Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Love Me (2014)

Love Me. (Starstruck #2). Rachel Shukert. 2014. Random House. 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Love Me is the sequel to Rachel Shukert's Starstruck. I enjoyed Starstruck. I am not sure if I enjoyed Love Me as much. On the one hand, I could not put it down. I kept cheating. I would go to the end of the book, read a bit, and then go back to where I was. I don't ever really do that. So it did keep my interest, which, I suppose, is a good thing, right?! My favorite character is NOT a main character.

On the other hand, I found myself yelling at the characters from start to finish. I also found myself frustrated at times with the dialogue and the writing. Little things like name-dropping all the big, big stars and how they all were desperately mad to interact with these fictional characters. There were things that were just impossible to take seriously.

Love Me is definitely "darker" and messier than Starstruck. Every single character falls or fails in this one. Amanda, it turns out, had not reached her low point in Starstruck, far from it. And Gabby, well, I'm not sure Gabby makes even one good choice in this second novel. It's not that she doesn't try, it's just that her trying is hindered by her addictions. Margo's expectations are so out of control. After making one movie, she wants validation that she's the center of the universe. It doesn't happen. She whines and nags all the time. Readers, like Dane, may find themselves tuning her out.

The content of Love Me is definitely more adult than in Starstruck.

The men of Love Me:

Harry. Leftover from book one. Is there anything he does in this novel that does not make me angry?! I do NOT care for him at all. I HATE him.

Eddie. A musician. A band leader. Hints of trouble. I didn't mind him as much as Harry, because, at least he was honest about who he was and where he came from and what he was looking for. There is something refreshing about what you see is what you get.

Dexter. Another jazz musician. Not really seen as a love interest, but, an interesting guy I'd be curious to see again in a sequel if the author chooses to follow up with this character. I liked his scenes a good bit.

Dane. What can I say?! It has to be frustrating to be forced into a serious relationship with Margo. So I don't fault him for finding her annoying and frustrating and not who he hoped her to be. He wanted a girl who was smart enough not to fall for all the lies and concoctions the studio produced, and she is not that girl at all. That being said, he is far from perfect.

Don't expect Jimmy to have any scenes in this one. His name is mentioned a few times, sure, but that is it. This has me worried that Dexter won't be around in following books.

I mentioned that I "yelled" at the characters...

Dear Amanda,

Please stop obsessing over Harry. He is not worth it. Seriously. I know you want to feel loved and accepted. But it will NEVER happen with Harry no matter how much you put yourself into debt. A new dress will not change his mind. Your problems cannot be solved by going shopping every day. You've had to deal with so much, I just wish you'd be a little more grounded.

Dear Gabby,

You are the one least likely to listen, but the one who needs to hear the truth the most of all. Your mother would drive almost anyone crazy, so I don't blame you for wanting to escape it all. But the way you're doing it--drugs--is NOT the right answer.

Dear Margo,

You're so clueless that it hurts to be around you. Yes, I mean that. It hurts to see you act like a fool. Especially when it comes to Dane. You're so blinded by your so-called "love" for Dane. I have to ask: do you really love the real Dane OR are you in love with the Dane you've imagined in your own head? Do you even know there is a real Dane? Do you listen, really listen, when he talks? Do you see the way he acts around you? The way he treats you? Because I think if you had a little common sense and would just pay attention a fraction of the time, you would realize that your "relationship" with Dane is in trouble.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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