Title: Rising Star
Author: Susannah Nix
Series: Starstruck #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Format: eBook, Novel
Another wonderful contemporary romance set on film sets by Susannah Nix. I love that it talks about the background people as part of an on-set acting crew. Although I watch a lot of TV (as many of us do), I’d never really thought about the background actors, those who say nothing and are just there to fill the set. I loved the insight into this that I had never thought about. And what it would actually be like to work on a TV show set. I love that Alice’s experiences with this are positive, and although some of the toxicity of fame is still highlighted in this novel, Alice’s experiences are overall quite positive. It was a nice little moment of brightness in a storyline that could have otherwise been a really tragic story, partly because of Alice’s backstory and her experiences in academia.
The fact that Rising Star features a woman who is trying to make her way in academia was wonderfully familiar, and not so wonderful in some ways. Alice’s battles within academia are seriously heartbreaking, and I spent a whole lot of this book wanting to reach out and give her an incredibly big hug. It may not be quite my own experience in academia, but it definitely had the effect of bringing up a whole lot of issues that are unresolved from my time in this field. You know that Nix is a good writer when the similarities (and dissimilarities) occur to make you feel some fairly potent emotions from your own experiences. Alright, so Alice’s experiences aren’t necessarily academia-based, their sexual harassment-based. But, considering the difficulties she faces and the potential backlash, it was pretty hard to read in moments. I also love that in this story she chooses not to come forwards – because of the horrors that we inflict upon victims of this total and utter crap. Alice’s points and reluctance are so realistic and what I know a lot of people experiences when in this, and similar positions.
Alice’s counterpart, Griffin, is definitely swoony (at least how I’m picturing him in my head). But he’s also a little bit, incredibly, self-centred. He spends most of this book focused on his own emotions, experiences and desires. And although he obviously cares for Alice from fairly early on, it’s only when the consequences get pretty intense that he actually decides to stop and think about someone else. Relationships aren’t exactly healthy when one person is focused on their own needs and desires, to the detriment of the other’s feelings. Luckily, and because this is just an all-round awesome romance, he grows and is able to seriously stop and consider where exactly he’s gone wrong. I loved imagining at the conclusion of this book the growth that Griffin is able to continue to go through with Alice’s help.
Although this is an amazing slow-burn romance, for me Taco frequently stole the show. Which, admittedly, pretty much always happens for me when a dog is involved. I love how it is through a dog that two people are able to so strongly bond – probably because I just love dogs in general. There are a number of misunderstandings and mistakes along the way, but ultimately, this is a wonderful and adorable novel that I look forward to reading again and again. Not just for the romance, but also for the many Taco moments throughout.
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