{Review} Star Attraction by Vanessa Stubbs

Title: Star Attraction
Author: Vanessa Stubbs
Published: August 21st 2013
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Source: eARC provided by through Netgalley for honest review
Rating: 3.5/5

He's the most famous and most desired man in the world.

She's a hard-news journalist trying to keep her job.

When Sydney girl Madison Edwards is sent to interview Hollywood heartthrob Jamie Hall, as far as she's concerned it's an embarrassing blot on her credibility. As far as Jamie is concerned, Madison is just one of the thousands of people who want a piece of him. They both turn out to be wrong.

When an unimaginable attraction develops between them, they're momentarily blinded. Could it be true love or just the glare of the paparazzi's flashbulbs? 

This stellar debut is a deliciously seductive story of our times, about celebrity and stardom – and about finding something real and true, even when the whole world is watching.

The story:
This story wasn't quite what I was expecting. I was imagining a story about a celebrity & journalist falling in love, and although that does happen the main storyline is more focussed on the celebrity culture and how it affects their lives separately. We see how Maddison's work at a newspaper affects her life and her relationships with her girlfriends. She becomes so invested in her career that she's completely oblivious to how she's hurting her best friends. She also starts to question her motivations for becoming a journalist and where she wants her career to go in the future. 

And then we see the other side of the media with famous actor Jamie Hall and how fame has affected his life. He's sudden rise to fame as an international heartthrob has robed him of his privacy and he starts to doubt if this is the life a wants. The romance between Maddison & Jamie almost becomes a side story to these career & media based main plot points.

This story also starts off quite slow, with plenty of backstory & plot development and very little dialogue. It's not until about 50% into the book that the story starts to really gain momentum with more character interaction. The conflicts between Maddison & Jamie and also with Maddison and her two best friends, where what made the story more engaging.

The characters:
To be honest I found it a little difficult to like Jamie. He has the public image of the typical Hollywood heartthrob, but the narrator constantly tells us that he is much more sensitive and a decent person, who doesn't care about fame and money. However many of his actions contradict this. At the very beginning we are introduced to his character at promotional party with all these gorgeous women throwing themselves at him, but he has no interest in them or the party and just wants to go home. But then only a few scenes later he's on a plane and the flight attended makes a pass at him and he ends up skrewing in the bathroom. I felt like I was being told that he was this stand up guy, but his actions just didn't convince me. Another example was his attitude towards Jessica, a young actress he has a relationship with - he seemed to have very little respect for her:

"Jamie enjoyed having sex with Jessica even though their conversation left him indifferent, depressed even."

At the beginning Maddison comes across as a little snobby and almost looks down on her friends, Sabine & Lucy because of their jobs (journalist at fashion magazine & call centre operator). However over the course of the book she learns a lot about how her job at the paper has changed her and she's not happy with what she sees. She mellows by the end of the book and I grew to like her a lot.

Secondary character Lucy was probably my favourite character. She's down to earth and a very relatable character. We get a few chapters scattered throughout the book that follows her life at a dead end job at the call centre. But things start to look up after a romance starts to blossom with her adorably sweet co-worker Stuart. I really loved their little side story & would be happy to see more!

The romance:
The romance between Jamie & Maddison was one of the strongest elements in this book. In all their scenes together their connection is undeniable. However I felt there weren't enough scenes with them together. The majority of this book involves scenes with only one of them, and surprisingly there where more love scenes with Jamie and women other than Madison - and this bothered me a lot. I read stories with romance to see the two main characters together, not with other people. An idealistic opinion perhaps, but this is fictional after all.

The Writing:
I really liked the writing style. The descriptive language was very effective:

"Cracked brown Formica tables sat uncomfortably close together and seventies lampshades leaked weak light into into the smoky atmosphere."

"The foreshore was virtually deserted. A storm was brewing blue-black against a yellow horizon. The sea and sky were one. Dog walkers were the only people braving the wind’s bluster. The air was drunk with salt."

Despite a slow start and not quite being the story I was expecting, I still enjoyed it. While I did have trouble connecting with Jamie's character, I was still invested in their story & was happy to see he & Maddison get their HEA together. I think this book would appeal to fans of The Devil Wears Prada and Confessions of a Shoppaholic.

Sexuality: medium / short non descriptive sex scenes
Violence: none
Language: mild-medium / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: mild


  1. That sounds interesting, Glad to hear despite the slow start and the story not being what you thought it would be that you liked it. I always love when characters have the right chemistry!

    1. Me too, the chemistry between characters is what can make or break a book for me! :)


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