Map to the Stars, by Jen Malone

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Map to the Stars, by Jen Malone

Map to the Stars, by Jen Malone

Map to the Stars, by Jen Malone

Free PDF Map to the Stars, by Jen Malone

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Map to the Stars, by Jen Malone

Can one down-to-earth girl plus a very famous boy and a whole lot of paparazzi ever add up to a perfect Hollywood ending?

Seventeen-year-old Annie Shelton isn’t sure why her mom thinks moving to Hollywood will allow them to escape the drama of their small-time life in Georgia, but she’s along for the ride. When Annie’s mom snags a gig as makeup artist to a teen movie idol and finagles a spot for Annie to accompany her on his European promotional tour, Annie’s pretty sure she’ll be fangirling over architectural sights rather than teen heartthrob Graham Cabot.

But then of course she actually meets him. As Graham and Annie fall for each other in the most romantic cities in the world, Annie realizes that this turn of events may not be quite as glamorous as she thought. Instead of red carpets and celebrity couple names, they are navigating a minefield of keeping secrets from Graham’s fans, overprotective assistant, stage “momager,” and beefy bodyguard. And when the paparazzi make an appearance, Annie has to decide whether their love is worth the harsh glare of the flashbulb.

Author Jen Malone draws on her real-life experiences as a movie studio publicist to bring you an insider peek at love, Hollywood-style.

Epic Reads Impulse is a digital imprint with new releases each month.

  • Sales Rank: #32179 in eBooks
  • Published on: 2015-07-14
  • Released on: 2015-07-14
  • Format: Kindle eBook

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
Meh.
By Jennifer
I wish I could say that I liked Map To the Stars, but it fell so flat for me that I tripped over it on the sidewalk. Terrible analogy but accurate all the same.

Lemme just give you a list of all the reasons this book didn’t work for me:

Insta-love done poorly. When Annie and Graham aka the Movie Star first meet, he assumes she’s a fangirl that’s managed to weasel her way into his hotel room before he gets there. Their later interactions suggest that they just have so much spark they fired off at each other the first time they met. You know that story: boy and girl dislike each other and lash out, only to later realize how much they lurv each other and that’s why they lashed out. Besides the whole “I like you so I’m going to treat you like crap” trope that I am SO TIRED OF, it’s just overplayed and in this case, completely unbelievable.
Mom and Annie left Georgia for #reasons (that were stupid). I began to suspect, not too far into the novel, why Annie and her mother just uprooted and left their home and I told myself if I was right, I was going to be really mad. And I was right. But since the big reveal isn’t until the last 10% of the book or so, I felt like I may as well finish it out so I could at least get another completed book in my Goodreads challenge. Yep, that’s right. I finished it for the numbers. I didn’t finish it because I liked it or anything crazy like that. Anyway, I digress. The reason was stupid and lacked any sort of believability at all. No mother is going to uproot her kid during senior year of high school because of such a minor thing. You know what would have been more believable? If mom left to take this job and Annie stayed with Dad. That actually makes sense to me, but that wouldn’t have worked for an author who was looking for a plot device to get her prince and pauper together. Eye roll.
Annie and Graham were soooooooooooooo melodramatic. One minute they hated each other and the next they were kissy-kissy, and then again hated each other. Graham tells her he can’t be seen with her, and then takes her out. She tells him she’s tired of his crap, and then smoochies with him. Yeah, I guess that’s actually typical of some teenage emotion, but when paired with the rest of the story, it just was blah.
The ending was too neat. All this drama and everything ends just perfectly (sorry not sorry for that spoiler). I like when not every single thing is easy for characters. Yes, even in HEAs.
I actually did enjoy all the backstage scenes, because, whether or not that was real, they lent a bid of credibility to Graham’s lifestyle and story. And there were some really funny quotes in there – if Map To the Stars did anything well, it was funny at times.

“I’m a producer. You ever try to talk a neurotic actor off an emotional cliff? They’re nearly as bad as writers. I’m basically one hissy fit short of earning Dr. Phil status at this point in the game.”
So, look, Map To the Stars wasn’t a terribly awful book. Some readers who are looking for a teen romance with some Hollywood thrown in for fun might actually like this. It’s made for hot summer days on a beach, but it’s also a book you wouldn’t be upset if it got sand in the spine or wet from splashes…or drowned in the ocean altogether. I am highly critical of contemporary romances, teen or not, so just take my opinion with a grain of salt… and a side of margarita.

I received this book from the publisher for review purposes.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
Quick, satisfying contemporary YA of first love and self-discovery!
By Katie O’Sullivan
What a fun contemporary YA romance! Yes, the premise of the movie star falling for the nobody narrator is a cliche at this point, but Jen Malone does it so well, and adds such realistic details that it made it such fun to read! The first person POV is both fresh and refreshing as her small town heroine gets her first taste of Hollywood, making a mess of things along the way.

Annie Shelton grew up in Georgia, so far from the bright lights of LA that she was never interested in tabloid gossip or crushing on hot movie stars. Her best friend Wynn was the total opposite and a great counterpoint to Annie’s hard focus on reality. When Annie and her mom move out to California, its not to pursue dreams, but to escape the reality of her father’s deception.

Graham Cabot grew up in LA-LA-land, on screen from an early age, and now a genuine movie star at seventeen. Girls throw themselves at him all the time, but the real Graham is actually a little shy and insecure. He admits to Annie that he’s never had a real girlfriend, hasn’t even had real friends since his elementary school years, before the fame and fortune changed his life.

Their budding relationship is cute and sweet, and the one-POV storytelling has the reader riding along with Annie’s confusion at Graham’s shifting attitudes and emotions. I won’t give away any more of the story except to say the ending is totally satisfying and everything worked out the way I wanted it to. This is a standalone read, no series or setup for the next book, which I also found refreshing. Quick, satisfying contemporary YA romance of first love and self discovery that I can totally recommend!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Map to fun, starry-eyed teens
By Pete Tarsi
I don’t read a lot of YA romance novels.

Let me clarify: I read a lot of YA books that have romance in them, and I’ve written flirty, romantic sequences in my own books. But I tend to gravitate more towards books that have something else (a contemporary issue or a fantasy/speculative/magical-realism element) driving the story with the romance being a subplot. Jen Malone’s Map to the Stars very well may be the first strictly YA romance novel I’ve ever read. After all, I’m a forty-something-year-old man and thus probably not the target audience.

I picked up a copy for my Kindle on the strength of the humor in the first chapter when it was read by the author at a YA book-reading event I went to. My daughters found the notion of a movie star getting a facial of nightingale poop to be utterly hysterical. And it is. The Hollywood satire peppered throughout the book made me laugh heartily enough to overcome occasional eye-rolls at main character Annie’s early waffling back and forth regarding her feelings for teen heartthrob Graham Cabot.

So here’s the basic plot: Annie’s mother has moved her out to L.A. (from a small town in Georgia) to be a stylist to the stars, and they get assigned to Graham Cabot’s worldwide promotional tour for his latest movie. Back home, Annie’s best friend Wynn is a huge Graham Cabot fangirl, but Annie’s first run-in with him is a total disaster. She lumps him together with all the other Hollywood phonies, he flirts a little, she flirts back but questions his motives, he turns out to be a really sweet guy. Romance ensues.

Okay, so maybe there are some signs of the “dreaded” insta-love going on, but you know what? Big deal! I was a teenager once, and I remember getting tingles if a pretty girl innocently and platonically touched my arm, and I remember suddenly deciding I loved them. And I know girls feel that way too—I had enough female friends that at one point wrote out their names with their crush’s last name attached. Insta-attraction—or better yet, insta-interest—happens in the real world. Love—all emotions—are irrational. Teens—well, most people—behave irrationally at times. And this is a fun story or two teens—one that’s normal but skeptical and one that’s airbrushed but sheltered and seeking normalcy—finding each other and just trying to have fun and do the things teens do.

Teens make mistakes, and Annie and Graham make some big ones along the way. Because he’s in the spotlight, being seen in public with a regular girl could harm his image. Or it could alienate his fan base of tween and teen girls that want to be writing his last name after theirs. That’s the main conflict for about the second half of the book, and it was fun watching them try to have a relationship, even though I correctly predicted the consequences they’d face.

Annie and Graham are likeable enough lead, and the book has a solid supporting cast. Though Wynn’s appearances are limited to emails and video chats, she’s well developed and a lot of fun. Bodyguard Roddy, who’s in on the couple’s ruses, has some nice hidden layers to him. Annie’s mom is well-balanced between supportive and overprotective, and her producer-friend Joe is an absolute riot whenever he appears.

The book is filled with pop culture references, as it should be when partially satirizing Hollywood and online-trending, but they don’t stick to one particular era. Some have stood or will stand the test of time, but some others are contemporary that may not. And some of them were from when I was a teen, including a Grease 2 reference that I didn’t quite believe both characters would get.

There’s no surprise that there’s a HEA ending, as that’s required for the genre, but I found it ironic after all the Hollywood satirizing that the ending was so Hollywood-ized. The only thing missing from the typical Hollywood-made teen romantic comedy ending was someone in the crowd starting a slow clap.

Overall, the satire is funny, the characters are fun, their chemistry is believable, and the ending is satisfying. No new ground is broken, but there’s nothing wrong with comfort food (like the cookies Annie’s Mom bakes), and this is an enjoyable, fun, light read. No map necessary for it to find its FOUR STARS.

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