teenage aspiring actresses. I wish there were real role models in the entertainment industry somewhere that were like the teenagers in McGee’s books.
After reading First Date and Starring Me, I am a huge fan of Krista McGee! In Starring Me, we follow Kara's story as she has the opportunity to audition to be the co-host of a new teen show. She's determined to get the role, but must beat out nine other contestants for the part. Living with the other girls presents a variety of challenges, but Kara leans on her friendship with Addy and wisdom from the house mother. When a family crisis interrupts the auditions, Kara is sure she will have to sacrifice her dream. Only God can work out the details, but will Kara trust Him to?
What a wonderful book! The story is fun and the characters are realistic (despite their fame) and the kind of people you would want to be friends with. One of the things I loved most about Starring Me was how McGee was so intentional about including the gospel throughout the book without compromising the story or creating super-cheesy characters and dialogue.
There was one instance where Kara was asking Addy questions about God and I thought the entire conversation was just brilliant! Teenagers who read this novel will be able to see that it can be easy and natural to talk about God with your friends. I also appreciated how the author handled the "romance" aspect of the book—and particularly dealt with a Christian and non-Christian being interested in one another.
Readers who enjoy sweet romance and fun stories will surely love Starring Me, and I have no reservations (at all!) about recommending this to younger readers.
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson via Net Galley in exchange for my fair and honest review.
This is a teen book, that is a fun read for us older folks. I read this book on a Sunday afternoon, it was a good fluffy summer read. If you have read First Date then this is a continuation of that book, if you haven't, don't worry you can still read this book and know everything that is going on.
The story is of Kara a teen girl that is chosen to audition in Orlando, FL for a month to be on a new TV show starring with a teen age heartthrob. She doesn't know who the co-star is and it is kept a secret, she has to deal with living with 9 other teenage girls and Flora the house mother, aka... the housekeeper of the family of the co-star who want a christian girl to co-star with him. The book goes through friendship, relationships, family and having a relationship with GOD. It is a fun book that we can all really predict the ending, but it was fun to read on a hot summer afternoon. It is a story that is relating to the bible story of Isaac and Rebekah, Genesis 24........there are reading group questions at the end of the book and this would be a great book to read at a teen book club.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Booksneeze bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I am often compelled to try young adult fiction, especially when the plots seem to offer fun and faith. Starring Me, Krista McGee's follow-up to First Date, offers both qualities. It is a quick read with a positive message for teens. Many of the young characters in the novel have or aspire to high-profile lifestyles. Although most teens aren't vying for a spot on a tv show or mingling with the President's children, the emotions and circumstances that the main characters experience are very relevant. McGee creates main characters who are great role models for young adults. Chad, Addy, and Jonathan are strong Christians who are committed to following God's plans for their lives. At times they seem a little too perfect and too mature for their age. Kara balances out their "perfection," with realistic questions and doubts that young readers may also experience. McGee weaves a strong Christian message into the plot through Kara's experiences as well as the beliefs of her friends.
I enjoyed Starring Me overall, but there are some elements that keep it from being one of my favorite young adult novels. Many of the characters fall into one of two molds - those who are thoughtful and nice, and those who are self-centered and annoying. Kara meets young celebrities or aspiring actresses throughout the novel, and the majority of them are arrogant and unlikable. The addition of more likable characters would balance the negative personalities. I did not completely connect to the characters, but Starring Me is definitely a promising novel for teenagers. The reality show setting offers interesting experiences with a diverse range of challenges to keep readers intrigued and waiting for the next book.
I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from NetGalley, courtesy of Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
We first met Kara McKormick in First Date, where she befriended Allie during the reality show to win a date with the President's son. When we pick up with Kara in Starring Me, she and Allie are still friends, and Kara is hoping to pursue a career in acting. The opportunity arises for her to audition for a teen-driven variety show, but what Kara doesn't know is that the audition is based less on talent and more on her character. Even less expected is that this search for a career will also lead her to God.
Chad Beacon is one of America's current heartthrobs. Having celebrity land in his lap after winning a reality talent contest, he is hoping to broaden his career options by adding acting to his resume. His parents know that if he is to spend a significant amount of time with a female co-star, his heart will become invested in her, and so they, understandably, want a say in choosing the actress.
I really enjoyed First Date, and had been looking forward to learning more about Kara in this sequel. Her spunkiness and her friendship with Allie continued to enrich the story. Kara's family, too, added life and depth to the book, and felt like a family I would love to be a part of. I loved watching her journey of faith, from her complete denial of the existence of God, to the questioning of his existence, to her acceptance and joy at the discovery that He loved her. Her emotions always felt real and honest, and for the most part, the people that helped her get there seemed genuine.
My only issue with the book was perhaps that Chad felt too perfect. He didn't really seem to struggle with anything, and even though his faith was his own, he was very quick to agree with everything his parents suggested. I've known solid teenage Christians, but I don't know if I've ever known someone that in sync with their parents. His character felt a little flat for all the perfection.
Overall, this was a great sequel. And I was still left wanting more! It isn't super deep, but there are some thought-provoking elements to keep it from being too light. Kara's struggles to decide between career and family, even her decisions over which career path to choose, these are things that most readers can identify with on some level. Watching how God orchestrated her path to draw her to Himself can cause us to wonder where He has worked in our lives to draw us to Him.
I give this book 4 stars. I definitely recommend that you read First Date first, and then follow it up with this enjoyable sequel!
I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
Starring Me, Krista McGee’s second offering in the YA genre follows well behind “First Date” as a charming and very age appropriate YA novel aimed at young teen girls and at the young at heart. Following in the footsteps of the reality TV show gig, Starring Me centers around the charming character of 17 year old Kara McKormick who readers will remember as Addy Davidson’s best girlfriend from her first book. But this time the spot light is all on Kara and her own shot at staring in a new up and coming teen show along the lines of a teen versioned Saturday Night line and what Kara doesn’t know is that if she were to get this shot, she would be co-starring with none other than Chad Beacon, an instant teen pop star who soared to popularity by winning America’s Next Star. But here’s the deal, Chad’s parents are loving and protective and wants to make sure that his co-star isn’t just any girl and aspiring starlet, but one that has integrity , character and that they hope shares their Christian faith as well since their son would be spending so much time with this girl. So the family hatches a plan to put their beloved housekeeper undercover as a sort of “house mother” living in with the girls that get chosen to be the top ten girls vying for the shot at this show and going through a grueling audition process. Their housekeeper “Flora” is very flamboyant and so many girls show their true colors around her which helps Flora really see which girl is the best girl. Kara has all the right qualities except the most important one- she does not believe in God.
Kara gets to know Chad a little bit through his friendship with Jonathon who happens to be the President’s son and the guy who is seeing her best friend Addy. There is an instant connection between the two and a friendship starts to grow. As the story unfolds it takes the reader on another sweet story about faith, relationships and what is the most important thing in the end- faith, family and love. As a mother of teen girls I can recommend Krista McGee’s books with confidence knowing that they are sweet and yet carry a message that I hope will make a teenage girl think with regards to her relationships in life and her standing with God.
My only bit of criticism might be that I felt the “audition scripts” were a bit too young and perhaps corny for me to believe they would be used in a program designed for teens. But that is being pretty nit-picky and a very minor part of the story.
Overall, another great read to recommend to your daughters!
I was graciously provided with a digital copy of this book by the publisher through the Netgalley program in exchange for an honest, non-biased review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Chad Beacon isn’t your average Hollywood heartthrob. Sure, he won the show America’s Next Star, but as he and his parents negotiate his next big contract, a teen skit show that’s similar to Saturday Night Live, his parents want to make sure that his co-star shares his faith. The compromise? A family friend—and a great judge of character—volunteers to play housemother to the top ten finalists, and she will choose Chad’s co-star.
Kara wants to be an actor, so when she gets a callback to audition for a teen skit show, she is thrilled, moving to Orlando to where the competition will be filmed. But how can she stand a chance at winning when she’s the only one without an agent? And why does it seem like everyone around her is talking about God?
Cute story! And another fictional addition that jumps on the reality TV craze. It reads similar to a romance novel, bouncing between Chad and Kara’s points of view. This book is a spin off from First Date, and Chad and Kara are friends with Jonathan and Addy, the main characters from that story. McGree’s characters are have great dialogue and interactions. This story was loosely based on Isaac and Rebekah’s relationship, which makes it all the more fun. If you haven’t discovered Krista McGee yet, I suggest you waste no more time. Fun stuff.
Kara McCormick is a Long Island teen who dreams of seeing her name in lights. She loves performing and making others laugh, so when she receives a call about auditioning for a new show in Florida, she hops on the first plane out.
Chad Beacon is a young singing sensation who's tired of being tackled by adoring females. Ready to transition into television and use his acting talent, he's found the perfect show to host - but his parents won't give him permission unless they approve of his female cohost. Can they find a fun, talented girl - who's also a Christian?
Starring Me is a fabulous, lighthearted read! This book sparks with perkiness the whole way through. Even though Kara is not a person of faith in the beginning, she is surrounded by them, and her openness to discuss new things is refreshing. Her kindness and compassion definitely make her the star of the book, and in this regard she is held up as a shining example of how we should all behave. The contrast between Kara's behavior and that of her housemates is a stark reminder of how to and not to be.
McGee writes quirky scenarios and fun vignettes, all of which add to the charm of this book. The mood of the story, even when Kara's facing hard things, just makes the reader happy, and that's rare today.
By far the best aspect of this story to me was the example set by the Christian characters. Being exceptionally kind, speaking of their faith often, and sharing their beliefs without pushing are things that we can all do to live like Jesus, but one other stood out. Chad and Kara are friends with two other teens who are attracted to each other and are considering a relationship, and that's what's so wonderful: they're teens who are considering it. They're going slow, getting to know each other, and deciding what they want out of a relationship before ever moving forward at all.. That's rare in the world today, and even more so to find played out in our media today. To see such a relationship held up as an example in a new book was wonderful.
All in all, Starring Me is a perky read that should make any teen laugh. As a mom, it's the kind of book I want my kids to read when they hit their teen years. You can't go wrong with Starring Me.
I received a free copy of Starring Me from the BookSneeze Program in exchange for an honest review.
This book is as amazing as it's predecessor "First Date." This book picks up not long after FD and is about Kara who was a central character in FD. Kara who does not have a relationship with God is picked to be part off month long audition for a new show with a major star who is not being named until the actress role is cast. The young man who is to be the co-star and his family want to pick the girl so they devise a month long audition process with a family friend as chaperone to make sure the right girl is cast. I love the way Kara's journey about a relationship with Christ is woven into the storyline. It makes for a great read!
I love this book. It has a lot of humorous scenes in it and I love the interactions of the characters. I can't wait for Krista McGee's next book!
Kara McKormick and Addy Davidson were roommates on The Book of Love, a reality TV show searching for a prom date for the son of the President of the United States. Neither girl won the date, but Addy won the boy. Now Kara has been asked to audition for the female co-host of a new teen TV show. She gets through the first round of auditions and finds herself in Florida for a month with nine other girls, all competing for the same role.
Chad Beacon, winner of a nationwide TV talent show, teenage pop sensation and friend to Jonathon Jackson (hero of First Date, Addy’s story). He has been offered the chance to co-host a new teen TV show, but his parents insist that they get to decide who the female co-host will be, because they want her to be a Christian. The station agrees to allow the family the choice by having Flora, their housekeeper, live with the girls and make the decision.
I thought the initial introduction to Flora was a little weird – it made her out to be a bit of a flake, when we later see her as a long-serving, trusted and responsible member of the Beacon household. And the behaviour of some of the teen girls in the house seemed a little over the top—until I thought of the last reality TV show I watched, which left me shaking my head at the shallowness of both the male and female contestants.
But this was more than made up for by the positive aspects of the book, including Kara’s spiritual journey, the scenes with Addy and Jonathon (it’s always nice when the characters in the first book are still part of the second), and the clear gospel message. I’d recommend this book to any tween or teen girl with an interest in celebrities (isn’t that all of them?).
Thanks to Thomas Nelson and BookSneeze for providing a free ebook for review.
First, let me just say that I love how "Starring Me by Krista McGee" rhymes. Cute!
I loved Kara in McGee's first book, First Date. She was the highlight of the book for me. (Read my review here.) We get plenty of her trademark sass in Starring Me, but we also get to see her deeper side and qualities. She's loyal, dedicated and kind. I also loved Flora, the housemother that Kara bonds with. Both First Date and Starring Me are loosely based on the bible characters of Esther and Rebekah. But in cool way. I really love the tv reality show gimmick. There's an "insider" feel to the descriptions of the filming and rehearsals that's really fun. A great read for younger teens.
I recieved a eBook copy of this title through NetGalley.
I have only read one other book by Krista McGee and really enjoyed it. Her books tend to be tailored more for young adults, but they are still enjoyable for adults, in general. Her writing isn't simplified at all. It's more that she chooses younger characters to write about so she can relate to the young adults. Krista writes with humor and has me laughing many times throughout her books.
Starring Me is about Kara, who is a friend of Addy's from Krista's previous book First Date, and Chad Beacon is a Christian and wants to find a co-star. His parents desire for his co-star to share his same beliefs, so they keep quiet about Chad's involvement in the variety show. Kara wants nothing more than to be actor so she signs up for this variety show that she thinks will bring her closer to her goal.
What she doesn't expect is some news that could ruin her chances at being a star. However, through a set of circumstances, God weaves the perfect story for her to possibly get a chance to be a star after all. It helps too that Chad is the perfect guy that you would want your daughter to end up with!
___________________ I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers through their Booksneeze program in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
JUN 29 Starring Me-Krista AbneyMcGee I am so grateful to Thomas Nelson Publishers' BookSneeze program I receive the book free for the purpose of review...I am not told what to say just review the book.
Another good book by Krista. She has the uncanny ability to write a story that creates all the characters so realistically. She most assuredly helps you to visualize each character with their weaknesses and strengths.
Kara and Addy have become friends after being contestants on The Book of Love game show. Communication has continued between them and Addy is definitely pulling for Kara to win this audition. Kara lacks confidence in herself but having friends that believe in her and parents that want her to fulfill her dream are a definite plus for her.
Thru a series of unplanned events and some planned ones Kara and Addy begin to not only develop a unique friendship in Christ but also another plus is the opportunity for the girls to begin to be friends with some really special guys in their life.
Not your typical "dating" story but certainly one that every Christian parent would dream could happen.
Perfect book for a preteen or young teen girl. Could be especially used in a small group book study with girls and mentors or girls and moms.