Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Review: Relatively Famous by Jessica Park


Meet Dani McKinley: A typical teen whose world is rocked when she finds out that her father is a famous Hollywood action star. Now meet Mark Ocean: A self-serving actor with a floundering career who sees that a daughter is just what he needs to reinvent himself as a family man and get back on track. When the two decide to spend the summer together, they must not only wrangle their own love lives, but try to figure out who they really are to themselves and to each other.

Now armed with credit cards, club memberships, and a new wardrobe, Dani learns that what Mark has in wealth, he sorely lacks in parenting skills. Trying to show Mark that parenting is about more than loading her up with Prada bags and taking her to movie premieres is challenging enough, but she's also got her hands full with her new friends. Oh, and the boys... Dani meets Jason, a gorgeous young personal trainer who is easy on the eyes and wildly flirtatious. But is this smug hottie the one for her? Or will she ignore her friends eye-rolling and go for the goofy but sweet surfer?

While juggling her own complicated love life, Dani tries to set her father up with someone less likely to appear on a VH1 reality show, and someone more... well, normal. And age-appropriate. And dressed in anything but a thong bikini. But whether Mark is able to heal old wounds and move forward with anything more than a meaningless fling remains to be seen.

Can Dani fit in with this new, fast-moving California crowd without losing herself? With the world at her fingertips and hot boys now after her, staying grounded gets tough. And can Mark drop his egocentric approach to life and learn to appreciate how truly wonderful his daughter is? As driven as he is to get that A-list acting role, he's willing to do whatever it takes to get there, even if it means using his daughter. Or is he...? Mark and Dani's relationship hits a few highs, but the question becomes whether the lows are too much.

The Elliott Review: 

I really enjoyed reading this book - it was a fast, fun read that had me completely spellbound the entire time. I would have read it straight through in one day if I'd had the time to do so. Everything just flowed so naturally and entertainingly. This is the perfect lay-in-bed-and-read book.

The plot also really intrigued me. I loved the idea of a girl discovering that her father is a famous movie star. What girl wouldn't fantasize about the idea of suddenly becoming famous? I loved seeing how Dani meets her father and integrates herself in to Hollywood society. Even with such an astounding leap in circumstances, all the action is fairly plausible and thus interesting!

The characters also really grabbed me. I felt a connection with all of the major characters - Dani, Mark, Olivia, Nathan, Leila, Alan - I wanted to see good things happen to them and for them all to have that "storybook" ending. The father-daughter relationship between Mark and Dani was so moving to me - the fact that Mark really does want to get to know his daughter and be there for her. It seems like something that would be so rare in real life. I also loved the whole cast of characters that we meet.

I would recommend this book to anyone, really. It would be perfect for a school or classroom library - relatively clean and addictively readable.

Connect with Jessica Park:

Twitter: @JessicaParkYA
Goodreads: Jessica Park Goodreads Author
Blog: Relatively Famous, A Young Adult Novel

Thanks to Jessica Park for providing a copy of this book for a fair review. I was not required to write a positive review.

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