Tuesday, February 5, 2019

ARC Review: How to be a Movie Star by T.J. Klune

How to Be a Movie Star (How to Be #2)From the blurb:

Josiah Erickson wants to be a movie star. The problem with that is so does half of Los Angeles. But he’s on his way, what with memorable roles as a TV show background cadaver and a guy in a commercial for herpes medication. All he needs is his big break. And that break may come in the form of a novelist who goes by the enigmatic name of Q-Bert.

Q-Bert, who is ready to make his directorial debut in a film Josy would be perfect for. Q-Bert, who Josy may or may not have a friend-crush on, and potentially something more. Being demisexual can be confusing.

From the City of Angels to the small mountain town of Abby, Oregon, Josy will give his all to make sure his dreams come true—even the ones he never thought possible.

Heather's rating:

Have you ever wondered if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were circumcised while stoned?

Wait... I don't mean while they were stoned, or like while the doctors (or mohel, could be Jewish??) were stoned, I mean have YOU wondered these things while YOU were stoned? Well if you have or if you want to read about people who ponder those same types of things while partaking in some Mary Jane, How to Be a Movie Star is the book for you. Or if you don't smoke, that's cool too, Josiah doesn't judge.

I've been eagerly awaiting How to Be a Movie Star for... well, it seems like forever. I'm a huge, huge fan of T.J. Klune, and I just recently re-read How to be a Normal Person and LOVED IT, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one.

I was expecting it to be epic, and while I really liked it and I got those squishy feelings by the end, I had parts of the story that I struggled with a bit.

In my mind, Josiah and I have a lot in common. We both are amazingly awesome at winning radio contests (I've won between 25-30, I'm not sure of the full count), have irrepressibly sunny dispositions, and have been known to partake in some herbal refreshment from time to time (as my fellow GRL attendees who ran into me at the Colorado meet-up will probably remember), and... well, that's about it. Okay, yeah... we might not have that much in common...

I really liked Josy (love that nickname) and I enjoyed reading about his demisexuality. I consider myself fairly well-versed on asexuality by now, but Josy gave me a new perspective. To me, it seemed like he was both demisexual and demiromantic because he doesn't get romantic feelings without friendship and an emotional connection first. I thought demisexuality was more about just sexual feelings and attraction, but Josy's was a bit different than I was expecting. I loved seeing how his brain worked with friendship and romance, and I was excited to be in his head for the entirety of the story (it's single POV, like How To Be A Normal Person).

However, maybe because Josiah was all over the place with his thoughts, I struggled to keep engaged in the first half of the story. It took me six days to finish this one, which is a long time for me. If I love a book, I'll read it all night long, and I just didn't get that urge here, which was unexpected. Josiah's thoughts were scattered and lots of things were happening in the beginning, and I just wasn't as fully into the story as I was anticipating. The friendship between the two MCs doesn't get going for awhile, and I felt eager to start things more than anything.

Thankfully, as the second half neared, I got more and more into it, which relieved me to no end as there is nothing I don't like more than not loving a book that I fully anticipated loving.

I think what really turned this book around for me was, Gus. Gus is Josiah's BFF, and I ADORED any scene with Gus in it. Combining Gus with Josiah, the internet, and telecommunications help lady was nirvana for me.

The romance crept up on me, and though it was slow-going, I was really feeling it by the end. It takes a LONG time for Josy to realize his romantic feelings, and that was okay with me as a reader, but be prepared to WAIT. There was one scene that was so sweet and so moving that I cried in public (as one does, naturally), so, rest assured, you will catch some major feels from this one.

How to Be a Movie Star has a lot of important lessons about mental health, sexuality, and self-care. It will resonate really strongly with readers who have struggled with depression, isolation, or feeling different, which is an important gift that T.J. Klune gives to his readers. I thought the book was a great combo of fully, sweet, and didactic without being over-the-top, and I know that his fans will LOVE this one.

So light up a (only if legal!) joint, sit down and relax, and get to know these characters. You'll be happy you went along for the ride.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

Enjoy, my friends!

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