Thursday, 28 May 2015

Absolutely True Lies (Review & Giveaway!)

Hi there!

Title: Absolutely True Lies
Author: Rachel Stuhler
Publisher: Touchstone (Simon and Schuster)
Published Date: 26th May 2015
Rating: 3 Stars
 
*Thank you to the publisher for the review copy*

Synopsis: A fledgling entertainment writer stumbles into the gig of a lifetime writing a teenage pop star’s memoir and soon realizes that the young celebrity's squeaky-clean image is purely a work of fiction.

Struggling writer Holly Gracin is on the verge of moving back home to upstate New York when she gets hired to write the memoirs of eighteen-year-old Daisy Mae Dixson, a former Nickelodeon child star who has moved seamlessly into both blockbuster movies and pop music.

Holly quickly realizes that Daisy’s wholesome public image is purely a work of fiction, as Holly finds herself trailing the star as she travels around the world on yachts, gets stalked by paparazzi, and sneaks out of five-star hotels in the dead of night.

As Holly struggles to write a flattering portrait of a teenage millionaire who only eats “nightshades” and treats her employees like slaves, Daisy has a public meltdown—and suddenly, her book is the cornerstone of resurrecting her image. But working at all hours trailing a pop star has taken its toll, and Holly must decide if becoming the ultimate insider is worth losing a starring role in her own life.

Fun, juicy, and inspired by Rachel Stuhler’s own stranger-than-fiction experiences as a celebrity ghost writer, Absolutely True Lies is an entertaining look at how the lifestyles of the rich and famous aren’t always what they seem.

Review:   I couldn’t wait to start this one once I was accepted the copy! Not only would it contribute to my 2015 reading challenge but it was also an author who had been a ghostwriter writing about someone who ends up being a ghostwriter. How cool is that? It’s not a job I have ever considered but if I am wanting to be a writer it is always interesting to think about other jobs which could involve just that as well – writing.

I thought this one also had an interesting portrayal of celebrity life. Holly is thrust into the world of glamour almost without asking because all she wants is a job which can make sure she gets the rent paid by the end of the month and enough for her to survive off of as well. I don’t know how accurate the idea of celebrity life in this one was, and how much Stuhler based this off of her own experiences, but it did seem like it could be very realistic. It seems so glamorous, but in reality there were cracks in the vision as well. It seemed like if you weren’t popular enough, then you could easily be left behind. And it never really mattered what was wrong with Daisy the main character mentally or physically – she was almost like a puppet sometimes. If she did enough for everyone to get their paycheck then they were happy enough. I felt like few people actually cared about her.

As well as that, the amount of money they earned for doing little things was astounding O.o Once again, I am not sure how realistic that was but I would believe it, and it was pretty shocking. I can’t imagine people having to do so little to get so much money! They really did throw it around unknowingly.

Every time someone revealed themselves to be there for the money
and not Daisy herself.
But as always, everything comes at a price. There were quite a few characters in this book and finding out who could really be trusted seemed to be a running theme here. People you could’ve sworn were good and genuine ended up not being so. It was hard to see who was there for the money and who was there for Daisy. Sometimes the people who weren’t really there to support her made me feel irrevocably sad. She deserved better than that :(

Holly was a nice character. She was just a small town person trying to get by. When she enters into the celeb life, no matter how badly she gets treated and by who she always tries to get back on her feet again. And all through the novel, no matter what Daisy might do you can see that she is someone who is actually there for her. I have to admire that quality about that. She does seem to moan quite a bit, but that is only within context because I would be grumpy if the people I was working for always seemed to be jetting off without telling her. So I was able to accept that.

I liked reading about all the characters. They all seemed very realistic. Daisy most of all, and she was the one we were able to see the most about. Faith, her mother was also quite important in the story as well. Jamieson always seemed a bit cruel and like he was using the family for their money. I don’t wait to dive too much into the characters in fear of giving away who was there for what reason.

There was a love triangle in this one. First of all Holly meets Vaughn, one of the geeky producers who is kind to her. And a while into the story she meets Ben, a very good looking furnisher for the set. I felt like the love triangle was a bit predictable in my opinion. Once again, this one was largely based on trust. She was trying to find out who would be there for her the most when it came to the point when she would really need it.

Overall, a nice, very well written book. I’m not sure what the ‘more’ was that I was looking for, but I did feel like something was holding it back from being four stars. It was interesting to learn about the ghost writing experience though.

Giveaway! Open to US/Canada only this time round! Win one of two paperback copies of Absolutely True Lies.


Olivia’s Question: Do you find it easy to trust others?


Olivia-Savannah x

34 comments:

  1. The idea of a ghost writer makes this sound like such an interesting book! And Hollywood lifestyle is always interesting to read about, whether realistic or not ;)

    -M
    The Life of Little Me

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    1. I would actually have to agree there! I need to read more Hollywood based things.

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  2. This sounds like a great book and an enticing review Olivia! :-)

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  3. The ghost writing experience sounds interesting. First time I discovered about ghost writers I thought why would someone do that? But I understand now, people judge too much!

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    1. I know! At first it can originally be a hard concept to grasp but I guess in the end it makes sense xD

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  4. I can't say how often it has happened that I've really looked forward to getting into a book and then if was a bit of a letdown. Although, it doesn't sound like this one bombed too badly. :)
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. It does happen pretty often, but that means when the gems come along you can treasure them all the more. :)

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  5. There's something to be said about unreliable characters. I love that aspect of stories, you just never know whom to trust. As far as the plot, I would definitely add this to my list to read because I want to see for myself how this all plays out. Nice review!

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    1. Not knowing who to trust always raises the suspense. Looking forward to knowing what you think of it ^.^

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  6. I hadn't heard of this one before reading your review. I like the cover and the story sounds different. Interesting that the characters are a mystery in a way and the reader can't always guess who to trust. Thanks for sharing- you did a wonderful job on your review. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. It is a pretty new one! It certainly was something different from the usual YA :)

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  7. The cover on this one is super fun, I love it! I don't mind love triangles but I can see how it would be predictable, I'm already pretty sure who she picks and I haven't even read the book. Glad you liked it for the most part! As for your question, I trust pretty easily but once that is broken I never forget it.

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    1. Love triangles can be okay and bother me in some ways as well. If there is going to be one I really don't want it to be so predictable! It can hard to trust someone again once they break it.

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  8. I think it would be interesting to follow around a celebrity for a week or just period of time to really see what their day to day life/schedule is like. That's why I secretly like watching the Kardashians. Do I agree with every single thing they do or how they go about doing things? No. But I do get a glimpse into their life and it's pretty entertaining.

    Do I trust people? Some I trust easier and quicker than others. This might sound weird, but I can usually tell if someone is trustworthy just by hanging out or talking with them for a little bit. The more I think about this question the more holes I see. Some people are really outgoing upon first encountering them, but what if they are a shy person? It will take them a bit more time for them to really allow others to see their true selves resulting in them being more trustworthy.

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    1. I can understand what you mean. It would be great to be able to tail or be a celebrity just for one day, so you can understand what really happens to them. And in the case of trust, you must be very intuitive then!

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  9. Good review, Olivia. Sounds like a good read of life in celebrity-land and the hoopla surrounding them.

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  10. I don't find it easy to trust others.

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  11. I don't find it easy to trust others. kamundsen44@yahoo.com Kim

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  12. Pretty cover and good to hear that Holly was a nice character

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    1. She really was. It was a good read, and a worthwhile one too.

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  13. Sounds like a great book. I don't trust easily. Too many betrayals

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    1. I hate knowing people go and betray others :/ That sure isn't nice.

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  14. The idea of a book surrounding ghostwriting sounds like a very interesting idea. But I just hate ghostwriting as a whole thing to be honest.... people compare it to music writers but I don't see the similarities mainly because those who write lyrics get credit for it on the CDs whereas ghostwriters are just that, ghosts and it annoys the hell out of me.
    And nope, I don't find easy at all trusting others. I've had quite nasty experiences in the past and now, I'm much more aware of everything hahahaha

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    1. Yeah, it does bother me that they get none of the credit. But I guess they do sign up for it in the end :/ It's just a shame that celebrities can't actually write their own books. Ah that is a shame...

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  15. The cover looks really gorgeous though - The character Holly sounds really intriguing though, atleast you enjoyed this novel for the most part - wonderful review as always Olivia <3 Benish| Feminist Reflections

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    1. It was a pretty nice read and I liked that ^^

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  16. Hey Olivia, :)

    When you look at the title of this book. It really sounds interesting. Absolutely True Lies. That would make me want to read it. But again, the story should be great too. And with your honest review, I could say that I should give it a try. I am not an avid reader though. Hahaa But hey thanks for sharing it :D

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    1. The title alone is pretty cool and was enough to draw me into reading it as well. You don't have to be an avid reader to be able to enjoy the odd book!

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  17. Sounds like a great read! I need a new book to read this summer!

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    1. I think this would be a great summer read :)

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